Archive for March, 2017

Glycemic load

March 11, 2017

My doctor has been telling me for a couple of years that my glucose levels are elevated—not dangerously so, but just a little above the normal range. This year I’ve been trying to bring that down by being careful about what I eat. My father has been doing much the same thing in recent years, so, like him, I started tracking the glycemic load of my food, using a spreadsheet and a couple of online guides for reference.

So far, it’s going pretty well. I’m still eating plenty, but I’ve been able to keep my total glycemic load for the day under 100 quite consistently. Some days I get right up to the high nineties, but I’m typically able to keep it around 70-80.

Here are a few of the changes I’ve made to my diet that have helped. Some of these come from my father’s advice, some from recommendations I’ve found online, and some are my own ideas.

  • Tomato juice instead of orange juice in the morning.
  • Almond milk instead of dairy milk. I’ve found an almond-cashew blend in our local grocery store that I quite like.
  • Peanuts sprinkled on top of soup instead of having bread or crackers.
  • Almond meal as a substitute for breadcrumbs in cooking.
  • Thinly sliced eggplant, zucchini, and/or summer squash as a substitute for noodles when making lasagna
  • Shredded zucchini and summer squash, roasted with a little olive oil and salt, as a substitute for pasta.
  • 1 part potato and 1 part cauliflower, boiled, drained, and mashed with buttermilk and herbs; has the taste and texture of mashed potatoes with half the glycemic load. (We call it “caulitato.”)
  • Whole rye bread, 1/3 the glycemic load of white bread.
  • Hapankorppuja—thin, crisp rye wafers sold in the US as “Finn Crisp”—for when I want something crunchy for scooping up hummus or dip.
  • Sashimi instead of sushi.
  • When getting lunch at the faculty cafeteria, I get a big salad and put the day’s meat dish on top of that, skipping the rice, potato, or pasta.
  • Nuts for snacks.

For the most part, I’m quite content. I sometimes miss having a big plate of pasta or a big slice of cake, but I still indulge in my favorite carb-y foods, just in moderation. I’ll see the doctor next month and we’ll find out whether all this is having a measurable effect on my glucose levels. My weight is down seven pounds since the start of the year, though, which I take as a sign that something is working.

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