What is a low glycemic diet?

By | March 13, 2021

what is a low glycemic diet?

The glycemic index is a system of assigning a number to carbohydrate-containing foods according to how much each food increases blood sugar. The glycemic index itself is not a diet plan but one of various tools — such as calorie counting or carbohydrate counting — for guiding food choices. The term “glycemic index diet” usually refers to a specific diet plan that uses the index as the primary or only guide for meal planning. Unlike some other plans, a glycemic index diet doesn’t necessarily specify portion sizes or the optimal number of calories, carbohydrates, or fats for weight loss or weight maintenance. Many popular commercial diets, diet books and diet websites are based on the glycemic index, including the Zone Diet, Sugar Busters and the Slow-Carb Diet. The purpose of a glycemic index GI diet is to eat carbohydrate-containing foods that are less likely to cause large increases in blood sugar levels. The diet could be a means to lose weight and prevent chronic diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studies suggest that a GI diet can help achieve these goals. However, you might be able to achieve the same health benefits by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough exercise.

A low-glycemic diet can help you control your weight by minimizing spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels. This is particularly important if you have type 2 diabetes or at risk of developing it. Low-glycemic diets have also been linked to reduced risks for cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Eight principles of low-glycemic eating Eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables, beans, and fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and berries. Even tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas tend to have a lower glycemic index than typical desserts. Eat grains in the least-processed state possible: “unbroken,” such as whole-kernel bread, brown rice, and whole barley, millet, and wheat berries; or traditionally processed, such as stone-ground bread, steel-cut oats, and natural granola or muesli breakfast cereals.

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Weight loss is best done with a combination of reducing calories in your diet and increasing your physical activity and exercise. This is particularly important if you have type 2 diabetes or at risk of developing it. How is GI Measured? For example, watermelon has a GI value of 80, which would put it in the category of food to avoid. Identifying low GI foods is only part of the challenge when it comes to healthy eating. Make a quick and easy dip using canned beans and eat with crunchy vegetables. Yes, but only if you are careful. The glucose goes into your bloodstream and causes your blood glucose blood sugar levels to rise. What is a healthy balanced diet?

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