When wanting to lose weight and maintain your weight, you need to be conscious of how many carbs you get into your diet daily. YES, you want vegetables, but many people mistakenly think of potatoes of any kind as an innocent vegetable. You need to get 4 small servings of vegetables a day (about half a cup of each serving), but if it is a STARCHY vegetable, not so much. You need to cut down the serving by half if it is carrots and you have to be aware that I gave up starchy vegetables altogether. Now, you can have them if you like, especially in maintenance, but be aware of what they do to your body.
First, the good they do. Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin C and potassium and a good source of folate, vitamin B6, and manganese. They also contain a fairly high concentration of antioxidant phytonutrients.
The problem with potatoes is that they are high on the glycemic index.
Estimated Glycemic Load of Potatoes
- ½ cup diced raw potato: 6
- 1 medium potato (2½ to 3½ inches in diameter; about 7.5 oz):17
- 1 large potato (3 to 4½ inches in diameter; about 13 oz): 29
- ½ cup mashed potato made with milk (no butter): 8
- ½ cup mashed potato made from dehydrated (instant) potatoes with milk: 7
- The glycemic index gives us an idea of which foods raise our blood glucose fastest and highest.
- BY COMPARISON: one serving of broccoli is 8, one serving of cauliflower is 1 , and spinach is 0.
Why is this important?
Many people have problems processing large increases in blood glucose. Having blood glucose that is too high, is on the road to diabetes and the way to correct this is to cut carbs and eat foods lower in glycemic index numbers.
- Eating pure glucose is given a ranking of 100 — all other foods are in relation to this. So a food with a glycemic index of 95 raises blood sugar almost as much as pure glucose, but a food with a glycemic index of 20 doesn’t raise blood sugar much at all. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that the glycemic index does not take portion size into account. The actual amount any food raises blood sugar has to do both with how glycemic it is, and how much of it you eat. The glycemic load attempts to combine these concepts, and some diets are using the glycemic load for this reason.
Vegetables LOW in carbs:
- Sprouts, alfalfa and other small seeds (sprouted legumes have more carb)
- Greens – lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.
- Hearty Greens – collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.
- Radicchio and endive count as greens
- Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- Bok Choy
- Bamboo Shoots
- Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)
- Cabbage(or sauerkraut)
- Cucumbers (or pickles without added sugars)
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash
So, eat your VEGGIES and choose wisely.
P.S. The carb content of the above mentioned items per serving:
cauliflower, brocoli 1-3g of carbs, spinach is 0-1 g of carbs and a potato is 35g for a medium potato. See the difference? If you want to stay skinny, you can’t have more than 50-100g of carbs a day. 35g is a lot for ONE item for the day.