Green buckwheat glycemic index

People who are starting a low-glycemic diet have a love/hate relationship with grains. Many popular grains have a high glycemic index (fluffy mashed potatoes, creamy white rice, pasta with grandma’s secret sauce, and macaroni and cheese) — but you can incorporate several lower-glycemic grains in your meals.

Grains, especially whole grains that are less processed, provide a variety of nutrients your body needs for good health. Many of the grains that are new to modern society were very familiar to our ancestors. The best part about these new old favorites is that you can easily add them to your favorite recipes, especially in foods such as hot cereals, soups, and rice pilaf dishes.

Some lower-glycemic oldie-but-goodie grains include:

  • Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat that was common until industrialization made it less favorable to farmers than other types of wheat. (People who can’t handle wheat should avoid spelt because it’s part of the wheat grain family.) Spelt has a higher protein, B vitamin, potassium, and iron content than other varieties of wheat, giving it a nutritional edge. Multigrain bread made with spelt flour has a glycemic index of 54, making it a lower-glycemic bread choice.

    Substitute spelt flour for wheat flour in recipes for cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, and even bread. Spelt-flour breads don’t rise as high as other wheat-flour breads because spelt has a lower gluten content, yet they can produce a delicious bread product in their own right.

    Spelt flour doesn’t require as much water as other types of wheat flour; start by using three-fourths of the required liquid in a recipe.

  • Buckwheat, familiar in the form of Japanese soba noodles and Russian kasha, actually isn’t a form of wheat — it’s really a relative of rhubarb! Yet buckwheat, which has a low glycemic index, traditionally has been used as a grain in cooking. Because it’s not a member of the grain family, people who can’t tolerate wheat can use it without concern. Buckwheat is also available as groats, which are the light-brown or light-green soft inner seeds of buckwheat. You can add whole groats to soups, or you can boil them and eat ’em like rice.

    Try using 50 percent buckwheat flour and 50 percent wheat flour in pancakes, muffins, biscuits, and breads for a richer flavor.

  • Quinoa was originally cultivated by the Inca in the Andes Mountains of South America. It looks like small kernels of rice and has a higher protein content than many other types of grains. It contains no gluten and can be safely used by people with wheat allergies. Quinoa is delicious in soups and grain salads, and it has a lower glycemic index of 53.

    Try using a mixture of 25 percent quinoa and 75 percent wheat flour in breads, biscuits, and muffins for a highly nutritious bread product with a delicious taste.

  • Rye is historically a mainstay in northern European cultures because it grows in colder, wet climates. Include rye flakes in homemade granola or trail mix for a high-fiber, low-glycemic treat.

    Rye has less gluten than wheat flour, so you need to combine it with other gluten-containing flours in order to make bread. Pumpernickel bread made with rye flour has a low glycemic index of 55.

  • Wild rice isn’t really rice but rather the seed of a grass that grows in water around the Great Lakes in the Midwestern part of the United States. It has twice the protein and fiber of brown rice, which gives it a lower glycemic index of 45.

  • Barley was domesticated even before wheat. It contains more fiber and vitamin E than wheat and adds a nutty flavor to baked products such as muffins and biscuits. Pearl barley has the hard outside hull removed and cooks quickly into a soft, fluffy grain with a glycemic index of only 25. Try adding barley flakes to hot cereal for breakfast or mixing them into your favorite granola.

    Because barley contains less gluten than wheat, use 50 percent barley flour and 50 percent wheat flour when baking bread.

  • Bulgur (cracked wheat) is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleansed, parboiled, dried, and ground into particles. Because it’s precooked, you need only pour boiling water over it, cover, and let it sit for about ten minutes. It cooks so quickly that adding this delicious, healthy, low-glycemic whole grain to meals is easy.

    Bulgur has a low glycemic index of 48, and one cup of it has fewer calories yet more than twice the fiber of rice! It’s also a good source of manganese and B vitamins.

    Use bulgur as a replacement for rice in your favorite pilaf.

www.dummies.com

The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Also known as “blood sugar,” blood glucose levels above normal are toxic and can cause blindness, kidney failure, or increase cardiovascular risk. Foods low on the glycemic index (GI) scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Foods high on the glycemic index release glucose rapidly. Low GI foods tend to foster weight loss, while foods high on the GI scale help with energy recovery after exercise, or to offset hypo- (or insufficient) glycemia. Long-distance runners would tend to favor foods high on the glycemic index, while people with pre- or full-blown diabetes would need to concentrate on low GI foods. Why? People with type 1 diabetes and even some with type 2 can’t produce sufficient quantities of insulin—which helps process blood sugar—which means they are likely to have an excess of blood glucose. The slow and steady release of glucose in low-glycemic foods is helpful in keeping blood glucose under control.

But the glycemic index of foods tells only part of the story. What it doesn’t tell you is how high your blood sugar could go when you actually eat the food, which is partly determined by how much carbohydrate is in an individual serving. To understand a food’s complete effect on blood sugar, you need to know both how quickly the food makes glucose enter the bloodstream, and how much glucose it will deliver. A separate value called glycemic load does that. It gives a more accurate picture of a food’s real-life impact on blood sugar. The glycemic load is determined by multiplying the grams of a carbohydrate in a serving by the glycemic index, then dividing by 100. A glycemic load of 10 or below is considered low; 20 or above is considered high. Watermelon, for example, has a high glycemic index (80). But a serving of watermelon has so little carbohydrate (6 grams) that its glycemic load is only 5.

To help you understand how the foods you are eating might impact your blood glucose level, here is an abbreviated chart of the glycemic index and glycemic load, per serving, for more than 100 common foods. A more complete glycemix index chart can be found in the link below.

FOOD Glycemic index (glucose = 100) Serving size (grams) Glycemic load per serving BAKERY PRODUCTS AND BREADS Banana cake, made with sugar 47 60 14 Banana cake, made without sugar 55 60 12 Sponge cake, plain 46 63 17 Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker) 42 111 24 Apple muffin, made with rolled oats and sugar 44 60 13 Apple muffin, made with rolled oats and without sugar 48 60 9 Waffles, Aunt Jemima® 76 35 10 Bagel, white, frozen 72 70 25 Baguette, white, plain 95 30 14 Coarse barley bread, 80% kernels 34 30 7 Hamburger bun 61 30 9 Kaiser roll 73 30 12 Pumpernickel bread 56 30 7 50% cracked wheat kernel bread 58 30 12 White wheat flour bread, average 75 30 11 Wonder® bread, average 73 30 10 Whole wheat bread, average 69 30 9 100% Whole Grain® bread (Natural Ovens) 51 30 7 Pita bread, white 68 30 10 Corn tortilla 52 50 12 Wheat tortilla 30 50 8 BEVERAGES Coca Cola® (US formula) 63 250 mL 16 Fanta®, orange soft drink 68 250 mL 23 Lucozade®, original (sparkling glucose drink) 95 250 mL 40 Apple juice, unsweetened 41 250 mL 12 Cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean Spray®) 68 250 mL 24 Gatorade, orange flavor (US formula) 89 250 mL 13 Orange juice, unsweetened, average 50 250 mL 12 Tomato juice, canned, no sugar added 38 250 mL 4 BREAKFAST CEREALS AND RELATED PRODUCTS All-Bran®, average 44 30 9 Coco Pops®, average 77 30 20 Cornflakes®, average 81 30 20 Cream of Wheat® 66 250 17 Cream of Wheat®, Instant 74 250 22 Grape-Nuts® 75 30 16 Muesli, average 56 30 10 Oatmeal, average 55 250 13 Instant oatmeal, average 79 250 21 Puffed wheat cereal 80 30 17 Raisin Bran® 61 30 12 Special K® (US formula) 69 30 14 GRAINS Pearled barley, average 25 150 11 Sweet corn on the cob 48 60 14 Couscous 65 150 9 Quinoa 53 150 13 White rice, boiled, type non-specified 72 150 29 Quick cooking white basmati 63 150 26 Brown rice, steamed 50 150 16 Parboiled Converted white rice (Uncle Ben’s®) 38 150 14 Whole wheat kernels, average 45 50 15 Bulgur, average 47 150 12 COOKIES AND CRACKERS Graham crackers 74 25 13 Vanilla wafers 77 25 14 Shortbread 64 25 10 Rice cakes, average 82 25 17 Rye crisps, average 64 25 11 Soda crackers 74 25 12 DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES Ice cream, regular, average 62 50 8 Ice cream, premium (Sara Lee®) 38 50 3 Milk, full-fat, average 31 250 mL 4 Milk, skim, average 31 250 mL 4 Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average 33 200 11 FRUITS Apple, average 36 120 5 Banana, raw, average 48 120 11 Dates, dried, average 42 60 18 Grapefruit 25 120 3 Grapes, black 59 120 11 Oranges, raw, average 45 120 5 Peach, average 42 120 5 Peach, canned in light syrup 52 120 9 Pear, raw, average 38 120 4 Pear, canned in pear juice 44 120 5 Prunes, pitted 29 60 10 Raisins 64 60 28 Watermelon 72 120 4 BEANS AND NUTS Baked beans 40 150 6 Black-eyed peas 50 150 15 Black beans 30 150 7 Chickpeas 10 150 3 Chickpeas, canned in brine 42 150 9 Navy beans, average 39 150 12 Kidney beans, average 34 150 9 Lentils 28 150 5 Soy beans, average 15 150 1 Cashews, salted 22 50 3 Peanuts 13 50 1 PASTA and NOODLES Fettucini 32 180 15 Macaroni, average 50 180 24 Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft®) 64 180 33 Spaghetti, white, boiled, average 46 180 22 Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min 58 180 26 Spaghetti, whole-grain, boiled 42 180 17 SNACK FOODS Corn chips, plain, salted 42 50 11 Fruit Roll-Ups® 99 30 24 M & M’s®, peanut 33 30 6 Microwave popcorn, plain, average 65 20 7 Potato chips, average 56 50 12 Pretzels, oven-baked 83 30 16 Snickers Bar®, average 51 60 18 VEGETABLES Green peas 54 80 4 Carrots, average 39 80 2 Parsnips 52 80 4 Baked russet potato 111 150 33 Boiled white potato, average 82 150 21 Instant mashed potato, average 87 150 17 Sweet potato, average 70 150 22 Yam, average 54 150 20 MISCELLANEOUS Hummus (chickpea salad dip) 6 30 0 Chicken nuggets, frozen, reheated in microwave oven 5 min 46 100 7 Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce 80 100 22 Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut®) 36 100 9 Honey, average 61 25 12

The complete list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for more than 1,000 foods can be found in the article “International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008” by Fiona S. Atkinson, Kaye Foster-Powell, and Jennie C. Brand-Miller in the December 2008 issue of Diabetes Care, Vol. 31, number 12, pages 2281-2283.

www.health.harvard.edu

Limiting your intake of high glycemic index (GI) foods with low and moderate GI foods is the first step to starting a low glycemic diet.  Low GI foods only cause a gradual rise in glucose and limit spikes in insulin.Glycemic load (GL) takes a foods GI and factors in portion size and the raw amount of carbohydrates.  Many users feel that the glycemic load is a more accurate method of following a glycemic index diet, as it moderates food amounts in grams / ounces with respect to carbohydrates and fiber.

Carbs with a low GI (0-54) or GL (
www.glycemicedge.com

What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is one the best tools for fat loss. It measures how quickly foods breakdown into sugar in your bloodstream. High glycemic foods turn into blood sugar very quickly. Starchy foods like potatoes are a good example. Potatoes have such a high GI rating; its almost the same as eating table sugar.

What is the Glycemic Load (GL)?

The GI tells you how fast foods spike your blood sugar. But the GI won’t tell you how much carbohydrate per serving you’re getting. That’s where the Glycemic Load is a great help. It measures the amount of carbohydrate in each service of food. Foods with a glycemic load under 10 are good choices—these foods should be your first choice for carbs. Foods that fall between 10 and 20 on the glycemic load scale have a moderate affect on your blood sugar. Foods with a glycemic load above 20 will cause blood sugar and insulin spikes. Try to eat those foods sparingly.

Food GI Serving Size (g) GL
CANDY/SWEETS
Honey 87 1 Tbs 3
Jelly Beans 78 1 oz 22
Snickers Bar 68 60g (1/2 bar) 23
Table Sugar 68 2 Tsp 7
Strawberry Jam 51 2 Tbs 10.1
Peanut M&Ms 33 30 g (1 oz) 5.6
Dove Dark Chocolate Bar 23 37g (1 oz) 4.4
BAKED GOODS & CEREALS
Corn Bread 110 60g (1 piece) 30.8
French Bread 95 64g (1 slice) 29.5
Corn Flakes 92 28g (1 cup) 21.1
Corn Chex 83 30g (1 cup) 20.8
Rice Krispies 82 33g (1.25 cup) 23
Corn pops 80 31g (1 cup) 22.4
Donut (lrg. glazed) 76 75g (1 donut) 24.3
Waffle (homemade) 76 75g (1 waffle) 18.7
Grape Nuts 75 58g (1/2 cup) 31.5
Bran Flakes 74 29g (3/4 cup) 13.3
Graham Cracker 74 14g (2 sqrs) 8.1
Cheerios 74 30g (1 cup) 13.3
Kaiser Roll 73 57g (1 roll) 21.2
Bagel 72 89g (1/4 in.) 33
Corn tortilla 70 24g (1 tortilla) 7.7
Melba Toast 70 12g (4 rounds) 5.6
Wheat Bread 70 28g (1 slice) 7.7
White Bread 70 25g (1 slice) 8.4
Kellogg’s Special K 69 31g (1 cup) 14.5
Taco Shell 68 13g (1 med) 4.8
Angel food cake 67 28g (1 slice) 10.7
Croissant, Butter 67 57g (1 med) 17.5
Muselix 66 55g (2/3 cup) 23.8
Oatmeal, Instant 65 234g (1 cup) 13.7
Rye bread, 100% whole 65 32g (1 slice) 8.5
Rye Krisp Crackers 65 25 (1 wafer) 11.1
Raisin Bran 61 61g (1 cup) 24.4
Bran Muffin 60 113g (1 med) 30
Blueberry Muffin 59 113g (1 med) 30
Oatmeal 58 117g (1/2 cup) 6.4
Whole wheat pita 57 64g (1 pita) 17
Oatmeal Cookie 55 18g (1 large) 6
Popcorn 55 8g (1 cup) 2.8
Pound cake, Sara Lee 54 30g (1 piece) 8.1
Vanilla Cake and Vanilla Frosting 42 64g (1 slice) 16
Pumpernickel bread 41 26g (1slice) 4.5
Chocolate cake w/chocolate frosting 38 64g (1 slice) 12.5
BEVERAGES
Gatorade Powder 78 16g (.75 scoop) 11.7
Cranberry Juice Cocktail 68 253g (1 cup) 24.5
Cola, Carbonated 63 370g (12oz can) 25.2
Orange Juice 57 249g (1 cup) 14.25
Carrot juice (freshly made) 43 250g 10
Hot Chocolate Mix 51 28g (1 packet) 11.7
Grapefruit Juice, sweetened 48 250g (1 cup) 13.4
Pineapple Juice 46 250g (1 cup) 14.7
Soy Milk 44 245g (1 cup) 4
Apple Juice 41 248g (1 cup) 11.9
Tomato Juice 38 243g (1 cup) 3.4
LEGUMES
Baked Beans 48 253g (1 cup) 18.2
Pinto Beans 39 171g (1 cup) 11.7
Lima Beans 31 241g (1 cup) 7.4
Chickpeas, Boiled 31 240g (1 cup) 13.3
Lentils 29 198g (1 cup) 7
Kidney Beans 27 256g (1 cup) 7
Soy Beans 20 172g (1 cup) 1.4
Peanuts 13 146g (1 cup) 1.6
VEGETABLES
Potato 104 213g (1 med) 36.4
Parsnip 97 78g (1/2 cup) 11.6
Carrot, raw 92 15g (1 large) 1
Beets, canned 64 246g (1/2 cup) 9.6
Corn, yellow 55 166g (1 cup) 61.5
Sweet Potato 54 133g (1 cup) 12.4
Yam 51 136g (1 cup) 16.8
Peas, Frozen 48 72g (1/2 cup) 3.4
Tomato 38 123g (1 med) 1.5
Broccoli, cooked 0 78g (1/2 cup) 0
Cabbage, cooked 0 75g (1/2 cup) 0
Celery, raw 0 62g (1 stalk) 0
Cauliflower 0 100g (1 cup) 0
Green Beans 0 135g (1 cup) 0
Mushrooms 0 70g (1 cup) 0
Spinach 0 30g (1 cup) 0
FRUIT
Watermelon 72 152g (1 cup) 7.2
Pineapple, raw 66 155g (1 cup) 11.9
Cantaloupe 65 177g (1 cup) 7.8
Apricot, canned in light syrup 64 253g (1 cup) 24.3
Raisins 64 43g (small box) 20.5
Papaya 60 140g (1 cup) 6.6
Peaches, canned, heavy syrup 58 262g (1 cup) 28.4
Kiwi, w/ skin 58 76g (1 fruit) 5.2
Fruit Cocktail, drained 55 214g (1 cup) 19.8
Peaches, canned, light syrup 52 251g (1 cup) 17.7
Banana 51 118g (1 med) 12.2
Mango 51 165g (1 cup) 12.8
Orange 48 140g (1 fruit) 7.2
Pears, canned in pear juice 44 248g (1 cup) 12.3
Grapes 43 92g (1 cup) 6.5
Strawberries 40 152g (1 cup) 3.6
Apples, w/ skin 39 138g (1 med) 6.2
Pears 33 166g (1 med) 6.9
Apricot, dried 32 130g (1 cup) 23
Prunes 29 132g (1 cup) 34.2
Peach 28 98g (1 med) 2.2
Grapefruit 25 123g (1/2 fruit) 2.8
Plum 24 66g (1 fruit) 1.7
Sweet Cherries, raw 22 117g (1 cup) 3.7
NUTS
Cashews 22
Almonds 0
Hazelnuts 0
Macademia 0
Pecans 0
Walnuts 0
DAIRY
Ice Cream (Lower Fat) 47 76g (1/2 cup) 9.4
Pudding 44 100g (1/2 cup) 8.4
Milk, Whole 40 244g (1 cup) 4.4
Ice Cream 38 72g (1/2 cup) 6
Yogurt, Plain 36 245g (1 cup) 6.1
MEAT/PROTEIN
Beef 0
Chicken 0
Eggs 0
Fish 0
Lamb 0
Pork 0
Veal 0
Deer-Venison 0
Elk 0
Buffalo 0
Rabbit 0
Duck 0
Ostrich 0
Shellfish 0
Lobster 0
Turkey 0
Ham 0

Follow these tips for fat busting meals:

  • Avoid grains, including corn
  • Avoid potatoes and other white foods, like white rice, sugar and salt.
  • Try making protein the focus of each meal. It kicks your metabolism into higher gear. All meats, fish and poultry are the real “guilt-free” foods. The protein will help you handle insulin better, build muscle and repair tissue-all essential for staying lean and preventing diabetes.
  • Snack on nuts and seeds. They are a good source of protein and have Omega 3’s.
  • Avoid processed foods, trans fats, caffeine, and high fructose corn syrup. All increase insulin resistance.
  • Choose vegetables that are low glycemic.
  • Choose fruits such as berries and fruits you can eat with the skin on.
  • Eat a high protein breakfast every morning. It will stabilize your blood sugar and get you off to a good start.

To see what you really need to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, click here to view my nutrition pyramid

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

alsearsmd.com

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