Showdown: White Rice vs. Coca Cola vs. Gatorade vs. Brown Rice

Fasting alone isn't going to solve your health problems. If you fast one day, then load yourself up with junk food for the rest of the week, your chances of experiencing positive health outcomes is going to be severely diminished. In other words, you can't fast and eat your cake too.

One of the biggest obstacles to eating healthy is ingesting foods with a high glycemic index (GI) value. The glycemic index rating is measure of how quickly the carbohydrates in your foods digest.

The higher the GI value, the worse the food or drink is for you. High GI value foods essentially break down into sugars quickly, which creates an insulin spike your bloodstream. This can trigger diabetes, clog your arteries, and cause other health problems.

The University of Sydney in Australia maintains the website http://www.glycemicindex.com/. It's a fantastic resource that you can use to search for the GI values of foods (the search is right on the home page). GI values above 55 are considered bad for you.

Here's the results from our showdown (all verified on the Univ. of Sydney site):

89 - Long Grain White Rice
78 - Gatorade (this amazed me)
76  - Medium Grain White Rice
63 - Coca Cola
48 - Uncle Ben's Brown Rice

This blew me away. First I never knew that Gatorade was worse than Coca Cola. It's amazing how much Gatorade is marked as a "health" drink and sanctioned by "athletes". 

And you are better off drinking a can of Coca Cola than you are eating Long Grain White Rice. Based on these results, if you eat a cup of white rice, you're essentially drinking 1.3 cans of coca cola (which has 38 grams of sugar).   (The Singapore times published this article which does a great job of explaining this.)

Hope you all have a low GI week.

Happy Fasting,
Prasanth