If you’re looking to make healthier food choices, understanding the glycemic index of foods is a good place to start. This index assigns each food an individual number that measures its effect on blood sugar levels and can help steer people toward more nutritious meal choices. In this article, we will see how specific cooking methods and seasonings can be used to lower the glycemic index of a given food, in order to achieve healthy and balanced meals!
Lower the glycemic index of foods by choosing the right cooking method.
The effect of cooking on the glycemic index of starchy foods is an incredibly powerful factor in helping to lower its measurement. For example, as nutritional coach Didier D’Iribarne explains, “the impact of cooking is very important on the glycemic index of starches because the starch will become gelatinous and take on a sticky texture. It is going to be digested much faster and therefore very quickly in the form of glucose”, which leads to an increase in its GI measurement.
An example that further proves this point is potatoes. According to experts, potatoes steamed with their skins on can have a GI as low as 65. On the other hand, if they are fried – in the form of fries or crisps – their GI can reach 95, an increase of almost 50%.
Besides steaming or boiling starchy foods like pasta and rice, you can also use slow cooking and roasting. Slow cooking helps break down complex carbohydrates and starches into simpler forms, making them easier for your body to digest, while roasting helps reduce the water content, which further slows digestion and fat loss. absorption.
In addition, the addition of certain ingredients such as fat and fiber can also help reduce the glycemic index of foods for two reasons: On the one hand, fats take longer for our body to digest than carbohydrates ; on the other hand, factors like fiber can also slow down digestion by absorbing water in our digestive system, forming a gel-like substance that prevents glucose from entering our bloodstream too quickly, lowering the level of glycemic index.
Lower the glycemic index of foods by choosing the right accompaniment.
The accompaniment is another important factor that influences the GI of a food. Fiber-rich foods can help lower the GI and scavenge carbs, meaning when eating a starchy carb it’s ideal to pair with veggies or raw veggies – have a quarter of the a plate of starches with half the plate of vegetables can help slow digestion overall.
Adding fat and protein also helps slow digestion, as do acidic foods such as lemon, vinegar, lacto-fermented vegetables like pickles, and sourdough in bread. In addition to slowing down digestion, acid has the added benefit of improving the ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Research has also shown that certain spices and herbs can affect blood sugar control by slowing gastric emptying and altering carbohydrate absorption in the small intestine. Some of these spices include cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, and fenugreek, all of which can be added to various dishes depending on personal preference.
Additionally, adding nuts and seeds to meals can also lower postprandial blood sugar levels, as they contain dietary fiber that helps control blood sugar. Finally, replacing refined carbs with legumes like beans and lentils is another way to lower glycemic index and load.
Lower the glycemic index of foods through seasoning.
One of the ways is seasoning. By choosing healthy oils such as first cold pressed olive oil, unrefined rapeseed oil or flaxseed oil (particularly rich in omega 3 fatty acids), you can reduce the GI of your meals, as these oils do not raise your blood sugar levels. However, it is important to note that two of these oils (canola oil and flaxseed oil) should not be heated as this will alter their properties and potentially increase their GI.
In addition to lowering the glycemic index of your foods, seasoning with healthy oils can also provide additional health benefits. For example, olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that have been linked to reduced risk factors for many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Canola oil contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation in the body, while flaxseed oil contains lignans which have been linked to anticancer properties, among other benefits.
Overall, seasoning your foods with healthy oils is an effective way to lower their glycemic index while providing valuable health benefits. However, it is important to understand that not all oils are created equal and some of them (such as canola and flaxseed oil) should not be heated due to their sensitive nature. As always, it’s best to consult a doctor or nutritionist before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle to ensure optimal health.