A complete guide and cookbook to selecting and using the best carbohydrates to lose weight, maintain blood sugar levels, and improve overall health.
Not all carbs are created equal. In fact, the latest dietary research shows that different carbohydrates have varying effects on the body, depending on the rate at which they raise blood sugar levels–also known as a food’s glycemic index (GI). Choosing a balance of foods that are low on the GI will speed weight loss and control diabetes, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease.
In The Good Carb Cookbook, Sandra Woodruff demystifies the carbohydrate confusion by explaining the real differences among carbohydrates (baked potatoes are high on the index, while sweet potatoes are low), and shares her secrets for eating low on the index. The book includes an invaluable table with hundreds of common foods and their glycemic index rating; more than two hundred recipes to get people cooking and eating low on the index; and tips to modify high-glycemic family favorites with low-glycemic ingredients, lose weight, maintain blood sugar, and achieve optimal health.
One bad carbohydrate can’t spoil the whole batch, but studies show that too many of the “wrong kinds” can lead to a slew of nasty health conditions, including obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Sandra Woodruff, author of several bestsellers (including Secrets of Fat-Free Cooking and Secrets of Cooking for a Long Life) goes far beyond the realm of breads and pastas to offer a comprehensive look at nutrition, followed by a trove of carbo-smart recipes. Healthy eating, Woodruff asserts, requires keen attention to the glycemic index (GI), “a ranking of foods based on their potential to raise blood sugar levels.” By choosing foods that rank low on the GI, and balancing higher GI foods with protein, she says, individuals will achieve better overall health. While the first section reads a bit like a college text (heavy with charts, grams, and serving sizes, plus all the numbers associated with the glycemic index), Woodruff gracefully applies this knowledge to real-life scenarios. Her meal-planning and dining-out tips accommodate a wide variety of eating habits and cuisines, with ample hints for hearty eaters, snackers, sweet-tooth sufferers, and those who enjoy international fare. More than 200 recipes include options for vegetarians, meat-and-potato types, adventurous chefs, and keep-it-simple cooks, without calling attention to any such stereotype. Two minor beefs: teaspoon and tablespoon appear in their unabbreviated forms, potentially making for easy errors; also, a fancy typeface makes reading the ingredients somewhat tricky. –Liane Thomas