Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning the glycemic index and gluten.
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Learn about the Glycemic Index and Gluten Host: With obesity, heart disease and diabetes on the increase, everyone is looking for effective ways to stay under the 80-centimeter waistline mark. If we creep above that seemingly arbitrary line in the waistband, experts say we place ourselves at greater risk of disease. Amidst the barrage of food fads telling us to eat decent not bad, there is one diet guide that seems to offer real results. Everybody is talking about the Glycemic Index. The food you eat is given a number according to how fast it raises your blood sugar levels. Azmina: Glycemic Index or GI is a ranking of carbohydrate foods based on how they affect your blood sugar levels. Now, your blood sugar is really important when you think about your appetite. And high GI foods such as refined cereals, pastries and pies, white bread, short grain rice are rapidly digested. This means they make your blood sugar go up very quickly and go down very quickly. However, low GI foods such as granary bread, porridge, low-fat dairy foods, fruits and vegetables and nuts are slowly digested. Therefore, the blood sugar goes up slowly and goes down slowly. This can help you delay hunger pangs and feel full for longer. Host: But it all sounds rather time consuming doesn’t it? Looking each food up in the guide, sorting through each type of bread, each breed of potato, it's all about for the likes of Madonna but what about the rest of us who actually have to do our own cooking? According to Chef Antony Worall Thompson, cooking up a GI friendly meal is not only good for you, it's really easy. Antony: Buy a can of beans, add a bit of tuna, a few herbs, a little bit of onions and a few chopped tomatoes, you got a supper on the table in no time at all. Porridge, breakfast, one of the key meals in the GI diet because which going to do is make you feel full. If you have something porridge or muesli, hat keeps you going to lunch. Without that pang, have the old when your sugar level has dropped. Host: So, our ancestors were right. Low GI oats are a great way to start the day. What about eating on the wrong dough, always look for the whole grain option over the white bread. Yogurt is a slow burner too. Low GI is such a hit. It's popping out on shelves and boxes all over town. Low GI, grab it and go. Gluten, you’ve heard the word bandy the belt. Some people like it and some people don’t. But what exactly is it? Why do some people go to extremes trying to avoid it? Gluten is a sticky protein that’s found in grass grains such as wheat, barley and rye. So naturally, it's found in flour, bread and other cereal products. Unfortunately, there is a little plant chemical in gluten called “Gliadin” that has some people doubled over in great discomfort. Gliadin confuses the communication between the small intestine and the digestive enzymes creating inflammation, benign tumors, gas, malnutrition and a whole host of other nasties. It's called Celiac’s Disease and it's on the rise. But you may not have to put the bagel back on the shelf just yet. Gluten-free flour and baked goods coming to a store near you. Gluten puts the chewiness in bread and the bounce in the bagel but other substances can be used to great effect. Rice and buckwheat flour can be ground and mixed with xanthan gum for that elasticity. But it's not just bread we’re talking about. Gluten pops up as a food additive in everything from ice cream ketchup. Thankfully, the range of gluten-free goods is growing, making life easier for celiac sufferings. You can slow down the sugar rush of a high GI food by mixing it with a low GI food.

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