A GI to help you manage the munchies
It’s 11am and like clockwork your belly is rumbling so loudly that your colleagues at the other end of the office are starting to wonder if you’re ok. Most of us experience the munchies at some point, which we try to ignore until they get so strong that we lunge for the nearest and easiest source of relief: often the chocolate box or a bag of crisps.
People generally get the munchies in between meals or after the final meal of the day. Hunger pangs can set in some time after a meal is consumed, when our blood sugar levels begin to drop and we begin to breakdown our energy reserves. When blood sugar levels are low, chemical signals are sent to the brain instructing you to eat and that’s often when the overwhelming need to munch kicks in.
Understanding the munchies
How quickly your blood sugar levels drop, and thus hunger kicks back in, following a meal depends on the type of food you have just eaten and research has shown it can have a big affect on your overall appetite and the types of foods that you crave in between meals. Foods that are highly refined or high in sugar provide a quick energy boost – they are termed high GI (Glycaemic Index) and the sugar is released from the food into your blood very quickly.
Your blood sugar level subsequently drops quite rapidly and this can leave you feeling empty and in need of another ‘quick fix’. Foods that are low GI (such as rolled oats and wholemeal bread) can keep hunger at bay for longer as the energy in these foods is released more gradually, therefore your blood sugar levels don’t come crashing down in the same way.
The problem is of course, that most people are drawn to those foods that give that instant energy lift. But the energy burst from such foods is only short-lived and often leaves us craving more. Try altering your dietary habits in the following ways if you are prone to munchie attacks that result in you snacking on sugary or fatty foods.
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