What is a Slow carb And Fast Carb? What makes them Different? The Glycemic Index!
What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?
Think of the Glycemic Index and a way to assign a nutritional value (scale 1-100) to specific foods that you hate or love. What is shows us is how slowly or quickly those foods cause a spike in our blood glucose levels. Example Sugar is scored 100 Lettuce is 15 your goal is to stick to foods that are 50 and below don’t worry will supply you a list.
Foods LOW on the Glycemic Index “Slow Carbohydrates”
- Release glucose slowly and steadily.
- tend to foster fat burning
Foods HIGH on the Glycemic Index “Fast Carbohydrates”
- Release glucose rapidly
- Elevates insulin and blood sugar increase fat gain
Why Is Glycemic Index Important?
- Having high blood glucose levels can be toxic to your system, causing kidney failure, blindness, and increased cardiovascular risk and fat gain.
- Knowing what foods will spike blood sugar and the ones who don’t will help you fight insulin resistance and prediabetes.
- Sometimes we want to have a fast releasing carbohydrate to either recover from a workout or break a fast so knowing what foods are high helps us with this matter.
- When blood sugar is elevated and insulin is released fat burning stops it’s that simple. So when what and how much simple and fast carbohydrates you consume based on your body type makes a huge difference!
Fast Carbohydrate & Slow Carbohydrate
What are “Fast Carbohydrates”?
Fast Carbohydrates is the foods with a high glycemic index include processed carbohydrates such as bread, cereals, sugars, fruits and some starchy vegetables like peas and carrots. These foods are considered fast carbs. The carbohydrate molecules in these foods are smaller, especially in the case of sugar, and are broken down rapidly into sugars in your intestines. If eaten regularly, fast carbs can spike and keep your blood sugar elevated, causing weight gain and an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Fast carbs can be beneficial when eaten before or after exercise.
Example: of Fast Carbohydrates
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages – Sugar-sweetened beverages contain a lot of quickly digestible sugars, without any fiber, fat or protein to help limit blood sugar spikes. These include energy drinks, sports drinks, sodas, and fruit juice drinks.
Refined Grains – Refined grains have had most of their fiber removed, making them more quickly digested by your body.
Sweets, Sugary Foods and Baked Goods – sweets and sugary foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients. The refined grains used to make them and their high sugar content put them in the “fast carbs” category.
Highly Processed Foods – The more highly processed a food is, the easier it usually is to digest and the higher the Glycemic Index score.
– Sugar Cane & Sugar Beets
– Fruit especially tropical fruits “choose Berries or apples”
– Honey, Agave, maple syrup
– Fat-Free Dairy
What are Slow Carbohydrates?
Foods with a low glycemic index are considered slow carbs, which include most vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, peas, and legumes. Slow carbs also tend to be higher in fiber, an important but often lacking nutrient. Slow carbs can provide your body with energy over an extended period of time without a rapid elevation in blood sugar. Choose foods with slow carbs throughout the day as a cornerstone of a healthy meal plan.
Example: of Slow Carbohydrates
– Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin & Squash
– Yams, Parsnips & Other Root Vegetables
– Corn, Oats Wheat & Other Grains.
– Whole Grain Breads & Pastas.
– Brans, Weet-Bix & Shredded Wheat Cereals.
– Ancient Grains (Amaranth, Millet, etc).
– Basmati, Brown & Wild Rice.
– Raw Nuts, Seeds, Beans, Lentils, Couscous & Other, etc.
– Vegetables such as leafy greens and peppers.
Pro Tip: Fiber is the secret weapon to slowing down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream stabilizing your blood sugar try and get at least 20 grams a day of fiber.
Don’t Worry there is a Full Ebook on the Glycemic Index with lists of foods attached below!