What do we think at Gluten Free Cookies? Our cookies are not all carbs like most others cookies out there. You need to take into account the other ingredients in our cookies – protein, fats and fiber – that slow down or limit the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrates and do not let your blood sugar level spike. Overall, the glycemic load is reduced by all the other products in the cookies. We have many individuals that use these for meal replacements or physical performance in sports because these cookies maintain their energy without the crash. Want to know more? Read below.
The glycemic index, also known as GI, measures how a food containing carbohydrate raises blood glucose. Carbohydrate foods are ranked based on how they compare to a reference food. Glycemic Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the fastest rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose is used as a reference point and has a GI of 100. White bread is also used and has a GI of 70.
Meats and fats don’t have a GI because they do not contain carbohydrates.
A food with a high GI of glycemic effect raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI. A high glycemic index food is from 70 and above. Medium is from 56-69. Low is 55 or less.
Now that we understand glycemic index, we have to understand glycemic load. Yep, more technical names that sound alike. Glycemic load takes into consideration the combination of the glycemic index number and the amount you are eating.
GL = (GI x amount of carbohydrate) divided by 100
Two common examples are:
Apple: It has a GI of 40 and contains 15g of carbohydrate.
GL = (40 x 15)/100 = 6g
Potato: It has a GI of 80 and contains 15g of carbohydrate.
GL can be classified as low = 10 or less; medium = 11 to 19; high = 20 or more
There are several ways to lower the glycemic effect of food on your body. One way is to eat food low in carbohydrate. This can be effective, but many people find this difficult to do because they will lack energy. Another way is to choose a combination of high glycemic foods with low glycemic foods. One example of carbohydrate-containing foods with a low GI include dried beans and legumes (all non-starchy vegetables), and some starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, fruit, and many whole grain breads and cereals (like barley, whole wheat bread, rye bread, and all-bran cereal).
A more effective way is to choose sensible glycemic foods and combine them with protein and/or fats. This will reduce the effects carbohydrates will have on your body. Fat and fiber tend to lower the GI of a food. Usually, the more cooked or processed a food, the higher the GI. In many cases this is not always true.
There are other factors that can alter a food GI. All foods of the same type (rice for example) are not all the same GI because there are many different varieties. When a fruit or vegetable becomes riper, the GI is increased. Juicing can increase the GI of a food because the carbohydrate is free in suspension and not bound to fiber, a lower GI food. Mashing a potato increases the GI as opposed to a whole potato. How long a food is cooked also changes the GI – the longer it is cooked, the higher the GI.
What do we think at GlutenFreeCookies? Our goal is to get the glycemic index as low as possible while being able to achieve a delicious taste and texture, which is not an easy task.
First we use non-GMO stevia. It is a natural herb sweetener and has a glycemic index of zero. Nice – the benefit of sweetness with none of the bad effects. Just so you know, not all stevia herb products are created equal. Some have an aftertaste. We have gone to great lengths to create a cookie with no stevia aftertaste.
Our non-GMO Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and has a GI of 7, another plus for the sweetness without a bad effect on the body. In fact, it has some health benefits as well. It is known to reduce inner ear infections and also reduces the levels of decay causing bacteria in the mouth. Xylitol in our cookies has a glycemic load of 0.05 in each cookie.
Coconut nectar and crystals are another sweetener we use. These non-GMO, organic sweeteners are full of amino acids, essential minerals and, would you believe? Vitamin B! It is a raw product, which enables the enzymes to be enzymatically alive – better for your health. When this is digested, it does not turn into glucose. As a result, it is absorbed slowly. The primary portion of this sweetener is sucrose. Sucrose can be in many different forms, but when it remains unprocessed, as ours is, cofactors keep the glycemic index low – between 35-40. This nectar is harvested right from the trees and not processed, except reducing the moisture. Coconut nectar and coconut crystals in each of our cookies each has a glycemic load of 0.71.
Organic fair trade Sucanat is a whole unrefined cane sugar which contains iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, and chromium. It is made by crushing sugar cane and extracting the juice. Nothing is added or removed. It is the closest thing that you can get to eating the sugar cane itself. It is 55 on the glycemic index chart. Sucanat in our cookies has a glycemic load of 0.56 in each cookie.
Organic, non-GMO Brown Rice Syrup (gluten free) has not really been tested for a GI. There are those that say it has a GI of 25 and others say 98. We have tried our cookies on many individuals and monitored their blood sugar and have not had any unexpected effects. If we assume that it has a glycemic index of of 25, it would be 0.52. If it is 98, each cookie has a glycemic load of 2.05 for brown rice syrup.