Glycemic index

Besides garnering attention as a a veritable fountain of youth, cancer tamer and fibromyalgia remedy, turmeric has proven itself to be a formidable weight loss superfood as well.

Easing inflammation is just one benefit of this golden beauty. It also mitigates insulin resistance and balances blood glucose levels while helping to prevent the spread of fat tissue — providing a powerful tool in the battle of the bulge. A staple in Asian cultures for centuries, turmeric is a safe, flavorful and nutrient-packed addition to any diet or weight loss plan.

Colorful fat fighter

Research at Tufts University in Boston discovered that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) reduced weight gain and total body fat in mice that consumed the compound.

Eighteen mice divided into three groups were fed either a low fat, high fat or curcumin enhanced high fat diet. At the end of the study, body weight of the mice and fat distribution were measured. For those that ingested the diet with curcumin, both total body fat and weight gain were reduced — even though food intake was not restricted. Blood glucose, cholesterol, fatty acid, triglyceride and liver fat were lower as well.

Another study at Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine in China also found turmeric intake to be beneficial for weight loss.

As stated by Anthony Gucciardi of Natural Society:

“… curcumin (once again, a compound within turmeric found in extracts and the food itself) consumption directly decreased levels of insulin resistance and leptin resistance – two factors heavily linked to fat gain. In the conclusion of the research, study authors state:

“By diminishing the sediment of fat, relaxing the lymphatic return, and refraining the apoptosis of beta cells, the curcumin might significantly decrease the level of insulin resistance and leptin resistance caused by the high fat diet.”

Similar findings were observed at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Columbia University. Dr. Drew Tortoriello M.D., an endocrinologist and research scientist, found that “turmeric-fed obese mice showed significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls.” He suspects “the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant ingredient in turmeric, lessens insulin resistance and prevents type 2 diabetes in these mouse models by dampening the inflammatory response provoked by obesity,” according to Science Daily.

Happily, researchers believe these results can be applied to humans too. With such a profusion of healthy benefits, all you really have to lose by enjoying this vibrant spice is excess weight.

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Sources for this article include:

“If you could make just three simple changes in your life to prevent, or even reverse, memory loss and other brain disorders, wouldn’t you?”

The book is Grain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar; your brain's silent killers. It promises straightforward dietary solutions to prevent the illnesses we most hate and fear.

Why wouldn’t you make three simple changes?

“The question is, how far will you take the Paleo diet?” Perlmutter asked in a recent video on his YouTube channel. “Here we are at a Chinese grocery store in San Francisco—and this is part of the Paleo diet.”

He holds up a large frog.

“How far will you go?”

That is Perlmutter’s kind of joke. He is not joking when he says that carbohydrates, even the whole-grain carbs that many of us think of as the good ones, are the cause of almost every modern neurologic malady. That includes dementia, decreased libido, depression, chronic headaches, anxiety, epilepsy, and ADHD.

“It may seem draconian,” he says, “but the best recommendation I can make is to completely avoid grains.”


Low GI list (GI < 55)

Ideal before exercise and when you are inactive, i.e. most of the time.

  • Dairy


Buttermilk, low fat

Low fat and fat free milk (plain and flavoured)


Low fat and fat free (unsweetened and sweetened - cooled) e.g. Ultramel Lite and home made with Birds or Moirs custard powder, sweetener or sugar and low fat or fat free milk


Low fat and fat free (plain and sweetened)

Ice cream (read labels)

Low fat and fat free (unsweetened and sweetened) 

  • Cereals and porridges


Bokomo Pronutro original (wheat free) with low fat milk


Cooled mealie meal porridge

Future Life porridge

Sorghum with added acid (lemon juice or vinegar)

Soya Life porridge

SPP Insta-meal

  • Starches

Breads and bread products

Chapati (roti) – at least half legume flour e.g. chickpea flour

Corn tortillas

Dense, heavy loaves, preferably made with half  legume flour and containing added whole amaranth, buckwheat, corn rice, mesquite or quinoa and/or bran e.g. psyllium husks, quinoa bran or rice bran

Wraps - at least half legume flour


Poppadoms (at least half legume flour and not deep fried)

Flours and brans

All legume flours, including pea flour (chana), lupin flour, mungbean flour, soya flour, split pea flour (dhal) and chickpea flour (besan)

Mesquite flour

Quinoa bran

Psyllium husks

Rice bran

Pasta (all pastas containing legume flour e.g. soya, pea [chana], split pea [dhal], lentil, chickpea [besan], mung bean or lupin flour) preferably as one of the first three ingredients.

Gnocchi (potato, rice or maize with added vegetables) (read labels)

Shogun Chinese vermicelli mung bean noodles (made from mung bean flour)

Soba noodles (buckwheat flour and seaweed)


Baked beans

All dry beans, peas, split peas, mashed split peas (dhal), lentils, ground lentils (urad/urid/urd), split lentils and chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lupin beans and mung beans, cooked or canned, as well as bean sprouts (alfalfa)

Rice and other cooked starches



Buckwheat, dehusked or toasted (Kasha)

Cassava (manioc)

Cooled mealie meal, mealie rice and samp

Corn on the cob

Corn rice (whole sorghum)



Spekko Americana rice, long grain, parboiled

Spekko Basmati rice, white

Spekko brown rice

Spekko white rice, long grain, parboiled

Sushi (containing seaweed)

Tastic Nature’s white rice

Tastic Nature’s brown rice (formerly known Old Mill Stream rice)

Sweet corn, fresh

Sweet potato (purple skin)

Whole corn, canned and frozen

Wild rice

  • Fruit


Grapefruit, naartjies, oranges, lemons, limes, etc.

Deciduous and berries

Apples, cherries, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, strawberries and other berries

Other fruit

Prickly pears, figs, kiwi, grapes (control portions), guavas, mango (control portions), pomegranate, quince and rhubarb

Canned fruit

All of the above in fruit juice

Pie apples (unsweetened)

Dried fruit

All of the above

Safari sugar free fruit flakes

Fruit bars

Safari Just Fruit bars

Montagu mixed dried fruit bar

Dried fruit rolls

Safari apricot, guava, mango and berry (sugar free)

Fruit juice

Watch portion sizes! Only 125 ml at a time.

130+ Fruit juice

Apple juice and Appletiser

Ceres Cloudy Apple and Pear, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Secrets of the Valley

Ceres Plus Carrot and Pawpaw, Cranberry and Rooibos

Fresh grapefruit juice and fresh orange juice

Lemon juice

Liquifruit Mango and Orange, Peach and Orange


Qualilite fruit juices

The Juice Factory juices

Tomato juice

  • Vegetables

Most cooked and raw vegetables, including butternut (except those that are intermediate or high GI)

  • Sugars and snacks


All artificial sweeteners

Infinite Life low GI sugar

Fructose (not advised to be added to food or drinks)



Isomaltulose (Palatinose)











Home-made low fat popcorn


Instant pudding made with low fat milk

Just Popcorn

Popcorn Affair, lightly salted

Pouyoukas popcorn

Sweets (boiled and jelly type), sweetened with the above low GI sugars

Yotti’s low GI Turkish delight

Jams and syrups

Agave nectar

Thistlewood low GI jams and compotes

Naturlite fruit spreads

  • Drinks

Bmax Tone-a-Lean

Brookes Lo-Cal cordial and other artificially sweetened cordials and cold drinks

Dairy Blend, dairy fruit juice blend

Diabetic Plus mini meal replacement

Diabetorange squash

Energade Champs


Glucema SR

Iced tea lite

Infinite Life Belgian hot chocolate in low fat milk/fat free milk

Infinite Life energy drink, all flavours

Infinite Life kids’ flavoured milk, in low fat/fat free milk

Infinite Life milk modifier

Infinite Life milkshake, all flavours, in low fat/fat free milk

Infinite Life slimmers’ hot chocolate in low fat/fat free milk

Infinite Life slimmers’ hot chocolate, white, in low fat/fat free milk

Junglevite juice

Mageu Number 1

Mineral water, flavoured, lite

Mnandi Amahewu

Nativa Replace diabetic shake

Nativa Replace soya shake

Nesquick in low fat/fat free milk

Nomu sugar free hot chocolate


Nutren Diabetes/fibre

Nutri Ice Tea

Nutri Shake, vanilla and chocolate

Soya Life drink

Soya milk and yoghurt, low fat (read labels)

Soya milk powder, low fat

SPP Insta-drink


Tropika da Lite


What is the Glycemic Index?


The glycemic index encompasses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid and persistent elevation in blood sugar. The reference point is pure glucose, which has a GI of 100.  The greater the GI of a food, the higher the correlated insulin response.

What is Glycemic Load?

The Glycemic Load takes into account the quantity of carbohydrate being consumed and how this is reflected in  the glycemic response. By definition, the glycemic index compares equal quantities of carbohydrate. In 1997 the concept of glycemic load was introduced by researchers at Harvard University to quantify the overall glycemic effect of a typical portion of  a given food.  Thus, the glycemic load of a food reflects the glycemic index, but is simply adjusted to reflect a typical portion of that particular item. The higher the GL, the greater the expected elevation in blood glucose and the insulin response that will follow.

How does the Glycemic Index affect me?

Whether you are sick, well, overweight, metabolically compromised, experiencing brain issues, or just want to preserve your mental wellbeing, understand that the Glycemic Index plays a pivotal role.  Choose foods with a lower GI while making sure they are gluten-free. This will maintain healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin. These are the keys to enhancing general health as well as brain health and function.