Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The logic(or lackthereof) in modern foods

Last post I included my first table that analyzed the glycemic load of various foods per gram. If you were/are unfamiliar with glycemic load, it is basically a statistic used by diabetics to help them figure out what foods are causing them to have blood sugar spikes. Although i am not diabetic(there is a family history) I use the stat to try and steer clear of foods that even though they may taste good or have a lot of calories are placing too much stress on my body.

I posted the list last time of the best foods and fruit dominated the top of the rankings. Apples, pears, cherries, peaches, etc. Fruit has the best looking stats of any sugary food that you could place on your menu. There were also some surprises like yogurt, lentils, and Turkish soup.

Looking at the bottom of the list highlights just how much modern food processing is responsible for the current epidemic of diabetes that is going on in America(click on table for larger view).

Kellogg's corn flakes takes the bottom spot, not far behind are things like Rice crispies, grapenuts , power bars, vanilla wafers, shredded wheat, etc. Another food at the top of the list is the modern additive dextrose which is a form of pure sugar made from cornstarch. The only non modern foods are amaranth, and dried dates. Just for reference chocolate ice cream comes in at .2 GL/g vs .5 GL/g or higher for almost all of the breakfast cereals.

This begs the question of how can an apple be more efficient than human food makers? I think the answer lies in having thousands of years of feedback and having the right methods of selection. There may also be particular dimensions of modern food production that puts them all at the bottom list either by design or ignorance. There are a few possible dimensions of selection like $ profits, calories, quick energy, minimal prep time, long shelf life, and portability that I can think of at the moment, but I hope to analyze this more fully in the future.

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