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What is the Glycemic Index?
One of the building blocks of bodybuilding is good nutrition-you are what you eat, as the saying goes. I am constantly getting questions about what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid. So this edition of "Ask the Pro" is dedicated to the Glycemic Index ("GI"), which everybody-not just bodybuilders-should know about.
What is the "Glycemic Index" I've heard so much about? I know it's a measurement of how fast foods metabolize, but I don't know what's high, average, or low.
Jerry Porter, Indianapolis, Indiana
The "Glycemic Index" you have heard so much about is a scale ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Index measures how much your blood sugar increases over a period of two or three hours after a meal. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic index. The benchmark is white bread, which has a GI of 100. The higher the score, the greater the extents of blood sugar raise. E.g. Dextrose scores 138 (HIGH) whereas fructose 31 (LOW).
Do whole fruits (as opposed to fruit juices) have a high or low GI?
Del Anderson, Port St. Lucie, Florida
Due to the amount of fiber they contain, whole fruits tend to metabolize more slowly than do straight fruit juices, which do not contain the pulp or skin that whole fruits do. See the table below for a guideline on several sample fruits:
What kinds of carbs are OK for me to eat in-between meals or snacks?
Dave Ziencina, Staten Island, New York
Stick with low glycemic index foods-generally the "browner" breads have more fiber, and thus break down more slowly. The three (3) tables below will give you an idea of which crabs to avoid-and which ones you can eat-when you are watching your carbs:
Mid-Level Glycemic Index Carbs (41-60)
High Glycemic Index Foods (61-100)
Till Next Time,
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