It is a ranking of foods from 0 to 100 that tells us whether a carbohydrate food will raise blood sugar (glucose) levels dramatically, moderately or just a little.
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and generally call for less insulin.
Originally nutritionists believed that starchy carbohydrates like bread and potatoes were “complex” and because of this took longer to be digested and absorbed than “simple” sugars like sugar.
However, research from Canada, Australia and the UK has turned this notion on its head and has shown that many starchy foods like white bread, potato and many types of rice are digested and absorbed very quickly (and therefore have a high GI ranking). It also showed that sugar has only a moderate effect on blood sugar, often lower in fact than bread or rice or refined starches. Those who are trying to shed a few kilos want to manage their appetite and still feel satisfied on a reduced kilojoule (Calorie) intake. The effect of a carbohydrate food on blood sugar levels is not only determined by its GI or carbohydrate quality but also by the amount of carbohydrate in a particular food. The GL of a potato (GI around 90) containing approximately 18 grams of carbohydrate is 18 x 90% = 16. The GL of an apple (GI around 40) containing approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate is 15 x 40% = 6.
From this we can see the potato will produce a blood sugar rise three times that of the apple.
The GI of watermelon is high (GI = 72), but its Glycaemic Load is relatively low (GL = 7), because the quantity of carbohydrate in a slice of watermelon (150 g) is minimal, as it contains a lot of water.
It is best not to try to keep your blood sugar levels down limiting the total amount of carbohydrate you consume.
To read the latest about GI and GL you can subscribe to The Glycemic Index Foundation’s blog GI News or read their FAQs. My aim is to help busy women eat well so they can attain and maintain a healthy weight while having heaps of energy. Have you ever wondered if applesauce is as good for you as apples since, well, it seems to be pretty much just made up of apples right? Sure, the primary ingredient is you guessed it… apples, but that doesn’t mean that they’re equal in regards to nutrition. Research is proving that this old saying has a lot of truth – eating apples does help to reach a longer, healthier life.
Let’s take a look at some of the points to consider when choosing between apples or applesauce. Both applesauce and apples will provide you the same amount of fiber, 3 grams per cup (cup of raw apple slices or a cup of applesauce).
Men and women are different: men should get about 38 grams daily and women should get about 25 grams.
So for fiber, the question is which you prefer and how much fiber should you be adding to your diet? But if you’re on the go, exercising, training or just a very active person then the applesauce may make more sense.
The glycemic index for apples is 38 – a very low number and a main reason apples are a great diet food.
The glycemic index for unsweetened applesauce is 53 – about the same as pineapple, bananas, grapes, or corn tortillas. What this means is, you can eat a lot more calories with applesauce, and the calories are much more quickly converted to blood sugar. The Glycemic Index is a number that rates how fast a food is converted to glucose within the human body.


Too much glucose in the blood too fast will cause the body to produce insulin to bring it back down, which is not good. So applesauce is not nearly as good as the low cal, slow release of apples, but better than most foods and still considered quite good.
Your body needs carbohydrates since it’s one of the easiest nutrients to transform into energy. In regards to carbohydrates, raw apples are the lesser again… if you’re following a low-carb diet then you probably want to choose raw apples.
If you need more potassium in your diet, then this time around it’s the applesauce you should likely choose. Fresh fruits and veggies are well-known for providing plenty of vitamins and minerals we need. In one study, individuals who ate apples and pears daily lost more weight than those who ate the same number of calories in the form of oat cookies. In this recent study, women showed 25% lower blood fat levels from eating 2 apples a day, which is better than results from prescription medicines. Raw apples are better, but somewhat limited since most people find it difficult to eat more than one apple a day. By eating applesauce a few times a week, you will benefit from its natural fiber, nutrients and healing properties. Conclusion: Applesauce is a good diet food that you can eat by itself, and can easily be added to many recipes. Think Thin bars are an easy, portable, simple and satisfying high protein snack for an active on-the-go lifestyle that are available in 10 incredible flavors. INGREDIENTS: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Casein), Coating (Maltitol, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Sodium Caseinate, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Salt), Glycerin, Maltitol, Peanuts, Water, Cocoa Butter, Peanut Flour, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Sea Salt. During my years of traveling and rushing through airports – I couldn’t find any food that made be feel good. There are a ton of reviews of these bars online and the consensus is very wide spread, especially with so many different flavors involved. FDA DisclaimerThese statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
It was reasoned that these “complex” carbohydrates would then produce smaller rises in blood sugar levels than “simple” carbohydrates, which were thought to cause a surge of blood sugar. One way to achieve this is by eating more low GI foods that are slowly absorbed and which produce only a slow or gradual rise in their blood sugar. Low GI foods help keep you full for longer and so stave off hunger pangs, meaning eating less is easier.
Low GI foods before exercise help to deliver a steady supply of energy to working muscles and can help muscles recover after an event. Acid foods like vinegar, lemon juice, vinaigrette dressing and acidic fruit slow down stomach emptying.
The first is by visiting the Sydney University’s Glycemic Index website where you can easily search their food database.
The second is through a food labelling program that helps consumers identify the GI values of foods in the supermarket.
Glycaemic Load is the term used to describe the overall effect of these two factors on blood sugar.
When foods have similar amounts of carbohydrate, GI will have the greatest influence on blood sugars. It is calculated by taking the number of grams of carbohydrate in a serving, multiplying by the GI, and dividing by 100.


This can lead to a diet that is higher in fat and often higher in kilojoules, which can cause weight gain. Sign up for Catherine's newsletter and get the latest Foodwatch news, opinions, product reviews, recipes and special offers direct to your inbox each month. But believe it or not, which one you eat (or you decide to give to your kids) might have a lot to do with your dietary preferences and needs. Getting enough fiber will help your digestion system work more efficiently and also keep you feeling fuller for longer. A cup of applesauce on the other hand, will consist of about 167 calories (a bit less if they use Stevia). It is bad for your health for many reasons and results in type 2 diabetes for far too many Americans.
A cup of raw apples will give you about 17 grams while a cup of applesauce will give you about 43 grams. Potassium is important for many things, such as healthy heart functioning and muscle contraction. Vitamin C particularly helps your body heal wounds more effectively and repair bones and teeth.
Not only will you experience greater health, you can use applesauce as an appetite suppresser while enjoying its sweet and delicious taste. But many people find applesauce easier to take and it doesn’t use up your limited willpower to add to your diet. I saw the need for healthy food on the go; food that tasted delicious and gave me the sustenance and energy I needed to be my best. GI seems to have been around for ages and people are comfortable checking the GI of the foods they eat, but GL?
That’s why, at that time, sugar was banned from diabetic diets and sugar-free recipes for desserts, cakes and biscuits became a necessary part of diabetes therapy (even though they may have been high in fat). It is important to still have a healthy balanced diet, which has plenty of vegetables and favours healthy fats, and lose weight, if needed.
Athletes also need to replenish carbohydrate stores quickly afterwards and so should choose foods high in GI. Known as The Glycemic Index Symbol Program, it uses an easily recognisable GI symbol on foods.
When the amount of carbohydrate in a portion differs the best way to predict blood sugar effects will be via the GL.
Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements.
Great ideas to use up that extra rice, greens, bread or a glut of produce plus Christmas leftovers. If you are an active person then you need more calories than someone who isn’t very active.
To find out more about how the program works, visit the GI Symbol Program website which will tell you which foods are low GI and what the GI of any particular food is.
However, there are medical conditions that can affect this so talk to your doctor about your potassium levels if you’re unsure. And whether you are headed for the office, the gym, the hills or to the couch with a good book, our food is a great traveling companion for wherever your day takes you.



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