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Healthy Eating

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Friday, November 13, 2009

I'll take a side of jicama please...


Jicama is a semi-sweet, root vegetable often found in Mexico. It's becoming more popular in the US- When Whole Foods has organic jicama, you know it's mainstream. Often, it's used as a replacement for potato dishes. That makes sense because it looks a lot like white potatoes!

Why not potatoes though? Although they have some nutritional value—Vitamin C (if you eat the skin), some minerals and a tiny bit of protein, white potatoes are mostly starch. Moreover, the glycemic load for potatoes is 29 out of 250 and the inflammation factor is -179 out of 50. Although, these are just numbers, essentially- potatoes spike your blood sugar and increase inflammation in the body.

Compare that to jicama with a GL of 2 and inflammation factor of 1. This means jicama doesn’t spike your blood sugar and it’s actually mildly anti-inflammatory. Not to mention, it tastes great and has all the minerals that potatoes have!

Glycemic load has recently been recognized as a more accurate factor for determining blood sugar effects, more than glycemic index.So, it's a key factor to look at if you're trying to lose weight, treat/prevent diabetes, or get on a healthier track. Jicama makes for a great replacement for white potatoes...it gives you a similar taste, texture, and nutrient value without the starchy bonus.