Mindful Eating for the Holidays

It’s holiday season once again and it’s that time of year when we get together with family, friends and co-workers to celebrate.  With dinner and party invitations here and there, coupled with great conversations and company, it is easy to lose track of what we put on our plate.  It’s a well-known fact that what we eat does not only manifest itself on the size of our waistlines but on our skin as well.

Let’s find out more on how the low Glycemic Index can help you choose a healthy diet for the holidays with this article by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD.

The term ‘glycemic index’ is one that’s heard more and more these days.  So much so, that it suggests that most people actually know what it means.

In reality, the Glycemic Index concept is not all that easy to grasp, but it’s is one worth understanding, since it relates to the overall quality of the diet and also has implications for weight management.

The Glycemic Index looks at the effects of carbohydrate-containing foods on sugar levels in your bloodstream.  Whenever you eat and digest carbohydrate-rich foods – foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and sweets – the end result is a rise in your blood sugar (your blood glucose).  This sugar in your blood is important – it’s the primary fuel for your brain and muscles and is, in large part, what keeps you going mentally and physically throughout your day.

But not all carbohydrate-containing foods cause your blood sugar to rise to the same degree – and this is where the Glycemic Index (or GI) comes in.  The GI ranks foods according to how much – and how rapidly – they cause the blood sugar to rise after they’re eaten.

Which foods have a low Glycemic Index?

The lowest GI foods are those carbohydrate-rich foods that are whole and unprocessed. So, vegetables, whole fruits, beans, and most 100% whole grain foods – like brown rice, rolled oats, barley, quinoa and 100% whole grain bread – have relatively low Glycemic Index rankings.  That’s because they’re high in fiber – which means they take longer to digest – and so your blood sugar rises more gently after you eat them.

Rather than a big spike in blood sugar, these wholesome foods lead to a slower release into your bloodstream, which provides you with more sustained energy.  And, thanks to their high-fiber content, they’re more filling, too – so a diet that emphasizes low GI foods can be a good strategy for weight control.

Adjusting the Glycemic Index of your diet

To cut back on your high GI foods and reduce the carbohydrate load of your diet overall, here are some switches you can easily make.

Common Diet Healthy Alternative
white rice and potatoes  Brown rice or other whole grains like cracked wheat, barley, millet or quinoa – or substitute beans, lentils or sweet potatoes
Drinking a lot of calories from high Glycemic Index fruit juices  Eat whole fresh fruits instead – have berries on cereal, or a whole piece of fruit for a snack or dessert.
white breads, crackers and snack foods  Products that are made with 100% whole grain – or try nuts instead of chips for snacks

Whole and lightly processed low GI foods are more bulky and filling than their refined cousins, which means they retain their natural vitamins, minerals and healthy antioxidant phytonutrients, too.  And that means that you get more nutrition for your calories.   By swapping out the high Glycemic Index foods and replacing with more low GI items, you can greatly reduce the overall carbohydrate load of your diet – which can help you with calorie control while providing a healthy nutrient boost, too.

How SlimAndFitClub can help you?

During our classes we will not only helping you getting fitter and in the best shape ever – we will also teach and guide you on your optimum diet and if necessary with a individual and personalised coaching.

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