The low glycemic index (GI) diet is based on the consumption of low Glycemic Index (GI) foods that reduce blood sugar levels, leading to weight loss. It also reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Lifestyle-related diseases have reached epidemic levels in recent times. You can avoid health complications such as being overweight and prevent type 2 diabetes simply by changing your diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise.
Food is composed of three main elements: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You need all these elements to stay healthy. The most important thing is to choose the carbohydrates that give you the best vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Processed foods tend to be high in carbohydrates, but very low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, giving carbohydrates a bad reputation.
Choosing fewer processed carbohydrate foods and being careful about how much you eat can make a big difference to your blood glucose and overall health.
What is Glycemic Index and Why does it Matter?
The Glycemic Index (GI) system was developed at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, where the Glycemic Index Foundation has brought about a paradigm shift in the approach to diseases related to healthy eating and lifestyle.
This research has given the motivation to many people all over the world to change the way they choose carbohydrate-based foods, especially cereal-based foods.
Professor Brand-Miller and his team of nutrition experts have taken the Glycemic Index – which ranks carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.
The results of their research show for the first time in the world how we can use the Glycemic Index to have a positive impact on weight control, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes prevention.
What are the main types of carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates come in three main forms :
foods rich in uncooked starch:
-Starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, lima beans, and potatoes,
Dried beans, lentils and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and split peas
-Cereals such as oats, barley, rice, wheat, and others.
-Whole grains are just that, the whole plant that has been harvested and dried with little processing.
They provide fiber as well as essential vitamins, including vitamins B and E, and other minerals necessary for optimal health.
-Refined cereals are processed to remove the healthiest parts, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
There are two main types of sugars
-Natural sugars, such as those found in milk or fruit.
-Sugars added during processing, such as fruit canned in a heavy syrup, sugar added to make a cookie, and table sugar.
Fiber is found in plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils). Fiber is like your body’s natural scrub brush, it passes through your digestive tract and carries with it many harmful substances.
Eating foods high in fiber can improve your digestion, lower your blood sugar, and lower your risk of heart disease.
Good sources of dietary fiber include:
Beans and legumes. Black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chickpeas (garbanzos), white beans, and lentils.
Fruits and vegetables (for example, apples, celery, and beans)
Whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain bread.
When you eat food containing carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks down digestible carbohydrates into sugar, which enters the bloodstream.
The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100 based on how quickly and to what extent they raise blood sugar levels after eating.
Foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, are quickly digested and cause large fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index, such as whole oats, are digested more slowly, resulting in a more gradual increase in blood sugar levels.
Foods with a low glycemic index have an index of 55 or less, and foods graded 70 to 100 are considered high glycemic index foods. Medium foods have a Glycemic Index of 56-69.
some example foods include:
- Low Glycemic Index (less than 55) examples include soy products, beans, fruit, milk, pasta, grainy bread, porridge (oats), and lentils
- Medium Glycemic Index (55 to 70) examples include orange juice, honey, basmati rice, and wholemeal bread.
- High Glycemic Index (greater than 70) examples include potatoes, white bread, and short-grain rice.
Glycemic Index Values
The GI value of a food is determined by giving people a serving of the food that contains 50 grams of carbohydrate minus fiber and then measuring the effect on their blood glucose levels over the next two hours.
Glycemic Index in relation to Glycemic Load
Since the glycemic index is based strictly on the number of carbohydrates, basing a dietKETO Trim jump-start Ketosis on these numbers means that we do not take into account the quantity of food eaten, or the quality of other foods such as proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to determine the true health value of a food.
To counter the problem of quantity, researchers have developed the glycemic load measure, which accounts for the amount of food consumed.
The glycemic load looks at both the quality and quantity of the carbohydrate. It is calculated by multiplying the GI by the number of carbohydrates (in grams) and then dividing that number by 100.
For example, an apple has a glycemic index of 40 and contains 15 grams of carbohydrate. (40 x 15)/100 = 6, so the glycemic load of an apple is 6, which is considered a low glycemic index food.
The GI Diet
GI diets generally use the glycemic index as the primary guide for meal planning. The goal is to eat foods that will not cause large sugar spikes. it is to encourage you to replace high-glycemic Index foods with lower-glycemic index foods. The term “glycemic index diet” generally refers to a specific eating plan that uses the index as the main or only guides for meal planning.
Unlike some other plans, a glycemic index diet does not necessarily specify portion sizes or the optimal number of calories, carbohydrates, or fat for weight loss or weight maintenance. High glycemic index foods are generally white processed foods, rich in carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, cereals, and cakes.
When these carbohydrates are broken down, they release glucose into the bloodstream, causing a dramatic increase in blood glucose levels. The body responds to this by producing a surge of insulin to bring the sugar back into the blood. As a result, your body thinks its sugar level is low and you start to feel hungry very quickly.
GI diet is a meal plan based on how food affects your blood glucose levels. The glycemic index is more like a carbohydrate tool to guide your food choices. Eating low-glycemic Index foods such as whole grains, beans, nuts, and vegetables slowly releases energy, which helps prevent high sugar levels and slows the afternoon lows.
Choosing low-GI foods encourages the body to digest food much more slowly, so your body can burn more fat, feel full longer, and have more energy throughout the day. limit your intake of refined cereals such as white bread, white rice, and pasta and increase your fiber intake.
Lightly steam your vegetables to retain as much fiber as possible or eat them raw. Light steaming is also one of the best cooking methods for preserving vitamins in food. You can also lower the glycemic index of your meal with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
Results from a 2009 study showed that long-term adherence to a low- glycemic index diet can induce favorable metabolic effects. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is important for weight loss.11
Who can Benefit From the GI Diet?
This diet can be helpful to anyone wishing to:
- Lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthier diet and prevent chronic diseases
- Control blood sugar levels as a part of a diabetic regimen
is generally a stronger predictor of glycemic response than the glycemic Index. Research shows that for most people with diabetes, the best tool for managing blood glucose levels is carbohydrate counting.
A low-GI diet can help people with diabetes control their blood glucose levels. A 2020 study showed that there was a significant reduction of truncal obesity and glycated hemoglobin in patients with type 2 diabetes on a low-glycemic index diet.2
By controlling the glycemic index of our food but especially their glycemic load, the objective is not to completely eliminate carbohydrates from our diet.
After all, it is carbohydrates that provide energy to our brain, organs, and muscles during physical activity. Our carbohydrate needs are therefore important for our fitness and well-being. The general rule is to eat a diet with a low glycemic index.
Remember that the general rule of thumb is that in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. The best way to lose weight is to combine a reduction in calories in your diet and combine this with increased physical activity and exercise. Choosing foods based on a glycemic index or glycemic load value will help you manage your weight.
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor or health care provider before starting a diet, especially if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes.
References:-Gabriela Radulian, Emilia Rusu, Andreea Dragomir, and Mihaela Posea, Metabolic effects of low glycaemic index diets, 2009 Jan 29. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-8-5, PMID: 19178721  Nivedita Pavithran, Harish Kumar, Arun Somasekharan Menon, Gopala Krishna Pillai, Karimassery Ramaiyer Sundaram, and Omorogieva Ojo, The Effect of a Low GI Diet on Truncal Fat Mass and Glycated Hemoglobin in South Indians with Type 2 Diabetes—A Single Centre Randomized Prospective Study Published online 2020 Jan 8. DOI: 10.3390/nu12010179, PMID: 31936428