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What is the glycemic index?

Hello again Chef Fan’s, and welcome to another update for my Contemporary Cuisine Class.One of the interesting things about this class is that we are talking about the different things that can make a dish healthy or unhealthy. This means doing more research about the different food allergies and how this and other things can effect our bodies.
1.      How many grams of fiber does an American adult need to consume per day for good health?

Adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health. But most Americans get only about 15 grams a day.

2.      Many factors can affect a food’s glycemic index, name 5:

  1. Processing: Grains that have been milled and refined—removing the bran and the germ—have a higher glycemic index than whole grains.
  2. Type of starch. Starch comes in many different configurations. Some are easier to break into sugar molecules than others. The starch in potatoes, for example, is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly.
  3. Fiber content. The sugars in fiber are linked in ways that the body has trouble breaking. The more fiber a food has, the less digestible carbohydrate, and so the less sugar it can deliver.
  4. Ripeness. Ripe fruits and vegetables tend to have more sugar than unripe ones, and so tend to have a higher glycemic index.
  5. Fat content and acid content. The more fat or acid a food or meal contains, the slower its carbohydrates are converted to sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream.
  6. Physical form. Finely ground grain is more rapidly digested, and so has a higher glycemic index, than more coarsely ground grain.

3. Name 5 common foods that would fit into the glycemic index chart as:

  • Low (good) glycemic index levels (55 or less)
    • Peanuts
    • Aritchoke
    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Celery Cucumber
    • Eggplant
    • Green Beans
    • Snow Peas
    • Spinach
    • Medium glycemic index levels (56–69)
      • Oat Bran
      • Popcorn
      • Mangoes
      • Pita Bread
      • Apricots
      • Raisins
      • Pineapple
      • Brown Rice
      • Wild Rice
      • Bananas
    • High (bad) glycemic index levels (70 or higher)
      • White Bread
      • Chips
      • Waffles
      • Doughnuts
      • Pretzels
      • Potato
      • Jelly Beans
      • Parsnips
      • Dates
      • Pumkin

3.      Make 5 suggestions for adding more good carbohydrates to a menu.

  1. Start with whole grains. There are all sorts of “new” grains out there today that we can serve as a starch side instead of just potatoes.
  2. Use whole grain breads. If you are going to serve bread with the meal then make it whole grain bread, and not the refined white bread.
  3. Drop the potatoes. Try brown rice or even “newer” grains like bulgur, wheat berries, millet, or hulled barley.
  4. Add fruit. There is nothing that says you can’t serve fruit with your menu, and they have lots of good carbohydrates.
  5. Add beans. Beans are an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrates as well as a great source of protein.
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3 Comments on “What is the glycemic index?”

  1. grandmarosecookbooks April 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

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