GI stands for Glycaemic Index and GL, Glycaemic Load. These two terms can be confusing. GI seems to have been around for ages and people are comfortable checking the GI of the foods they eat, but GL? In this post I try to demystify these two terms for you so you can make an informed choice when deciding what you should eat, especially if you have diabetes.
Recently there has been a flurry of media attention on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Draft Sugars Guideline. So what is it? On 3 March 2014 WHO held a press conference where they announced they were opening up for discussion the Draft Sugars Guideline which would continue to propose that sugars should make up less than 10 per cent of total daily energy intake (measured in kilojoules or calories).
It’s no secret that whole grain and high-fibre breads, cereals and grains are what we should be eating. We know they boast plenty more B vitamins, iron, zinc, vitamin E, fibre and antioxidants than refined products. Yaddah yaddah. I know I sound like my mum. But they’re often chewier, denser, more hard-yakka to eat and sometimes not as delicious as their white, low-fibre cousins, are they? Ask my white-bread-lover husband!
Whole grains shouldn’t be hard work. The two key foods to swap to whole grain are bread and breakfast cereal. These two will give you the biggest bang for your grainy buck so I’ll concentrate of those two here.
Forget white bread and white rice. Whole grains are what we should be eating - something your grandmother would have told you! Eating whole grain foods may help with all sorts of health problems. Personally, I love whole grains as they make me feel full without over-eating which makes it easier to manage my weight without dieting but if you want some really compelling reasons to switch keep reading.
Until recently nutritionists believed that the starch from cereals, breads, pasta and potatoes was completely broken down and absorbed from the small intestine - that's the uppermost part of the bowel just after the stomach and is where most of our digestion occurs. Dietary fibre was the only food component that was believed to enter the large intestine.
An amber fluid made by honey bees (Apis mellifera) from the nectar of flowers, honey has been ‘nature’s sweetener’ for centuries and is frequently marketed as ‘superior’ to sugar. Today we consume over 40 times more sugar than honey yet it remains a favourite flavouring in foods like honey cakes, sauces, breakfast cereals, honey-coated nuts, yoghurts and hams. Here’s how it stacks up side by side with sugar.
A. It all depends. Sports drinks or electrolyte drinks are effective at rehydrating as they contain lowish levels of sugars (sucrose plus glucose) combinesd with electrolytes (potassium, sodium and sometimes magnesium). This combination has been shown to enhance absorption of fluid INTO the body and is superior to drinking water alone.