Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day of Reckoning

I have my little jokes, but it is serious business. Diet, nutrition. Right now just for the fun of it I'm reading a book on the link between diet and acne. Not my problem. Anymore. But adolescence was difficult. Yes, it's genetic, but diet is major. Stay away from dairy. And as with cardiovascular disease, it turns out to have a major inflammation factor. Omega-3, then. But that's not my point.

I'm taking my own advice, keeping track of what I eat. It's easy for me, since my tastes are simple. Just a few little jottings. Then I decided to actually plot out the glycemic load. It's a little embarrassing. But today was an odd day. You know those Trader Joe's granola bars? No sugar, all natural ingredients. Lots of "fruit juice" -- lots of "cane syrup". Plenty sweet. Tiny little bars, six to a box. It's easy, really it is, to eat the whole box, those six tiny little itty bitty bars. I roughed out the glycemic load: 23 grams of digestible carbs. A glycemic index value of aprox 70 -- estimated from other granola bars with posted values. We don't have to be too precise ... but a GL of about 95. That is. A lot. A boxload. A whole day's worth of GL. Remember? A day's worth typically ranges between 60 and 180, with the mean a tad below 100. Like, say, 95.

I don't always eat a whole box. Even so. GL of 16 per bar. That's a bowl of rice. Or take a bag of microwave popcorn. My other vice. No one eats a single serving. There are 2.5 "servings" in the bag. That, my friend, is marketing BS. "See? A serving of our wonderful popcorn is only a mere inconsequential 160 calories!!!" True. But the bag has two and a half "servings" -- and since I am a math genius, I'll just inform you that it amounts to 400 calories. Lies lies lies. The bag has a glycemic load, then, of 26. Adds up, don't it.

Well. Today was not a good day, then. I do have a scratchy throat. Missed out on my smoothie, too, my healthful berry smoothie. I'll rough out a GL score for that, too. Probably about 8. A whole big blender full of nutrition, for free, in terms of insulin. That's the easy thing about it. The really nutritious food is free. It's the crap that costs so much, metabolically. As I have said, the Lord appointed seven annual feasts unto the Hebrews. Seven pig-out days. The body can handle it. But for Americans, every day is a feast day. This is not actually the blessing some might suppose, especially since there is hardly ever any thankfulness that goes along with it.

It's not hard, estimating glycemic load. Most people only eat 10 different meals. The meat doesn't count, or the fat. It really is just the industrial carbs, and the hardcore starches -- potatoes and rice. After that it's just a matter of estimating the serving size, and that's simple too. About the size of your palm? (Palm, without fingers or thumb or wrist.) About the size of your fist? (Palm, with fingers and thumb -- twice as much.) So it's a little bit of figuring, and then you know it. It's like writing a check to pay a bill. Yes, it's a little bit of a hassle, having to spell out those words and know the date and sign your name. Such a chore. Then again, it's the price you pay to pay the price you have to pay.

A can of coke has a GL of 15. At least my granola bars have a nutrient somewhere in there.


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