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The Low-Glycemic Index Diet: Preferred Choice for Weight Loss

A 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 fat, 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.

Foods 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.

Benefits of Relying on Low Glycemic Diet

Increasing Low GI Foods in Diet


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.

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.



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