Low carb meals quiz
Test your knowledge about carbohydrates, insulin resistance and low carb meals
How much do you know about carbohydrates?
If you have insulin resistance, you’ve probably read a lot about carbohydrates and what effect they have on insulin production. I thought I knew some basic truths about low carb meals, but in fact, since being diagnosed as insulin resistant and by researching this more fully, I’ve found out some surprising things!
If you’d like to know more, see how many of the following you get right…
With regard to insulin resistance – are the following statements true or false?
- The main thing to understand is the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates
- Eating fruit is a bad idea because it is full of fructose
- Brown/wholemeal versions of bread, rice and pasta are not much better for you than their white counterparts
- Foods that are labelled “high fiber” are not always good choices
- The Glycemic Index can help you decide which carbohydrates to include in your diet
- You can have coffee on a low carb diet
- Potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, cereals and all forms of sugar must be restricted, if not eliminated.
- False: this concept is outdated and just plain wrong! People think “simple” carbohydrates (sugars) are bad and “complex” carbohydrates are good for you. Most starchy food is quickly absorbed, raises your blood sugar immediately, causes excessive insulin production and makes you store fat. There are some exceptions – read on!
- False: although fruit does contain fructose, most fruit is low GI. It also contains nutrients – vitamins and minerals – which are good for us. And since you would only be likely to eat a single piece of fruit at a time, it is not going to cause a huge insulin spike. Berries are the best, apples and oranges are great too.
- True: sorry!! This was a huge surprise to me, but most wholemeal bread is highly processed. It is basically made with the same white refined flour, with some seeds thrown in to give it color and a tiny amount of fiber. Even brown rice has very little nutritional value. It is starch and it makes insulin resistance worse. White Basmati rice, on the other hand, is low GI. Rye and sourdough bread, made in traditional ways, are better choices than mass-produced bread of any kind.
- True: The bold claims are always prominently displayed on the packs – you need to read labels, especially for the sugar content. Breakfast cereals very often contain a lot of sugar.
- True: if you want to incorporate some carbohydrates into your diet, you can do so without causing excessive insulin production. Low GI foods will not raise your blood sugar too quickly – they are absorbed more slowly, making you feel fuller for longer. You should still watch your portion sizes, and don’t go overboard. Always try to strike a balance by eating plenty of vegetables or salad, some protein and a small serving of low GI carbohydrate.
- True: One or two cups a day is fine. But don’t have sugar in it! Fresh coffee is one of the best things in life
- False: Pasta, even white pasta, is OK in small doses – as long as it is cooked “al dente”. It has a lower GI than the other items in that list. Have it with a tomato-based sauce instead of a creamy one, and add plenty of meat and vegetables, with the pasta taking up a quarter of the plate or less. All the other things – yes, you should limit them, try to slowly get them out of your diet, or seek out the low GI versions and eat them sparingly.
By way of pre-empting some questions or doubts about the answers in this quiz, I have attached an audio below which is a podcast from a few years ago. It explains the concept of the Glycemic Index, and it outlines some of the information provided in the quiz answers, which you may not have otherwise believed! It’s an interview with Professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney, who has been responsible for testing a multitude of foods and compiling the lists of Glycemic Index values. Please listen to it – I have permission from Professor Brand-Miller to include it!Glycemic Index introduction