Low Glycemic Index (GI) Diet – Good for Weight Loss and Diabetes

The Glycemic Index (GI)

The Glycemic Index (GI) was devised about 20 years ago when researchers looked closer at the dietary recommendations for diabetics; which was to eat more complex carbohydrates (starch) because they took longer to process and digest than simple carbohydrates (sugar).   What the researchers discovered was that the effect of a carbohydrate on blood-glucose levels was not determined by the sugar or starch. We now know that the effect chocolate has on blood-glucose is actually lower than potatoes ( this doesn’t mean chocolate is healthy). The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking (from 1 to 100) which measures the effect of a food on your blood-glucose level over the two hours after the food is eaten. You get a bell-shaped curve when you eat food containing carbohydrates; the blood-glucose rises and as your body produces insulin it pushes the glucose out of the blood and into tissues, and then you see the blood-glucose level falling. When eating high The Glycemic Index (GI) foods, you get a very high bell curve response with a dramatic drop. With a Low- Glycemic Index GI Food, there is a slower and steadier rise in the Blood-Glucose Level.

Effects of  Low – Glycemic Index (GI) Foods

Very high glucose levels after meals, called glucose spikes, are damaging to our arteries and various blood vessels, and they promote far too much insulin to be around. Eating Low Glycemic Index (GI) foods means you avoid those spikes and dramatic falls in Blood-Glucose so you get a much steadier stream of energy. You, therefore, reduce your risk of Heart Disease and other chronic diseases that are implicated by those Blood-Glucose fluctuations.

Low – Glycemic Index (GI) Foods and Weight Loss

High GI Foods are bad for weight control for two reasons:-

  • The Glucose Spikes stimulate hunger because you are getting that dramatic drop in glucose, 90 minutes to two hours after eating.
  • Insulin is a storage hormone that stockpiles Nutrients for later use by the body. A High- Glycemic Index (GI)diet causes a lot of insulin to be produced and when you have too much insulin in your body too much of the time, it makes it easier to store fat and harder to burn it.

Using The Glycemic Index (GI) in diet plans is based on the concept that low-glycemic foods are more satisfying than High-Glycemic Foods. Low-GI Foodstake longer to absorb and help dieters feel full longer, so they are less likely to overeat. High-GI foods break down faster, leaving you hungry and less satisfied.

Benefits of Low Glycemic Diet

Most, but not all, foods on the lower end of the GI scale tend to be healthier, nutrient-rich, less processed, and higher in fiber — such as whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans. Foods high in fiber can be very filling, especially when paired with Protein. “When you focus on choosing Low-GI Carbs along with lean protein and healthy fats, you will naturally crowd out many of the less nutritious, High GI Foods and Lose Weight,”

Advantages of  Low – Glycemic Index (GI) Diet

  • Lower blood sugar levels.
  • Lower HbA1c.
  • Reduce “highs” and “lows”.
  • Help to lose weight.
  • Reduce your risk of Heart Disease.

Ranking of food as per Glycemic Index

ranked by the Glycemic Index are given scores:

  • High: 70 and up. Examples include instant white rice, brown rice, plain white bread, white skinless baked potato, boiled red potatoes with skin and watermelon.
  • Medium: 56 to 69. Examples include sweet corn, bananas, raw pineapple, raisins and certain types of ice cream.

Low: 55 and under. Examples include raw carrots, peanuts, raw apple, grapefruit, peas, skim milk, kidney beans and lentils

Low – Glycemic Index (GI) Foods

Yogurt low-fat (sweetened)                   14                     Pears                                                   38

Peanuts                                                           15                     Tomato soup, tinned                    38

Artichoke                                                       15                     Haricot beans, boiled                  38

Asparagus                                                     15                     Plums                                                  39

Broccoli                                                          15                     Ravioli, meat filled                       39

Cauliflower                                                    15                     Carrots, cooked                            39

Celery                                                             15                     *Snickers bar                                  40

Cucumber                                                     15                     Apple juice                                      41

Eggplant                                                       15                     Wheat kernels                                  41

Green beans                                                15                     Spaghetti, white                             41

Lettuce, all varieties                              15                     Black-eyed beans                          41

Low-fat yogurt, artificially sweetened      15              All-Bran                                          42

Peppers, all varieties                             15                     Peaches                                               42

Snow peas                                                  15                     Chickpeas, tinned                            42

Spinach                                                       15                     Oranges                                                44

Young summer squash                        15                     Lentil soup, tinned                         44

Tomatoes                                                  15                     Carrot juice                                       45

Zucchini                                                    15                     Macaroni                                           45

Soya beans, boiled                                16                     Pineapple juice                               46

Cherries                                                    22                     Rice, instant                                       46

Peas, dried                                              22                     Grapes                                                  46

Milk, chocolate                                     24                     Grapefruit juice                                48

Pearl barley                                           25                     Multi grain bread                             48

Grapefruit                                               25                     Rice, parboiled                                 48

Milk, whole                                            27                     Baked beans, tinned                        48

Spaghetti, protein enriched           27                     Porridge, non-instant                     49

Kidney beans, boiled                        29                     *Chocolate bar; 30g                        49

Lentils green, boiled                         29                     Jams and marmalades                   49

Soya milk                                              30                     Whole grain                                         50

Apricots  (dried)                                 31                     Barley, cracked                                 50

Milk, Fat-free                                      32                     *Ice-cream (low- fat)                      50

Milk ,skimmed                                     32                     Yam                                                         51

Fettuccine                                            32                     Orange juice                                          52

*M&Ms (peanut)                                32                     Kidney beans, tinned                        52

Chickpeas                                             33                     Lentils green, tinned                         52

Rye                                                         34                     Kiwi fruit                                                53

Milk, semi-skimmed                       34                     *Pound cake                                         54

Vermicelli                                           35                     Bananas                                                  54

whole wheat                                       37                     Sweet potato                                       54

Apples                                                  38                     *Crisps                                                    54

*high in empty calories **low-calorie and nutritious foods

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