What is this thing about carrots having a high glycemic index? I have seen/read that more than once. Is it true? And if yes, does that mean they aren't good for you? I eat a lot of carrots. They are cheap, they are good, they are crunchy.
The glycemic index has been responsible for scaring people into giving up a lot of healthy foods.
The original testing was done with people who fasted, and then were given pureed single foods for breakfast. Their blood sugar was measured before and after eating these pureed single foods. The news was full of the "surprise" that a lot of foods we thought were healthy were causing the blood sugar of these volunteers to spike and leave them hungry a short time later.
May I point out a couple of things that the press didn't take into consideration when they branded these foods as "bad"?
First, the foods were pureed. Most of us have teeth and are able to chew our foods. Most of us eat foods that have to be chewed. The reason that foods have to be chewed is that many of them (including carrots) have fiber. Fiber fills us up. Even something with few calories, like carrots, takes a while to digest when it is in chewable form rather than pureed. Chewing on a carrot won't spike your blood sugar and leave you hungry nearly as fast as slurping pureed carrot.
Second, the foods in the test were single foods given to break a fast. Most of us eat foods in combination. Foods react differently when they are eaten with other foods than when eaten singly. Even if you eat only carrots between meals, the meals you ate before and after would tide you over and help the carrots take longer to digest.
Potatoes were on this list as being VERY high on the glycemic index. Suddenly potatoes, which had been eaten happily by bazillions of people for generations were going to cause people to be hungry faster and spike their blood sugar and be bad things for us to eat. But potatoes aren't normally eaten alone. Even when we peel and mash potatoes, removing lots of the good fiber, we don't serve them all alone as our single nutrition after fasting all night. We serve them mixed with butter and milk and alongside other foods.
Enjoy your carrots. If your skin turns yellow from all the beta carotene, you're eating too many. Otherwise enjoy.
Last edited by rheanna; 06-05-2007 at 10:29 PM.
Another consideration is that a large carrot is 7 grams of carbohydrate, of which 2 are fiber and only 3 are sugar (primarily sucrose.) WHether that is high, low, or indermediate glycemic index, the net glycemic LOAD of such a small amount of carbohydrates is practically nil.