Nutritional Tips by Coach and Sports Scientist Enrique Moya
Are all sources of carbohydrates the same?
We shouldn’t pay more attention to the macronutrient itself (Carbohydrates), it’s more important to analyse the quality of the product and where the food is coming from.
A good way to select the right food is to understand is the Glycemic Index (GI) and the Glycemic Load (GL). GI provides a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating a particular type of food. The effects that different foods have on blood glucose levels vary considerably. A practical limitation of GI is that it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrates actually consumed. A related measure, the Glycemic Load, factors this in by multiplying the GI by the carbohydrate content of the actual serving.
Consuming high GI and GL foods is associated with some diseases like diabetes and obesity. The University of Sydney has developed a website where you can find more information about the GI and GL. It also has a search engine where you can find out the GI and GL of your favourite foods.Click here to view the site.
We should consume carbohydrates that don’t cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels (low GI) such as vegetables, legumes and some cereals like oats and barley. Therefore, we should restrict high GI carbohydrates that quickly raise blood sugar levels, such as cereals like wheat (pasta, bread…), rice, corn, potatoes and sugar. Wholemeal forms of some of these carbohydrates are quite acceptable (medium GI), but try always choose low GI carbohydrates.
Enrique Moya- Sport-Scientist, Master’s Degree in High-Performance Sports and PhD Researcher at The University of Melbourne.