The Low-GI Diet is based solely on the glycemic index – a measure of the effects carbohydrates have on the body’s blood sugar levels. If the carbohydrates contained within a food item take a long period of time to break down when digested, then the food item has a low GI number. Conversely, if the item breaks down quickly and the glucose is released rapidly into the bloodstream, then the item has a high GI level.
As a concept, the glycemic index isn’t that old. It was developed and released in 1980 by Dr. David Jenkins. Here are 10 facts about a low GI diet you should know:
- Naturally, the Low-GI Diet arose as a way to control the body’s blood sugar levels.
- On a Low-GI Diet, you can accomplish weight loss by providing your body with fewer calories, fewer carbs, and allowing the body to fuel itself using fat reserves (in part).
- None of the carbs ingested on this diet are going to be stored as new fat. They will burn off as energy (the idea being to expend more energy than you take in, thus forcing the body to burn already accumulated energy and thus equaling weight loss).
- Health benefits of eating foods with lover GI leve are a lower blod sugar level and effective weight loss. Living a healthier lifestyle is also helpful to combat against cardiovascular disease, stroke and even cancer.
- Stabilization of blood sugar levels for longer periods of time.
- You feel longer energized, sleep better, and lose weight more effectively.
- Through a stabil blood sugar level you won’t be plagued with those usual snack cravings and hunger pangs.
- You feel full and satisfied which prevents you from eating to much.
- Adding foods that are rich in fiber and a wide range of different foods to your diet will provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals you need.
- A low GI Snack a few hours before your workout helps you to keep your energy levels for your training high.
There are three GI classifications – Low, Medium and High. Obviously, with this type of diet, you only want to eat those foods with a low level. Even the medium, although not as bad as the high-level foods, should still be avoided where possible.
A rule to follow:
if the food is in the Low category, then it’s okay to eat. If it’s in the High category, then you should unequivocally stay away from it. If it’s in the Medium category, generally avoid it – but an occasional slipup or indulgence isn’t the end of the world.
Foods with a high GI are measuring 70 and above. These foods include:
- Potatoes, Watermelon, White flour (bread, muffins, pizza dough, etc), White Rice, Corn flakes and other extruded breakfast cereals, dates, pumpkin, parsnips, and any type of junk food, glucose, etc.
As stated, foods with a medium GI aren’t that “bad.” You should still stick only to the low-GI foods, ranging from 56 to 69 on the list. Included here are:
- Whole wheat foods, Sweet potatoes, Beats, Corn, Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Figs, Most food items containing sucrose, etc.
Now, this is what we’re looking for – low-GI goods. Any food measuring 55 or less on the GI list is considered okay to eat. These foods include:
- Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Green peas, Chickpeas, Yoghurt, Milk, Pastas, Broccoli, Cabbage, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Bell peppers, Carrots, Cherries, Grapefruit, Prunes, Apricots, Apples, Plums, Pears, Strawberries, And virtually any “low-carb” food that you’ll find, Meats of all types are also included as low-GI foods, including red meat, poultry, fish, and even soy products like tofu
Low-GI exercise program
For a low-GI exercise program, we’re looking to be quite active. You want to start expending more energy since you will still be ingesting carbohydrates for fuel. If you were limiting these like with other diets, then exercise wouldn’t be that crucial of a component. However, we’re going to need to work out on this diet, so be sure to start a regimen.