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Nutrition

  • Top Five Healthiest Lebanese Dishes

    Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian  We all know that as Lebanese we’re blessed with a great variety of colorful and delicious food. In Lebanon, we have the best of what the Mediterranean can offer, and we take advantage of it at any chance we ...
  • Best Vitamins and Supplements to Take For Mental Focus

    Written by guest author Brenan Quirante Peak nootropics Noopept Nootropic Supplements Some people search for supplements and vitamins to help them improve their memory, cognitive ability and focus. It's not easy focusing on tasks that don't seem i...
  • Does eating late at night cause weight gain?

    Many people have emailed me with the belief that eating late at night is causing them to gain weight. However, this is nothing more than a myth. This old wives' tale propagates that our metabolism slows down at night because we are inactive and there...
  • The Difference Between Water and Sports Beverages

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Working up a sweat can feel great, especially if you have trained really hard. However, it is also very important to keep hydrated before, during and after your workout. Dehydration during your workout can easi...
  • Ten Reasons to Eat More Avocado

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Smoothies, salads and dips… you can have it all with avocados. This green fruit's name is derived from the Nahuatl Indian language which ironically means "testicle". Avocado is considered a healthy fat which no...
  • Health Benefits of Salmon

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Delicious and nutritious Along with being incredibly tasty, salmon offers many health benefits you might not be aware of. Though salmon contains quite a lot of fat, you can indulge without feeling guilty as t...
  • Healthy Eating on a Budget

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Some readers have emailed the website saying that eating healthy is expensive and this makes it difficult for them to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Even though nutritious food can be very expensive, it is defini...
  • Leptin and How it Facilitates Fat Loss

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff There are countless diets available on the market. A current popular diet is the so called "leptin diet." In this article, I'll explain what leptin is and how you can make leptin work to your advantage. What i...
  • How Healthy is Sushi?

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Sushi is known to be one of the healthiest meals. Sushi contains some great nutrients like omega 3 from the fatty fish, vitamins from vegetables and minerals from seaweed. Does this mean you can binge on sushi ...
  • 10 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff 1. Olive oil/healthy oils Olive oil is a healthy fat and fits perfectly into a healthy diet. However, although it is a healthy fat, it is also high in calories and can slow down your weight loss if you consu...
  • The Truth About Diet Soda

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Regular sodas are loaded with sugar Regular sodas are known to contain a LOT of sugar. How much you may ask? Did you know that a can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of sugar? This is equivalent to 3 tables...
  • Glycemic Index Explained

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff I'm sure you've heard a buzz going around about the glycemic index. A lot of people are adjusting their food intake according to low Glycemic Index (GI) values. But what exactly is the glycemic index? Defin...
  • Natural Sugar Alternatives

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Luckily I am not a sweet tooth, but I know many of you are! The main ingredient to provide sweetness in foods and drinks is of course sugar. There are countless reasons why it would be better to cut out, or a...
  • Is Coconut Oil The New and Improved Olive Oil?

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff For years and years, the media and health gurus have educated us about the countless benefits of olive oil. Olive oil has become a staple in many households and for good reason; it is both healthy and tasty. ...
  • Guilt-free Healthy Snacks

    Snacks help to control our cravings, maintain our blood sugar levels and keep us energized throughout the day. It is recommended that people do not go more than four hours without eating and should always have snacks in-between meals. Many people go...
  • Habits of Successful Dieters

    When it comes to successful fat loss, your hard work will not end once you reach your goal. The next step is to successfully maintain your results with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you maintain your weight and avoid relapsing. Lo...
  • How to Read Nutrition Labels

    Deciphering the information found on nutrition labels can be extremely confusing. Here is your quick and easy guide to understanding the basics Serving sizes The serving size always appears at the top of nutrition labels. Serving sizes can be misle...
  • How to suppress your appetite

    One of the hardest things about sticking to a diet is keeping a raging appetite under control. There is nothing more frustrating than being hungry and not being able to eat as much as you’d like. Here are some natural techniques to suppress your appe...
  • Top foods to eat daily

    Many people starting out with a body transformation program might not know the difference between clean food and the junk you should avoid, which means they risk eating food they believe to be healthy when in reality it is causing more harm. Familiar...
  • Low Calorie Diets

    One of the most frustrating aspects of starting a weight loss program is how long it takes to see actual results. Many infomercials try to sell you products and supplements promising fast results, but these are nothing but weight loss scams, or are b...
  • Healthy Fats Explained

    Many people view “fats” as unhealthy and best avoided. They link them to high levels of cholesterol, clogged arteries and major health problems. However, in reality healthy fats are essential for overall health and nutrition, provided you eat the rig...
  • Alcohol & Fat Loss

    One of the hardest things for people to give up during a fat loss program is alcohol. Some people find it impossible to go out and not enjoy a few drinks. The good news is drinking occasionally and in moderation will not likely affect your results; h...
  • How to dine out

    A healthy lifestyle means being healthy no matter where you go. Many people overeat, cheat on their diets or are not aware that they are making poor food choices in restaurants. Many people dine out regularly or eat out often for business meetings an...
  • Eat smarter

    Fat loss expert Tom Venuto proposed a fun and easy method for others to improve their food choices in a free special report he wrote. He suggested categorizing your food choices into grades. If you want to be healthier and leaner, you need to work on...
  • Calculate Calories

    What is a calorie? Calories can be defined as measures of heat energy stored in food. The higher the number of calories in a specific type of food, the more energy will be released to perform biological functions or sustain physical activity. When w...
  • The essentials about protein

    Protein is your body's preferred muscle building fuel and can help you reach super-human levels of leanness.  What is protein and what role does it play in your body? Protein is a combination of essential and nonessential amino acids in the body.  ...
  • Water & Liquid Calories

    Water in our bodies One of most important compounds in our body is water, which constitutes around 60 – 70% of our total bodyweight. Water excretes waste from our cells, aids in digestion and brain functions, transports nutrients around the body and...
  • Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates are our preferred source of energy and are used most efficiently by the human body. The brain utilizes carbohydrates to perform normal bodily functions, requiring a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. Following a severely low ...
  • Repair a Damaged Metabolism

    If you’re someone who has a history of unsuccessful dieting, you may fear that you’ve damaged your metabolism permanently. One example of something that could cause this kind of damage is going on a low-calorie diet for a prolonged period of time, ex...
  • Your basic guide to supplements

    Nowadays we are constantly bombarded by supplements and products purporting to be from the fitness industry and promising quick fat loss and muscle building results. Although many of these products do have some nutritional value it can be hard to tel...
  • Create Your Own Meal Plan

    There’s nothing better than being in control of your diet, customizing it with the foods you like and tailoring it to fit your goals. It only takes one afternoon It might all seem exhausting and confusing at first, but all it really takes is one a...

Glycemic index explained

Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff

I'm sure you've heard a buzz going around about the glycemic index. A lot of people are adjusting their food intake according to low Glycemic Index (GI) values. But what exactly is the glycemic index?

Definition

The glycemic index (GI) provides an estimate for the rate at which your blood sugar rises after you've eaten carbs. Carbs that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high glycemic index (sugar), while carbs that break down slowly and gradually have a low glycemic index (oatmeal).

The glycemic index of two products with the same amount of carbs can vary. For instance white rice and brown rice have the same amount of carbs but the brown rice releases the glucose from the carbs slower than the white rice releases the glucose. This is what they mean by slow and fast carbs.

Determining the glycemic index

The glycemic index ranks from 0 to 100. The way the glycemic index of one product is determined is by experiment. A number of 10 or more people are given certain amount (mostly 50 grams) of pure glucose (sugar). The speed of the increase of their blood sugar level is then measured and this is equated with the number 100. This same test is repeated with other foods.

The values of the glucose of different foods are placed in the glycemic index. The index expresses the increase of the blood sugar level in relation to the increase that the glucose causes. So the faster the consumption of those foods leads to increasing of the blood sugar level which results in a higher glycemic index value. Below you can see what the numbers mean.

Classification

Range

Low GI

55 or less

Medium GI

56-69

High GI

70 and above

Glycemic load

The glycemic load (GL) is based on the same values of the GI but gives a more complete overview since it incorporates portion size. Obviously, a small portion fries has a different effect than a large portion fries!

The GL is easier to calculate since it does not depend on human trials. In order to calculate the GL, you should know the GI and the amount of carbs in your food. To find out the amount of carbs just check the packaging labels or use the nutrition guide.

The calculation is as follows:

Gl x Grams of carbohydrates / 100

For instance we want to know the GL of a cup of lima beans. First we have to know what the GI of beans is, this is 32. Now we need to figure out how many grams of carbs are in one cup of lima beans. This is, coincidentally also 32. The calculation thus goes as follows:

32 (GI) x 32 =1024 /100 = GL 10.24

Here's what the GL numbers mean.

Low

10 or less

Medium

11 - 19

High

20 and above

It is very easy to find the GI's and even the GL's of many foods from online websites; however, you should remain cautious about which information sources you use. I prefer to use sources like the American Diabetes Organization or other respectable websites.

Below you'll find a short list of foods and their GI from the American Diabetes Organization just to have a better understanding of the GI concept.

Low GI Foods (55 or less)

100% stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread

Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), oat bran, muesli

Pasta, converted rice, barley, bulgar

Sweet potato, corn, yam, lima/butter beans, peas, legumes and lentils

Most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and carrots

Medium GI (56-69)

Whole wheat, rye and pita bread

Quick oats

Brown, wild or basmati rice, couscous

High GI (70 or more)

White bread or bagel

Corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, instant oatmeal

Shortgrain white rice, rice pasta, macaroni and cheese from mix

Russet potato, pumpkin

Pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn, saltine crackers

melons and pineapple

The GI and the GL are instruments that are very useful for people who have to monitor their blood sugar level such as those with diabetes. People who are watching their weight can also benefit from these instruments even though a lot of it boils down to common sense. For example, most people know that whole wheat is better than white bread but it never hurts to check the GI's of your favorite foods.

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