G.I. stands for Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index is a way of scoring different foods according to the effect they have on blood sugar levels, or more accurately, how quickly the sugars (carbs) in foods are absorbed.
Generally the lower the Glycemic index the better the food item will be at controlling blood sugar levels and appetite. This is because foods with a low Glycemic Index release the energy in a slow, steady manner; this in turn helps limit the body’s release of insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels).
The end result is blood sugar is regulated in a more natural way rather than the roller-coaster levels most people experience when a diet is made up of many processed and/or convenience, fast foods. The outcome is many G.I. dieters feel fuller for longer helping them to eat less food over the course of the day.
Some research indicates that a diet made up of many low G. I. foods can be a healthy way to lose weight permanently. With a few minor changes the G. I. diet is fairly easy to follow, by selecting foods with mostly low G.I. you can be on the G. I. Diet in no time.
The problem with modern foods
The problem with many modern foods on the market is many tend to be highly processed; they often contain lots of added sugar and salt, as well as preservatives. The high sugar content causes a rapid absorption of sugar, the body responds by releasing the hormone insulin. A large release of insulin eventually causes the blood sugar to crash, once again low blood sugar levels will trigger the appetite and the dieter feels hungry once more.
How works the G.I. diet
A standard Glycemic index score of 100 has been assigned for glucose. A G. I. index of 70 or above means sugar absorption is quick resulting in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, these are the types of foods which should be avoided or limited to very small portions and mixed with other low G.I. foods. A G.I. score of 69 down to 56 is considered medium G. I. Any foods with a score of 55 or less is classed as low and good for controlling sugar release.
The G.I Diet is not a miracle diet plan which guarantees permanent weight loss. Calories do count, which means that any food eaten in excess can still result in weight gain. A diet made up of mostly low G.I. foods can help the dieter regulate the appetite so they generally consume less energy over time. In reality the G.I. Diet is not a diet it’s really a healthy way of eating as many low G.I foods are generally natural and unprocessed. As a general rule many natural carbohydrate foods which are broken down gradually tend to be good or lower G.I. foods. Processed convenience foods loaded with added sugars are often high on the G.I. food chart.
How to incorporate G. I. foods into your dietary plan
Because we eat various types of foods every day it is impractical to eat all low G.I. foods. The overall balance of foods is more important and more realistic way to incorporate G.I. foods into a dietary plan. Below are examples of low and high GI foods.
Eating a low G.I. food along with a high G.I. food at the same meal will probably equal a medium G. I. index, so it may a good idea to make sure at least three-quarters of the meal is made up of lower G.I. foods. This could also mean that the odd junk food treat could still be enjoyed as long as the overall calories are still controlled enough to lose weight.
G.I. Food Lists :