After you eat a meal, your blood sugar levels rise as insulin clears sugar from the bloodstream. This can cause what is referred to as a “food coma” where all of your energy goes to storing what you have consumed, and then the body craves more food/sugar. The Glycemic Index (GI) refers to the speed with which food raises the blood sugar level. This factor, controlled by how much sugar you eat with each meal, will determine your energy level and degree of “food coma” for the hours following. While all carbohydrates (except for fiber) convert into blood sugar eventually, some forms do so much faster than others. So, switching to lower-GI foods will help to reduce your after-meal blood sugar spikes.
Here is a Quick Tip List and a Table of Lower GI Foods to serve as general guidelines to follow when choosing your meals.
-High-fiber foods digest slower than low-fiber foods
-High-fat foods digest slower than low-fat foods
-Solids digest slower than liquids
-Cold foods digest slower than hot foods
-Under-ripe and under-cooked foods digest slower than over-ripe/over-cooked foods
-Whole/natural foods tend to digest slower than processed foods
-Another unique food property that affects rate of digestion is acidity. This is why sourdough bread has a much lower GI value than regular bread. Research has shown that adding acidity in the form of vinegar (straight or in dressing/condiment form) can reduce the one-hour post-meal blood sugar rise by 50% or more.
Help your employees make healthy choices to create sustained energy and reduce the chance of a “food coma” which can lead to a lack of attention and focus. The results will be a safer workplace and improved productivity.
MineFit’s Head coach, Monica Pampell, will be conducting a webinar on this topic in the coming weeks.