One potato, two potato

The countdown is on and there is only a week to go until the 2010 Commonwealth Games kick-off (hopefully with all structures intact and athletes safe) in Delhi, India. I began a new venture 3 months ago as Sports Dietitian at the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) so I am surrounded by the buzz of excitement and anticipation.  Along with Clare Wood my fellow Dietitian at WAIS,  I have recently been involved with the Western Potatoes publication, FeelGoodFood which is published every quarter and available at most fresh food markets and supermarkets.  If you would like to check out the story featuring Western Australia’s champions, Pole Vaulter Steve Hooker and swimmer Eamon Sullivan click here. There is no doubt that potatoes are very useful as a recovery food for athletes (and for everyone else too).  Eating carbohydrate-rich foods like cereal, bread, pasta, potato and fruit at each meal is key to ensuring that your blood sugar levels are kept at an even keel.  Ever felt light headed or find yourself completely ineffectual at doing anything at all? That could be your body saying ‘Hello’, anybody there to feed me? As carbohydrate foods are digested and absorbed, our blood glucose level rises, promoting the release of insulin, which in turn, promotes the storage of glucose into cells and lowers blood sugar levels.  A way of classifying a carbohydrate food according to how quickly it’s digested and more importantly, how quickly it’s absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose, is know as the Glycemic Index (GI). Low GI foods are those with an index between 0-55, medium GI 55-70 and high GI foods 70-100, with glucose being the carbohydrate that is absorbed the speediest.  It is a great idea to choose mostly low to medium GI carbohydrates as this will keep you fuller for longer and help you avoid the seesaw effect of blood sugar levels that dash up and down leaving you tired and fatigued. No need for you to be part of the Commonwealth Games team for this to be useful. My fave potato dish is a whole potato in its jacket, cooked in the microwave and topped with baked beans and a little grated cheese.  Whats yours??