In the modern day era
Moderate glycemic index foods are better for purposes of fat loss because a higher glycemic index food means insulin levels will rise much faster. Fat loss cannot occur when insulin levels are extremely elevated. On the other hand a slow releasing carbohydrate will produce less insulin and maximize fat loss.
- Low GI Foods - In regards to the glycemic index scale, a food under 55 is considered to be low glycemic index.
- Medium GI Foods - Foods that have a GI under 70 and over 56 are considered to be medium glycemic foods.
- High GI Foods - Foods that have a GI over 70 are considered to be high glycemic foods.
The International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values show the following glycemic index for several commonplace foods.
|Food||Glycemic Index (Glucose = 100)||Serving Size (Grams)||Glycemic Load Per Serving|
|Bakery Products and Breads|
|Banana cake, made with sugar||47||60||14|
|Banana cake, made without sugar||55||60||12|
|Sponge cake, plain||46||63||17|
|Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker)||42||111||24|
|Apple, made with sugar||44||60||13|
|Apple, made without sugar||48||60||9|
|Waffles, Aunt Jemima® (Quaker Oats)||76||35||10|
|Bagel, white, frozen||72||70||25|
|Baguette, white, plain||95||30||15|
|Coarse barley bread, 75-80% kernels, average||34||30||7|
|50% cracked wheat kernel bread||58||30||12|
|White wheat flour bread||71||30||10|
|Wonder® bread, average||73||30||10|
|Whole wheat bread, average||71||30||9|
|100% Whole Grain® bread (Natural Ovens)||51||30||7|
|Pita bread, white||68||30||10|
|Coca Cola®, average||63||250ml||16|
|Fanta®, orange soft drink||68||250ml||23|
|Lucozade®, original (sparkling glucose drink)||95 ±10||250ml||40|
|Apple juice, unsweetened, average||44||250ml||30|
|Cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean Spray®)||68||250ml||24|
|Orange juice, unsweetened||50||250ml||12|
|Tomato juice, canned||38||250ml||4|
|Breakfast Cereals and Related Products|
|Coco Pops®, average||77||30||20|
|Cream of Wheat® (Nabisco)||66||250||17|
|Cream of Wheat®, Instant (Nabisco)||74||250||22|
|Instant oatmeal, average||83||250||30|
|Puffed wheat, average||80||30||17|
|Raisin Bran® (Kellogg's)||61||30||12|
|Special K® (Kellogg's)||69||30||14|
|Pearled barley, average||28||150||12|
|Sweet corn on the cob, average||60||150||20|
|White rice, average||89||150||43|
|Quick cooking white basmati||67||150||28|
|Brown rice, average||50||150||16|
|Converted, white rice (Uncle Ben's®)||38||150||14|
|Whole wheat kernels, average||30||50||11|
|Cookies and Crackers|
|Rice cakes, average||82||25||17|
|Rye crisps, average||64||25||11|
|Dairy Products and Alternatives|
|Ice cream, regular||57||50||6|
|Ice cream, premium||38||50||3|
|Milk, full fat||41||250ml||5|
|Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average||33||200||11|
|Peach, canned in light syrup||40||120||5|
|Pear, canned in pear juice||43||120||5|
|Beans and Nuts|
|Baked beans, average||40||150||6|
|Blackeye peas, average||33||150||10|
|Chickpeas, canned in brine||38||150||9|
|Navy beans, average||31||150||9|
|Kidney beans, average||29||150||7|
|Soy beans, average||15||150||1|
|Pasta and Noodles|
|Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft)||64||180||32|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled, average||46||180||22|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min, average||58||180||26|
|Spaghetti, wholemeal, boiled, average||42||180||17|
|Corn chips, plain, salted, average||42||50||11|
|M & M's®, peanut||33||30||6|
|Microwave popcorn, plain, average||55||20||6|
|Potato chips, average||51||50||12|
|Green peas, average||51||80||4|
|Baked russet potato, average||111||150||33|
|Boiled white potato, average||82||150||21|
|Instant mashed potato, average||87||150||17|
|Sweet potato, average||70||150||22|
|Hummus (chickpea salad dip)||6||30||0|
|Chicken nuggets, frozen, reheated in microwave oven 5 min||46||100||7|
|Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce||80||100||22|
|Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut)||36||100||9|
Complex vs. Simple CarbohydratesComplex carbohydrates are made up of hundreds of units and provide much more sustained energy as they take more time to be broken down by the body. Some common examples of complex carbohydrates include starchy substances such as oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
Fibrous complex carbohydrates are mostly of the vegetable variety including such common vegetables as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes.
Simple carbohydrates are made up of far fewer molecules and provide immediate sources of energy such as fruits and other sugary foods.
When to eat carbsPrior to beginning your workout it is recommended to have low to medium GI carbohydrates roughly one hour before your workout. If you choose to consume higher GI carbohydrates those may be consumed thirty minutes or less before to provide an immediate source of energy.
Post-workout, focus on faster absorbing carbohydrate sources to provide the appropriate anabolic response for achieving optimal results. Although subject matter experts may differ today in their opinions on the necessity of post-workout protein and carb sources, it is usually better to air on the side of caution because as we all know it's better to be safe than sorry.
Although flexible dieting and use of the "If it Fits Your Macros" (IIFYM) approach has helped to revolutionize dieting making it easier to use for the vast majority of individuals, it is important to consider other extraneous factors beyond simply carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Eating whole foods will aid the body in providing the appropriate metabolic and anabolic response for achieving results and building muscle effectively.
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