Saturday, August 31, 2013

Revised International Table of Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) Values—2008

People will want to know more about the glycemic load (GL) which is a way to count the impact of the allowable carbohydrates in a GAPS diet on ones glucose blood levels and eventually on ones waist size. Lets face it, if you go on GAPS diet and you have carbohydrate cravings you may load up on the allowable foods that are primarily carbohydrates, and you can get more symptoms and even gain weight. If you were overweight, and you were hoping to lose weight, you would say the diet doesn't work, and you would give up. The higher the blood glucose, the higher the insulin goes, and the higher the IGF a hormone that promotes inflammation, the basis of most of the symptoms and symptoms complexes/diseases associated with celiac and gluten sensitivity. 

There is a limit to how much carbs are allowable.To stop the cycle of inflammation, and carbohydrate cravings, I advise people to eat less than 25 points of the GL list, over the entire day. 

Thanks to a naturopathic doctor colleague  Dr. Mireille Fanous, I have been introduced to a definitive table produced by Professor Jennie Brand Miller of the University of Sydney. This work is an extension of the work of Dr. Jenner of the University of Toronto, Canada who is credited with the development of the glycemic index (GI), or impact of food on blood glucose.

David Mendosa works to defeat diabetes and has published Prof. Brand Millers' list of  2,480 food products and their GI and GL. This list will help guide you on choosing foods and their amounts that would be healthy.

This is the definitive table for both the glycemic index and the glycemic load. I am able to reproduce it here courtesy of the author, Professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney. It is based on a table in different format but no more foods published December 2008 in Diabetes Care. However, only the abstract is free online there.

GI of 55 is low; GL of 10 is low.

This table includes the glycemic index and glycemic load of more than 2,480 individual food items. Not all of them, however, are available in the United States. They represent a true international effort of testing around the world.

The glycemic index (GI) is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A list of carbohydrates with their glycemic values is shown below. A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

The glycemic load (GL) is a relatively new way to assess the impact of carbohydrate consumption that takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things to understand a food's effect on blood sugar. That is where glycemic load comes in. The carbohydrate in watermelon, for example, has a high GI. But there isn't a lot of it, so watermelon's glycemic load is relatively low. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 inclusive is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low.

Lots of foods on the list are packaged foods and not sold in Canada, however it gives you an idea how a similar food product would impact your health. 

If you want to know more about how carbohydrates including fructose found in fruit causes chronic illness, watch this superb video by Dr. Lustig from University of California, San Francisco, called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth!"

To Your Health.
Dr. Barbara

Friday, August 30, 2013

GAPS-Friendly Fig Newtons!

Here is another, in a series of dessert recipes that are GAPS friendly: Fig Newtons! It's a sweet, delicious and filling snack! 

A little bit goes a long way. I suggest most people keep their glycemic load total to less than 25 points total a day to stay well. Three figs totals 16 points. 1/6 of this recipe is 16 points. There is not much room for much fruit for the rest of the day, but it's so worth it!

For more information on the glycemic load and how to calculate your food's impact on your insulin level, see

Fig Spread:
1 pack of cut up dried figs (18-20 figs)
1 cup water

Cookie Dough:
2/3 cup tallow or butter
1/3 cup honey (it can be replaced with stevia to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups almond flour or other nut flour, like coconut
½ tsp salt
freshly ground nutmeg (optional)

Soak 1 pack of cut up dried figs in water over night and/or simmer until soft and process until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350°F and combine butter, honey, vanilla, baking soda, almond flour, salt, and nutmeg (optional) in food processor until they form a ball. Wrap in wax paper and cool in refrigerator for easier handling.
Roll out half of the dough (or press) into a pie pan or cake pan for the bottom layer.
Spread the fig spread on the layer and roll out the rest of the dough for the top of the crust between two pieces of wax paper floured with your nut flour, for easier handling.
Flip on top of fig filling and bake for about 12-15 minutes until light brown.

Take a break and enjoy your GAPS friendly Fig Newtons!

To Your Health,
Dr. Barbara

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A GAPS Friendly Very, Berry Cream Flan!

The theme for the last few blogs have been recipes for desserts. Here's another one, no one will ever guess this flan/pie is made with coconut milk, it's so rich. 

You can personalize your flan by choosing the berry of your preference. I have made one with blueberries and the other with raspberries.

Raspberry Cream Flan
Ingredients for two flans:
Crust enough for two flans:
1 1/2 cup flaked or shredded, unsweetened coconut (without sulfites)
6 pitted Medjool dates
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Topping for two flans:
4 cups coconut milk
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
¼ cup honey
10 drops stevia
Blueberry Cream Flan
4 tsp grated lemon and orange rind
2 tsp vanilla
1 pack of gelatin
1 1/2 cups organic berries of your choice

In food processor, combine the ingredients for the crust, in the order written, pulsing after each addition. Press into bottom of a square cake pan, springform, or flan pan. Sprinkle with berries. 

Using the same food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth and slightly fluffy. Pour over berries.

Bake in 350°F/180° oven for 60-70 minutes or until golden.

This berry cream flan can be served warm or cold. One pie makes 12 servings. 

To Your Health, 

Dr. Barbara

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No Bake Chocolate Strawberry Un-Cheesecake! Sweet Summer!

This cheesecake, which has no cheese in it, is so easy, and so tasty you will be making this for every social event you go to or arrange. It requires no baking, but does requires some advanced preparation: 1 hour to soak the cashews and 2 hours in the freezer. Let it thaw slightly before serving. This is a real hit!

This recipe can be made GAPS friendly for those of you who are doing GAPS and have not yet controlled all the inflammatory symptoms. For some people, it can take years of eating GAPS, or there has been an insult to the bowel and one has to start GAPS "level one" all over again. 

To make it GAPS friendly or if you are avoiding cocoa, maybe because you are allergic to chocolate, you can replace cocoa with more organic strawberries and it will still taste fantastic.

1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup pitted Medjool dates
2 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup 
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced organic strawberries - or 1 package Swanson's Organic Strawberries soaked until soft.
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/4 cup cocoa powder or 1 cup sliced organic strawberries if avoiding cocoa.

Place cashews in a large bowl and cover it with cold water. Soak for 1 hour. Drain.
Grease 8 inch spring form pan with coconut oil
Place walnuts, shredded coconut, and salt in blender and pulse to combine. Drop dates in one at a time. Make sure to take the pits out of the Medjool dates. Continue processing until the mixture holds together when pressed between your fingers. Press the crust firmly into bottom of the pan.

  1. Combine the cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup, water, vanilla and salt and process in the same blender without cleaning, until smooth and creamy.
  2. Divide between 2 bowls
  3. Pour half back into the blender, add strawberries and lemon juice and process until smooth.
  4. Stir the cocoa powder into the other half of the filling
  5. Drop 2-3 tablespoons of the filling into the crust, alternating between the strawberry and chocolate in a checkerboard fashion. Tap the pan on the counter from time to time to keep it level. Continue until all the filling is in the pan. If you like, insert a butter knife into the filling and give it a quick swirl.
  6. Place into freezer until cheesecake is set for about 2 hours. 
  7. Remove from freezer, remove the ring from spring form pan and store in refrigerator before serving!
For true GAPS, avoid cocoa:  Ignore step 2,3,4 and 5. After step 1, add 2 cups of organic strawberries, blend and pour the blended mixture into the prepared pan. Proceed to step 8 and 9.

I hope you enjoy your no bake strawberry un-cheesecake as much as I did!

To Your Health.
Dr. Barbara