Choosing slower release, higher fibre foods as such as possible is probably a great place to start!
The glycemic index (GI) is nutritional tool that can help you to easily differentiate between fast release, and slow release carbohydrates, which will enable you to optimise your ‘fuel’ levels in your body.
Not only can the GI help you to sustain your energy levels but by using the GI concept in combination with low fat eating, both cholesterol and blood pressure can be lowered. For those wanting to lose weight, the increased sense of fullness given by the lower GI foods, and the fact that less insulin (a hormone that also encourages the body to store fat) is secreted by a low GI diet, results in better weight loss.
All foods that have a GI of 55 or less are slow release carbohydrates and classed as LOW GLYCAEMIC INDEX FOODS. Foods with a lower GI, if eaten in the correct portions, release glucose slowly and steadily into the bloodstream.
They are the best choices in preventing a large rise in blood glucose levels. The low GI foods are more satisfying and do not cause the release of as much insulin as high GI foods do.
Fluctuating blood glucose levels and high insulin levels are implicated in all the diseases of our modern lifestyles such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Here are some lower GI foods that give you energy:
Legumes: baked beans, butter beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, sugar beans, lentils, etc.
Dense & heavy breads: seed loaf, rye bread, low GI bread
Pasta (Durum wheat)
Tastic rice, Brown rice
Sweet potato and Sweet corn
Cereals: Hi-Fibre Bran, Fibre Plus, Bran Flakes
Deciduous fruits: apples, pears, grapes, etc
Citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruit, naartjies, etc
Vegetables (with a few exceptions)
Yoghurts: low fat, fruit and plain
Note: Product formulations differ from country to country even though they may have the same name therefore it is best to stick to those for the country you live in.
Excellent low GI recipe books called EATING FOR SUSTAINED ENERGY can be ordered from www.gabisteenkamp.co.za.