#1 Fruit For Weight Loss
A GREAT tip from Spin 360 Core Fitness. You've probably heard the tip that if you're interested in losing weight, it's a good idea to eat slowly and chew your food at least 15-20 times before swallowing. Doing this allows your brain and body to actually sense that it's full, instead of devouring a bunch of food only to find out 30 mins later that you're WAY too stuffed. And for that reason (and a few others), I'm picking cherries as my #1 fruit for weight loss.
With cherries, you can't just pop 30 in your mouth in two mins like you could, and probably often do, with grapes or blueberries. Instead, the pits force you to eat them slowly, allowing your satiation sensors to chime in and prevent you from over-indulging. So that's reason #1 – built in portion control. Reason #2, and it's a BIG one, is that cherries have the LOWEST glycemic index of all fruits, and one of the lowest glycemic indexes of any carbohydrate source—period. Scoring at a ridiculously low 22, you can even snack on cherries in the evening without much detriment as their effect on insulin is minimal at best. Again, it's not late-night eating that's the problem, it's eating the wrong foods (those that cause a substantial rise in fat-loss halting insulin) in evening hours that is. So next time you're in the mood for a sweet, satiating snack, reach for a small bowl of cherries and enjoy the goodness. My new favorite variety is Rainier cherries….Mmm mmm good :)
Which Fruits Have The Lowest Glycemic Load?
A healthy diet should almost always include some fruit, and this is particularly true if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue. The difficulty arises in choosing the best and most nutritious fruits to eat. Most nutritionists will recommend sticking to the fruits with lower sugar content where possible, and this makes a lot of sense as part of a balanced diet. But how do we measure the sugars in a particular fruit, and which fruits have the lowest amounts?
First of all, it’s important to understand how we really measure the sugars in fruit. We don’t actually take a piece of fruit, examine it in the lab, and quantify the grams of sugar in each portion. What actually happens is that we measure the effect that that fruit has on our blood sugar levels. There are two ways to represent this – Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL). First I’ll explain how these measures work, and at the end of article I have included two tables with the numbers for various fruits.
Glycemic Load Is A More Useful Measure Than Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index of a food is a numerical unit describing how far eating a food will raise one’s blood sugar level; effectively, it represents how ‘sugary’ the food is. The Glycemic Index uses a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is pure glucose. A food which has a high GI will cause a large increase in blood sugar, while a food with a lower GI will not have much impact at all. As a rough basis, mid-50s to mid-60s in a food’s GI is considered average, while 70 and above is considered high. Foods with a GI of less than 55 are considered to have a low glycemic index, and thus will have smaller impact on blood sugar levels.
The main problem with the Glycemic Index is that it does not factor in typical portion sizes. In fact, it standardizes each food to include 50 grams of carbohydrates. This leads to some peculiar distortions. For example, to obtain 50 grams of carbohydrates you would need either 2.8 ounces of a Snickers bar or 35 ounces of pumpkin. It hardly seems fair to compare the two when these portion sizes are so unrealistic!
In 1997, researchers at Harvard University introduced the concept of Glycemic Load with the aim of solving this problem. The Glycemic Load seeks to balance the Glycemic Index by accounting for serving size. Let’s take a watermelon as an example. It has a high GI, as the carbohydrate will increase blood sugar levels rapidly, but it contains a relatively small amount of the carbohydrate, meaning that it has a low glycemic load.
A food’s Glycemic Load is calculated directly from its Glycemic Index. We simply take the food’s Glycemic Index, divide it by 100, and multiply it by the grams of carbohydrate (excluding fiber) in a typical serving size. A GL of above 20 is considered high, the 11-19 range is considered average, and below 11 is low.
Let’s look again at watermelon. It has a Glycemic Index of 72, which is relatively high. However, a typical serving size only has 5 grams of carbohydrate. This means we can calculate the Glycemic Load like this: 72/100*5 = 3.6. Although the Glycemic Index is high, the Glycemic Load is relatively low. Which one is more useful to us? The Glycemic Load.
Watermelons are an unusual case, insofar as they have a high Glycemic Index (above 70 is considered high), yet have a low Glycemic Load (below 11 is low). This is not common, as most foods with a high GI will have a correspondingly high GL.