More clues about the healthiest carb choices

Carbohydrate categories can be bit confusing. Nutrition experts refer to carbs as simple or complex, low-quality or high-quality, or even just “bad” or “good.” Carbohydrate-rich foods can also be ranked by how quickly the sugar they contain is absorbed into your bloodstream after you eat it, using a scale known as the glycemic index, or GI (see “Glycemic index and glycemic load, explained”).

First developed 40 years ago, the glycemic index was in the news again recently. Last March, The New England Journal of Medicine published a large international study suggesting that diets with a higher glycemic index and load are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death. The link was strongest among people who were overweight or obese.

“Glycemic index is one way to think about carbohydrate quality, but it’s not the only way,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. You can also classify carbs as sugars, starches, and fiber.

Glycemic index and glycemic load, explainedCarbohydrate-containing foods have properties that affect how quickly they are digested and how quickly the resulting glucose (sugar) enters the bloodstream. This is quantified by a measure known as the glycemic index (GI). Foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100; pure glucose has a value of 100.However, the GI value doesn’t account for the quantity of the specific food a person typically eats. A separate measure, the glycemic load, indicates the change in blood glucose level when someone east a typical serving of the food. It’s calculated by multiplying the food’s GI by the amount of carbohydrate it contains.For the highest-quality carb intake, choose foods that have a low or medium glycemic load and limit those with a high glycemic load.Low glycemic load: bran cereals, apples, oranges, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, cashews, peanuts, carrots.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? Psalm 18:31 NIV

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. Psalm 44:3 NIV

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20 NIV

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 NIV

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