French Fry – worse than a cigarette?

I don’t think the comparison is entirely fair and perhaps a case of apples vs oranges but it is one that I’ve heard.  Regardless, french frys have got to be one of the most unhealthy sides in Western cuisine.  First, as a simple sugar, the potato is an icon of high glycemic index for those who maintain a lower carb diet.  The starch in potatoes is rapidly digested and hits the blood sugar about as fast as sugar (my experience).

So, take something akin to a piece of candy and deep fry it in grease and pour salt on top (and/or cheese) and you get the American french fry.  High carb, high fat and high sodium.

All that said, there are variants of fries that are better than others and many fast food restaurants have taken steps to reduce the amount of saturated fat while maintaining high standards regarding the purity of the cooking oil.  All the info you need is here.

Eat Whole Grain – the glycemic index is back, again

low-glycemic index

Some things seem to be reported in never-ending cyclic patterns.  This might be one of them but I tend to think that it is actually the journalists interpretation that brings about the feeling of deja vu rather than the researcher’s investigation.

It’s not necessarily the amount of carbohydrates you consume as it is the type (or the glycemic load), so says a “new study” recently reported by Reuters after being published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

How many carbs you eat might be less important for your blood sugar than your food’s glycemic load, a measure that also takes into account how quickly you absorb those carbs.

That’s the conclusion of a new study of healthy adults, which questions the way people with type 1 diabetes determine how much insulin they should take before meals.

Well, measuring how fast carbohydrate is absorbed has been around for a long time and we’ve been avoiding simple carbohydrates in preference to whole grain cereals and complex carbs as long as I can remember.  Perhaps I’m missing something or the actual research was under-reported but there is a reason I’m eating the 7-grain cooked cereal in the image above rather than corn flakes – the difference in glycemic index!

Never-the-less, any study that can help educate us on the damaging impact of post-prandial variability has value and perhaps a read of the research as reported rather than interpreted will add additional insight.

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