Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What's the Scoop with Glycemic Index?

By now, most people know that sugar and white flour are unhealthy food choices that can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even age-related macular degeneration. However, take a walk down the middle aisles of any supermarket and you will notice that most products contain both white flour and sugar, whether they are a bread, grain, cereal, cracker, cookie or sugary treat. Unfortunately, our bodies are naturally programmed to crave sugar and avoiding the temptation to add these items to our grocery cart can be quite a daunting task. Especially since clever marketing can make even some cookies and chips sound healthy.

Follow these Eyefoods recommendations when shopping in the middle aisles of your grocery store. You might even have fun discovering a new and unique food.

• Choose Foods with a low glycemic index because low glycemic index diets will promote eye health. (1,2,3) 
• Look for whole grains such as barley, bulgur, quinoa, millet, spelt, freekah, wheat berries, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta.
• Look for beans and legumes such as red lentils, green lentils, beluga lentils, chick peas, black beans, kidney beans, white beans and Romano beans.

Choose Foods with a High Fiber Content
A heart friendly diet is an eye friendly diet. Age-related macular degeneration and cardiovascular disease share many common risk factors. Increasing your fiber intake will contribute to healthy blood vessels and healthy eyes. (3) Whole grains, beans and legumes are all good sources of fiber.

Try this Black Bean and Mango Salad.

For more delicious eye healthy recipes please visit www.eyefoods.com.

Chiu, C., R. Milton, R. Klein, G. Gensler, and A. Taylor. 2007. Dietary carbohydrate and the progression of age-related macular degeneration: a prospective study from the age-related eye disease study. Am J Clin Nutr 86: 1210-18.

Chiu, C., R. Milton, G. Gensler, and A. Taylor. 2006. Dietary carbohydrate intake and glycemic index in relation to cortical and nuclear lens opacities in the age-related eye disease study. Am J Clin Nutr May, 83: 1177-84.

Tan, J., J. Wang, G. Liew, E. Rochtchina, and P. Mitchell. 2008. Age-related macular degeneration and mortality from cardiovascular disease or stroke. Br J Ophthalmol, Nov; 92 (1): 509-12.

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