Simple Steps To A Low Glycemic Index Diet
Have you read about this recently? over the
last 30 years, research into food and blood glucose response has completely
changed our carbohydrate classification system.
It has been learned that it is impossible to
predict the impact on blood glucose levels by certain foods, instead people are
fed carbohydrate foods and the response measured.
This response is known as the Glycemic
Index (GI), it is a measure of how quickly carbohydrate foods are digested and
absorbed, and ranks carbohydrate foods according to their impact on blood sugar
(glucose) levels: as indicted by elevated
Foods with a high GI are absorbed quickly
into the blood stream and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. While foods
with a low GI are broken down more slowly over time and keep blood glucose
levels more stable (Remember that low is slow!).
Some carbohydrate foods will maintain your
energy levels for hours, while some may cause your blood glucose to rise and
fall. Different types of carbohydrate can also affect feelings of fullness in
the stomach and this can influence hunger and
your ability to control your body weight.
Why is the GI important?
When our blood glucose levels are stable we
have plenty of readily available fuel for the brain and muscles. If our blood
glucose levels drop too low (hypoglycaemia) we feel tired, dizzy and generally
unwell. If our blood glucose levels rise too quickly a rapid drop usually
Include low glycemic index foods in meals
and snacks to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream. A low glycemic
index snack a few hours before exercise will help maintain your energy levels
for more effective training.
After high intensity exercise (strength
training) a high glycemic index snack should be consumed within 30 minutes.
This will help to replace energy and start the recovery process.
Low-GI foods take longer to digest and help
delay hunger pangs that little bit more and thus promote weight loss. So please
choose your carbs carefully as this will lower your insulin levels and burn
more fat. The secret is to swap high GI foods with low GI foods.
Steps to a low GI diet
- Start with a healthy, well balanced and varied diet based on a
good nutrition program. The diet should be low in fats, moderate in
carbohydrate and protein. The program should be high in fibre and contain
a varied amount of foods to provide the required amount of vitamins and
- Look at the type of carbohydrates that you consume during the
day. Look at the carbs that you eat the most, as these will have the most
dramatic impact on your diet.
Try to change the carbs you eat the most
with at least one low GI one. (Replace potato with sweet potato, use noodles
instead of rice) By substituting half of your daily carbohydrate from high GI
to low GI will result in an overall reduction in the GI of your diet.
Reducing the GI in your diet reduces your
insulin levels and increases the fat burning apparatus in your body. Try to
reduce the high GI’s in your diet by substituting them with low GI’s.
Regular consumption of low GI foods
increases the feelings of fullness and satisfaction and so prevents weight
gain. Try taking in six small meals a day of healthy low fat low GI foods to
prevent overeating at meal times and control appetite.
Remember, that it is also important to look
at the calories in food to. Rice and bread might be low in fat but when your
body is burning the carbohydrates in these foods it doesn’t burn as much fat.
So if you are on a low fat diet, you wont lose as much weight if your calories
are still high.
Have a look at the table below for the
different GI food ratings.
Baked Beans (15)
W/M Bread (72)
Sweet corn (59)
Brown Rice (80)
Potato Chips (51)
Soy Beans (15)
All bran (51)
Baked Potato (98)
Compare these two menus and try to adjust
your diet accordingly.
High GI Menu
40 Grams of cornflakes with milk. Two slices
of whole meal toast with margarine and jam.
Two sweet biscuits with a white coffee.
Ham and salad whole meal Roll with an apple.
Four crackers with cottage cheese and chives
Serving of Roast chicken with a large baked
potato and peas. Small piece of cake.
Low GI Menu
Grams of bran with low fat milk. Two slices of low GI toast (Try Burgen) with
margarine and jam.
Two oatmeal biscuits with a coffee (Low fat
Ham and salad Roll (Low GI bread). Soft-serve
vanilla yoghurt with toasted muesli sprinkled on top.
Serving of Roast chicken with a small baked
potato and peas. Two scoops of low fat ice cream with half a cup of canned
Chicken, beef, fish, eggs, nuts, and
avocados contain very little or no carbohydrates. These foods if eaten by
themselves will not have much effect on your glucose levels and are very low
GI. Alcoholic beverages especially wine are also low GI so can be included in
your diet but remember to count them in your daily caloric intake.
In conclusion low GI foods are ideal for
losing weight due to the slow absorption from the stomach. Low GI foods also
help to keep blood sugar levels more stable and this has an effect on reducing
Gary Matthews is the author of the popular
fitness eBooks Maximum Weight Loss and Maximum Weight Gain. Please visit http://www.maximumfitness.com right
now for your ‘free’ weight loss or muscle building e-courses.