We’re taking a look this week at some surprising foods that have a low GI number. They can be a part of your long-term healthy living plan — if used wisely. I’m afraid this isn’t a candy bar diet plan. (Wouldn’t I make a million with that!)
Here is surprise number one: A Snickers bar has a low glycemic number of 40. How can that be when it is has a whopping 28.8 grams of sugar, 34.5 grams of carbohydrates?
The answer lies in the 13.6 grams of fat. Fat takes a long time to digest, so that Snickers bar isn’t immediately converted into sugar and dumped into the bloodstream. It is a slow and prolonged release, so the pancreas puts out a steady stream of insulin instead of a major dump. Your body doesn’t get the urgent message to store fat and the pancreas can still manufacture glucagon. Click here to learn about your autopilot.
So can you eat Snickers all day long? Or even one a day? Nope. (Sorry!) Here’s why: The candy bar has 270 calories. That’s a big chunk of your daily allotment, and those calories are empty with no nutritional benefit to speak of. Click here to read about how to control your calories. You would have to walk about 2 1/2 miles to burn up the energy you would take in. That’s a lot of work for a few minutes pleasure and you probably won’t do it.
So can a Snickers be a part of your long-term plan? Maybe. Here’s why. You are making changes that you will do for the rest of your life. Will you never, ever, eat candy or a dessert for the rest of your life? That’s not realistic for most of us. We will be in situations when people will be serving desserts or we will just have moments when we want to indulge. In that case, you might want to choose a treat with a lower GI number like Snickers than something with a higher number like microwaved popcorn (74) or vanilla wafers (77).
Take this scenario: You are at a church fellowship and the ladies have outdone themselves making cookies. The plates, heaped with chocolate chip cookies, lemon bars, etc., look fantastic. You know that even one of those cookies will make the sugar zoom into your bloodstream and start the insulin pumping. And you know you won’t eat just ONE cookie. But it’s sure hard to stand around and watch people stuff them into their mouths and to listen to them say, “Ummm, yum, these are delicious. Wow!”
Would it help to handle it better if you plan to buy ONE regular-size Snicker’s bar on the way home? You will eat it slowly, enjoying every bite, and you won’t feel deprived. You will have made a lower glycemic choice. You still have the calories, but probably fewer than in the cookies.
If you know a difficult-to-handle situation is coming up, you can plan accordingly. You can cut down on the calories during meals and snacks and can step up your exercise. You can also buy your Snickers in advance and put it in the freezer. A frozen Snickers bar takes a long time to eat, so you won’t gobble it down, but will enjoy it for a while.
Warnings: I don’t recommend this for diabetics – and you had better not try it if a candy bar is a trigger food. Click here to learn about trigger foods. Don’t buy a package of Snickers to keep on hand, and be aware that it will probably slow down your weight loss.
However, if you are careful, an occasional Snickers can be a part of your long term plan.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown