You may have heard of the glycemic index. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular food raises your blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index of a food, the worse it is for you.
Unfortunately, many of the foods we love to eat are high on this index. These include bread, potatoes, rice, and many other starches. Let's face it. It's difficult to avoid these foods every day. But here's good news: You can still enjoy these foods without causing your blood sugar to spike.
It turns out that it's not the glycemic index of a single food that's so important; it's the glycemic index of your entire meal that matters. So if you want to eat a potato with your meal, make sure the other foods you eat at that meal are lower on the glycemic index.
And here's another trick: If you eat acidic foods like lemons, oranges, or vinegar (as a salad dressing) with your meal, it will slow down your digestion and lower the glycemic index of all the foods you eat at that meal. This was proven in a recent study.
The researchers also measured blood sugar levels in participants who ate starchy meals either with or without vinegar. Blood sugar levels were lower when they added vinegar to the meals.
The also study found that some fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, will affect blood sugar levels positively.
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Things you can do: Drink some lemon water with your meal. Or choose an oil and vinegar dressing for your salad. Eat that slice of pickle that comes with a sandwich. And if you have non-insulin-dependent diabetes, you may want to be sure to include vinegar in your diet, especially when you're eating foods higher on the glycemic index. This little secret will go a long way toward lowering your blood sugar.
By the way, if you want to find out the glycemic index for various foods check out these websites: www.glycemicindex.com or www.mendosa.com.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Lilijeberg, H. and I. Bjorck. "Delayed gastric emptying rate may explain improved glycaemia in healthy subjects to a starchy meal with added vinegar," Eur J Clin Nutr, 1998.