I got this book because my husband is a diabetic. The book is small so easily portable as you shop, and is filled with useful lists, as you might imagine. The authors are co-authors of the
New York Times bestselling series "New Glucose Revolution."
The Glycemic Index is a means of measuring the effect of different kinds of sugars on your system. It stands to reason that the sugar in an apple will have a different metabolic effect than the sugar in a doughnut. Trends in recent years toward high protein diets have tended to lump all carbohydrate foods into the realm of poison to the dieter; common sense tells us that a well-balanced selection of foods across all groups is more sensible. Yet it remains difficult for a carb junkie to resist foods that will drag him or her off the diet wagon.
GI combats this urge by allowing a dieter or a diabetic - or someone who just wants to eat sensibly
- to choose carbohydrates that deliver the taste and oomph that we all crave without so much of the damage. Foods with a low GI "will have less of an effect on blood glucose levels than foods with a high GI." Simply put, high GI foods "break down rapidly, releasing glucose quickly into the bloodstream" and accounting for the "sugar high" that many of us are familiar with (and that you can see so easily in children!). Low GI foods release glucose slowly and thus have a less drastic effect on energy levels and appetite control.
One of the reasons this book stands out is that the authors realized the complexity of calculating the GI level of foods – practically impossible for the layperson. This left dieters with the task of totaling up numbers every day and trying to figure out if a particular food item with a mix of high and low-glucose ingredients was high or low or medium. So, in addition to listing the usual portion size, calories, fat etc, there is a not-for-rocket-scientists rating of the GI of each food as simply "low, medium or high." Exotic foods are included. Brand names are listed. Alternatives are explored – instead of cookies, eat a slice of whole-grain bread with jam. The difference to the taste buds will be slight, but the difference in how the sugar is processed is significant.
This is the first GI list I have come across that is truly comprehensive. It's going to help me plan for healthier meals for my husband (and me) and facilitate my bulk shopping purchases (something we should all be considering in these difficult times).