Best Fruits: Lowest Sugar, Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load

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I received a great question from a Fat-Burning Machine Facebook follower. Rana asked about the list of fruits shown in the book, “Become a Fat-Burning Machine.” The question was:

Hi, do you have a more detailed fruit list on what is high/med/low sugar. The list in the book does not cover all the fruits. Thx!!!

In the book, I get people started with a chart of high-, medium- and low-sugar fruits. It is a starting point to help new Fat-Burners rein in sugar consumption. Notice that in the meal and snack guidelines, a serving of fruit is always paired with a meal, a protein food or fat. I did this to help keep the glycemic load of meals and snacks low.

Keeping food glycemic load low prevents insulin release (the fat-storage hormone.) Keeping insulin levels low is obviously an advantage.

You ask, “What is glycemic load?”

Glycemic Index

Before I tell you more about glycemic load, first I must tell you about glycemic index. Glycemic index is a measure of how much a particular food affects the body. The affects we’re concerned about include how much a particular food raises blood sugar, increases insulin secretion, stimulates the release of fat-storage hormones and affects the pancreas.

Bottom Line: You don’t have to remember all of the measures taken into consideration for glycemic index. The only thing you need to remember is that foods with a high glycemic index value will raise blood sugar quickly. A sharp rise in blood sugar causes a sharp response by the pancreas to release a large amount of insulin (the fat-storage hormone.)

Glycemic Load

Glycemic index alone is an incomplete story. It does tell you how quickly a food impacts blood sugar, but does not take into account how much of that food you have to eat (serving size) in order to have an impact on blood sugar levels. Scientists measure the glycemic load of food by taking the serving size in grams multiplied by the glycemic index of the food and dividing that value by 100. Foods with a glycemic load value of 10 or less are considered low glycemic load foods.

Watermelon, carrots and pumpkin are some examples of food that have a high glycemic index – but – because of the normal serving size of these foods, the glycemic load is low.

Keep in mind that both of the measures, glycemic index and glycemic load, are tallied when the food is consumed by itself. Eating a mixed meal will have an effect on the values. A side of fruit eaten with a Fat-Burning Machine lunch or breakfast will have a lower glycemic load than if that same fruit is consumed all by itself.

Bottom line: The glycemic load of any food is influenced by its glycemic index, the quantity of food consumed and what other foods are consumed along with that food. A serving of food that has a low glycemic load very slowly increases blood sugar, by a small amount. Foods with high glycemic load values quickly increase blood sugar values to very high levels. High glycemic load foods are notorious for causing sugar highs, followed by awful energy crashes.

Low Glycemic Load Fruits

If you have successfully become a Fat-Burning Machine and feel that you can stick with the principles I’ve outlined some 80- to 90-percent of the time, you’re ready to advance. You can add more fruit choices to your diet. I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised by what I am about to tell you.

Bottom line: You can consume any fresh fruit, in the quantity listed in the chart below. You read that correctly. All fresh fruits have a low glycemic load for a reasonable serving size. If you decrease serving size, you decrease glycemic load. Increase serving size and you increase glycemic load.

Quality, Quantity and Timing

For all of your fruit choices, choose the highest quality of fruit. High quality fruit is fresh or frozen whole fruit without any added sugars. Control the amount (quantity) of fruit you consume. Most of the time, keep fruit and other carbohydrates early in the day, before dinner.

Avoid dried fruits and fruit juices, especially those with added sugars.

If the chart below doesn’t have a fruit that you enjoy, let me know.

Best Fruits List

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Gale Bernhardt