Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Carbohydrate Dilemma

There are two basic classifications when it comes to carbohydrates - low glycemic and high glycemic carbohydrates. Low glycemic carbs have a numerical rating of 55 or lower on the Glycemic Index. These carbs are released at a slower rate and provide a long sustained energy source. With this you find yourself feeling fuller longer thus being able to control your appetite better. These sort of carbs are ideal before training, throughout the day, and before bedtime. High glycemic carbs have a numerical rating of 70 or higher on the Glycemic Index. These carbs are released at a faster rate, leading to a spike in insulin levels. These carbs if eaten at the right times of day can be useful. After training is a excellent time because the insulin spike will help shuttle proteins, carbs and other nutrients to your hungry muscles. The other time of day for these carbs would be first thing in the morning. This will help restore your glycogen levels, and stave off fat storage.

Here is a simple example of the Glycemic Index that might help you reach your goals:

Snacks Veggies Fruits Starch Dairy
pizza 33 broccoli 10 cherries 22 Bagel 33 Yogurt 14
choc. bar 49 pepper 10 apple 38 white rice 38 low fat yogurt 14
pound cake 54 lettuce 10 orange 43 spaghetti 38 whole milk 30
popcorn 55 mushroom 10 grapes 46 sweet pot. 44 soy milk 31
energy bar 58 onions 10 kiwi 52 white bread 49 skim milk 32
soda 72 green pea 48 banana 56 brown rice 55 choc. milk 35
doughnut 76 carrots 49 pineapple 66 pancakes 67 fruit yogurt 36
pretzels 83 beets 64 watermelon 72 wheat brea 80 ice cream 60
dates 103 baked potato 85


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