Feeling Sluggish? Switch to a Low-Glycemic Diet Using the Low Glycemic Index
Where do you stand with carbs today? It seems every day you hear something new about their role in a balanced diet. For Rowdy Rousers, carbohydrates will always have a sacred spot in our hearts (and bellies!) They provide energy for wherever life takes you.
We love them so much, that we want to always make sure we're choosing high-quality sources, because those are the kind that give back to our bodies in the way we need them to.
Your body uses carbohydrates as its main source of energy, so why settle for anything less than high quality?
Convenience, that’s why.
We’ve all been there: you hit the 3pm slump, and habit has you settling for a bag of cookies from the lounge vending machine. But that high-sugar snack will only give you a quick burst of energy and a regrettable crash soon after.
Cookies are an infamously high-glycemic snack. This means our bodies break down the sugar quickly, leading to that energy peak to a quick crash.
That won’t do!
As a Rowdy reader, your life is full of big challenges, accomplishments, and adventure that require a ton of energy … the RIGHT energy.
We are committed to providing the right energy to our customers (that’s why our bars are low-glycemic and we use simple, pure ingredients).
Choosing low-glycemic foods will keep you full for longer and improve both your mental and physical performance.
But let’s break here: how do you determine whether foods are low-glycemic or high-glycemic? With the help of the Glycemic Index, you can easily determine which foods will provide high-quality, sustainable energy.
What The Heck Is The Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) is a tool that measures how food impacts your blood sugar levels. All foods have a different glycemic index that determine how your body breaks down carbohydrates.
GI values are divided into three categories:
- Low GI: 1 to 55
- Medium GI: 56 to 69
- High GI: 70 and higher
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. When you consume food with a high GI like yams and corn, your blood glucose level starts to soar.
When following a low-glycemic diet, pay close attention to the foods you eat. You may be surprised that some of your favorite natural foods, such as dates and mangos, contain a lot of sugar and are considered high GI foods.
Why Follow A Low GI Diet?
An easy way to ensure you’re checking the box on a healthy eating plan is to follow a low GI diet. Whether you are looking to improve your gut health, boost your energy or help prevent and manage a specific health condition, a low GI diet will keep you on track.
Here are a few benefits of a low-glycemic diet.
Sustained Energy Levels
Your blood glucose level plays an important role in how energized you feel, and for how long that energy lasts. High GI foods provide a quick burst of energy whereas low GI foods provide sustainable energy. When your blood glucose and insulin move up and down quickly or stay high, your body starts to wig out: mood swings, fatigue, irritability, and insatiable cravings are just a few of the immediate symptoms of blood sugar imbalances. Consistent blood sugar imbalances can lead to type 2 diabetes and other chronic health issues.
The good news is by eating low GI foods prevents these issues while improving concentration, increasing energy and controlling your appetite.
Increase Mental Performance
Low GI foods provide a steady supply of glucose (brain power), improving your mental performance. But your brain needs the right amounts of glucose at certain times (it’s finicky that way). Your brain needs roughly 100-150 grams of glucose every day, and the best way to provide a consistent flow of glucose is to eat low-glycemic carbohydrates. Excellent “brain food” carbohydrates include oatmeal, peanuts, walnuts, hummus, skim milk, and most fruits.
Maximize Sports Performance
Your body lives for carbs. When your body’s hungry, it quickly breaks down the glycogen into glucose for energy which improves your mood and increases performance. Consuming low GI foods extends endurance when eaten 1-2 hours before strenuous exercise and will improve your stamina and focus on the field.
Switching to a low-glycemic diet is much easier than you think. Here are a few tips when choosing the low-glycemic diet.
Tips to Go Low GI
1. Swap Those Spuds
If you love eating potatoes (who doesn’t?!) but you need more energy, switch to a lower GI potato such as Carisma. Carisma is a low-carb potato that appeals to everyone watching their carb intake. Another option when craving the potatoes: replace half the potato with cannellini beans, or swap to other lower GI options like a sweet potato.
2. Let’s Get Grainy
Instead of buying baked goods made primarily with white flour like white bread, crumpets and pikelets, choose whole-grain or even gluten-free breads. Bring your own whole grain popcorn to the theater (your secret is safe with us!), or enjoy a bowl of hot steel cut oatmeal. Whole grains take a little getting used to, but once you make the switch your body will be smiling!
3. Get a Good Start
Start your morning off right with brain food that keeps you full till lunch. Replace highly processed breakfast cereals with natural muesli, traditional porridge oats or cereals that carry the GI symbol. Those breakfast foods will give you fibrous, substantial nutrients to keep you going all day.
4. Combine And Thrive
You don’t need to cut out high GI options completely -- the trick is to combine them with low GI options to streamline your GI. Look for certain acids to help lower the GI of specific foods. Try yogurt with cereal and lemon juice on vegetables.
5. Smart Snacking
When it comes to snacking, go for fresh fruit, dried fruit, hummus, greek yogurt, or one of our scrumdiddlyumptious Rowdy bars! These snacks contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants found in low GI snacks. Our Rowdy bars use a low-glycemic sweetener, Yacon Syrup, which has a low GI of 1 and might be the only natural, low-calorie, low GI raw sweetener around. Our low-glycemic Rowdy bars will make your taste buds smile and your energy levels soar.
6. Go From High To Low
Have you noticed you’re still hungry after eating a bag of chips, but feel sufficiently full with the same size back of nuts? High-glycemic carbohydrates do a poor job of filling us up, because they’re high in sugar and low in protein.
A great way to eat more low-glycemic foods is to swap traditional grains for low-glycemic substitutes. Rice, for example, is a staple in most households but should be consumed in moderation. When choosing your favorite rice swap high GI rice varieties like jasmine and calrose with doongara, moolgiri and basmati; they have lower GI and higher portions of starch (a naturally abundant carbohydrate) that takes longer to break down helping to manage your blood glucose levels.
7. Wonderful Water
Water is our drink of choice. To keep your GI steady, make sure to avoid sugary drinks and drink more water. Staying hydrated will decrease your blood sugars by reducing your insulin resistance. In case you're wondering, what is a normal blood sugar level for those with diabetes.
Go Low GI!
Ultimately, eating a diet filled with nutritious foods that are low on the Glycemic Index will keep your blood sugar stable.
And when you slip up, don’t sweat it! We all live in the same world with the same tempting free samples at Costco, or delicious jumbo peanut butter cups. If you indulge in a high-glycemic food, balance it out with a low-glycemic food, some water, a little self-compassion.
Rowdy bars are best of both worlds: they are low-glycemic, sweet-n-savory, and they will give you clean, reliable energy all day long.