The Low-Glycemic Index Diet: Preferred Choice for Weight Loss
new study challenges the notion that a “calorie is just a calorie” by
finding that diets reducing the surge in
blood sugar after a meal are preferable for
weight loss, praising
the low-glycemic index diet. In order to keep energy expenditure at a high rate,
the study researchers suggest a low-glycemic load diet as a more effective way
to burn calories at a higher
rate after weight loss.
A low-glycemic index diet is made up of minimally processed grains,
vegetables, healthy fats, legumes and fruits. It comprises of 40% of daily
calories from carbohydrates, 40% from
and 20% from protein.
Low-glycemic index carbohydrates digest slowly, keeping blood sugar and hormones
stable after a meal as compared to low- fat and low-carbohydrate diet.
What is Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect our blood glucose levels.
This index measures how much your blood glucose increases in the two or three
hours after eating.
with carbohydrates that
break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the
bloodstream tend to have a high GI; foods with carbohydrates that break
down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, tend to
have a low GI. It basically about quality of the carbohydrates, rather than the
quantity. Thus, a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will
trigger a dramatic spike in blood glucose level. Foods that are considered low
on the glycemic index have a rating of 55 or lower.
The glycemic effect of foods depends on a number of factors such as the
type of starch (amylose versus amylopectin), physical entrapment of the starch
molecules within the food, fat and protein content of the food and organic acids
or their salts in the meal — adding vinegar, for example, will lower the GI.
|| GI range
||55 or less
||most fruits and vegetables;
legumes/pulses; some whole, intact grains; nuts; tagatose; fructose;
kidney beans; beets; chickpeas
whole wheat products, pita bread,
basmati rice, grapes, sucrose, raisins, pumpernickel bread,
cranberry juice, regular ice cream
||70 and above
white bread, most white rices, corn
flakes, extruded breakfast cereals, glucose, maltose, maltodextrins,
white potato, pretzels
Benefits of Relying on Low Glycemic Diet
Helps to keep your blood glucose levels under control. This is
especially important for people with
studies of large numbers of people with diabetes show that those who keep
their blood sugar under tight control best avoid the complications that this
disease can lead to.
Athletes and sports person people stand to benefit from Low GI Diet as
it assists good
A Low GI Diet offers a healthy variety without eliminating entire
classes of foods - like fat or carbs - so it's naturally more sustainable.
Increasing Low GI Foods in Diet
Fibrous foods digest more slowly, so your blood glucose levels won't
rise as quickly. Some examples include whole-grain breads and cereals,
fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Include good fats into your diet: Eat
fats with your
carbohydrates. Fat and protein will lower the glycemic index of the
carbohydrates you eat with them.
Boost Protein Intake: Eat foods that are higher in protein. Foods
such as eggs, lean meats and fish are good protein choices. Beans have the
added benefit of being good sources of protein and fiber, and they still
retain a low GI rating
Include fresh fruit or vegetables with your meals. Exchange half
your bowl of high-GI cereal for fresh berries will lower the glycemic index,
as will adding celery, broccoli, onion, spinach or peppers to your meal.
Add vinegar or lemon juice to foods whenever possible. Including
just a couple of teaspoons can lower the glycemic index of the meal 20 to 40
Increase intake of Foods in their natural form: Refining
processes alter the glycemic index of the food. The more you process or cook
a food, the higher the glycemic index becomes. While fruits have a low
glycemic index, fruit juice has a high glycemic index. Quick-cooked oats
have a higher glycemic index than slow-cooked. Fruits and vegetables tend to
have a low glycemic index. This also applies to carrots, which were
originally and incorrectly reported as having a high GI.
Switching from a high glycemic index diet to a low glycemic index diet can be
done easily. Switching white bread and pastas to whole grain, eating breakfast
cereals from oats, bran or barley, add more fruits and vegetables when cooking
and reducing potato consumption can all aid in lowering glycemic index.
Include fresh fruit or vegetables with your meals. Exchange half your bowl
of high-GI cereal for fresh berries will lower the glycemic index, as will
adding celery, broccoli, onion, spinach or peppers to your meal.
Dated 28 June 2012