In a statement released last Friday, January 11th, Flower Foods of Thomasville, Georgia was announced as the “stalking horse bidder” for a variety of Hostess assets including the adolescent dietary staple Wonder Bread.
And, although the competitive bidding process will begin subsequent to court approval of the Hostess bankruptcy proceedings, Flower Foods anticipates the acquisition of the Hostess darling to be completed within a matter of weeks. An American icon lives! This is good news, right?
Although my inner child is certainly pleased by the potential resurgence of Wonder Bread, my more enlightened self is a little more skeptical. White breads similar to what the Wonder brand produces rank close to the top of the Glycemic Index (GI), a tool that measures how rapidly the body converts a specific type of carbohydrate into sugar.
When our body coverts carbs into glucose, our pancreas releases insulin to help usher the sugar into our cells that can utilize it as fuel. However, foods that rank high on the Glycemic Index are rapidly converted to glucose and the pancreas tends to overcompensate by producing an excessive amount of insulin, which, over time, can blunt or completely halt the body’s ability to efficiently clear glucose from our blood. The inability to combat the effect of high GI foods is a very bad thing that is directly associated with an increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and macular degeneration.
Further, a food system that promotes the production of overly processed, nutrient deficient foods and a diet that relies upon quick, easy meals exacerbate the problem and are directly linked to the alarming rate at which diabetes is crippling our people and our economy.
On the bright side, averting disaster is not as difficult as one might believe considering the magnitude of the aforementioned conditions.
Simply striving to eat foods that reside on the low end of the glycemic spectrum will help us avoid the wild swings in blood sugar and the onset of disease. A measure beyond the Glycemic Index, utilizing Glycemic Load (GL) as a guide is an even more accurate way to assess and limit the impact of our food choices. Further, Glycemic Load can be measured for any serving size, a meal, or an entire day’s meals, which may be more compatible with our complex eating behavior and our proclivity for mixing-and-matching our favorite foods.
Here is one of the most comprehensive GI lists I have stumbled upon that also provides GL figures and the method for calculating GL based upon the GI and serving size. I believe the Glycemic Index and calculations of Glycemic Load can be of immeasurable value in integrating more healthful foods while planning a low impact, sustainable diet to prevent the onset of disease.
I believe the best way to avoid the nutritional havoc that high GI foods wreak is to simply eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in the vitamins, minerals and fiber that are more healthful and are capable of reducing our dependence upon ‘snacky’ foods that may be harmful to our health.
Image Credits: Creative Commons photos by JeepersMedia and Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC