Low Glycemic Diets
Low Glycemic Diets Begin with the Glycemic Index
There are many different types of Low Glycemic diet. It isn’t a specific strategy as much as a category of diets based on the same concept. Some of the most popular examples of this form of dieting include the original G.I. Diet, the Zone Diet, Sugar Busters and Nutrisystem.
The glycemic index is the main tool used by all diets in this category. It was first created to provide people with diabetes with a way to make better food choices for blood sugar level control. It just so happens that many people who get their blood sugar under control can also effectively lose their excess body weight.
What Is A Low Glycemic Diet?
Low Glycemic diets are essentially a form of low carb dieting. That said, it is a very specific type of low carb dieting, as it does not consider all carbohydrates to be equal. Its main focus is on the types of foods that cause blood sugar levels to spike. Therefore, the higher a food is on the glycemic index, the faster it causes your blood sugar to rise when you eat it.
Some foods, such as cookies, white bread, potatoes and candy are very high on the glycemic index and are therefore eating in very small amounts on a low glycemic diet. Depending on the specific strategy, they may be avoided altogether.
That said, there are certain carbohydrates that are encouraged on Low Glycemic diets. The reason is that some carbs are lower on the glycemic index and cause a slower and steadier blood glucose increase when you eat them. These foods typically consist of carbs such as whole grains that are very high in fiber. These are also foods that help you to feel more full and stay satisfied for a longer period of time. In this way, they can be helpful in controlling hunger and avoiding overeating.
Foods considered to be high on the glycemic index are those that score a 70 or higher. These include white bread, white bagels, white rice, white potatoes, crackers, pretzels, and beverages sweetened with sugar. Foods that are in the medium-G.I. category have a score of 56 to 69 on the index. They include: corn, spaghetti, raisins, grapes, bananas and ice cream, among others.
Finally, low-G.I foods, that is, the ones you’ll eat the most on this type of diet, include hummus, oatmeal, carrots, peas, kidney beans, skim milk, peanuts and the vast majority of fruits (aside from a certain specific few in the medium G.I. category). Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry, the feeling is only temporary!
Following A Low Glycemic Diet
Following a Low Glycemic diet can help you to avoid a number of different types of health conditions. Primary among them are diabetes as well as some forms of heart disease. At the same time, the jury is still out regarding the type of weight loss these kinds of diet swill generate when compared to other types of fat loss strategy. Research in this area is ongoing and new results are being released on a regular basis. That said, it remains in the preliminary stages and there is some debate as to whether or not low G.I. diets produce better weight loss results than an overall nutritious diet or a low fat diet, for example.
That said, the results are promising. One study has indicated that people who keep up a Low Glycemic diet lose more fat than ones who eat the same number of calories from high glycemic foods. This does seem to support the idea of low G.I. dieting, but there are also studies that show that this type of dieting produces mixed and inconsistent results among dieters.
Many people like that this diet is more of a lifestyle change than a more traditional calorie counting diet. In fact, it doesn’t involve any portion control or calorie counting at all. It allows for a wide variety of foods and the majority of Low Glycemic diets don’t exclude any foods completely. All foods are allowed, though the focus should be on ensuring that nearly all the foods you eat fall into the low G.I. category.
Getting Started On A Low Glycemic Diet
At the start, it can be a rather confusing diet to learn. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! After all, when you’ve never used the glycemic index before, it means you need to look up every food to know where it falls on the index. That said, over time, you start to learn whether a food is high, medium or low on the index and increasingly will be able to make nutritious, low G.I. choices without having to look up every ingredient.
Though the average Low Glycemic diet does not require you to purchase packaged or branded foods and meals, there are certain exceptions to that rule, such as Nutrisystem. Have a look at some of the different types of individual Low G.I. diets before you settle on the one that is right for you.
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