- Difficulty to Follow
- Research Support
What is it?
The low glycemic diet plan, as the name indicates, is a diet program devised on the basis of foods that are low on the glycemic index. Introduced by Dr. David Jenkins in 1981 – the glycemic index (GI) was primarily developed for diabetic people and refers to a numerical scale that measure the effects of carbohydrates contained in a food on blood sugar levels. In other words, it simply denotes the way your body’s blood glucose levels respond to certain types of foods. It consists of three groups: low glycemic, medium glycemic and high glycemic.
What do the GI numbers means?
Foods that have a value of 55 or under are categorized as low glycemic food while foods with values ranging from 56 and 69 are classified as medium. Further, food items above 70 represent high GI.
The high ranking glycemic foods tend to the rapid elevation of blood sugar levels thus proving dangerous for people with diabetes. Further, it results in the over production of insulin, which in turn causes your body to pile up more fat and difficult to burn it. On the other hand, the lower the glycemic index value, the smoother will be your food digestion process and slower will be the increase in blood glucose levels after the consumption of foods. Accordingly, the foods with low glycemic value help to stabilize blood glucose levels and are considered highly effective for people with conditions such as type-2 diabetes, unstable blood sugar, PCOS, hypothyroidism and insulin resistance. It also reduces the risk of developing devastating ailments such as cancer and cardio vascular related diseases.
Weight Loss Research
The studies revealed by the International GI Database state that the low glycemic diet is beneficial for weight loss, as they keep your stomach fuller, thereby not only enabling for effective weight management but also to help for extended physical endurance activities. For weight loss purposes, this diet plan comprises two phases.
The first phase encourages dieters to intake only foods with low glycemic index values. Depending on how much weight you want to shed off, this phase lasts for a period ranging from three to six months.
The second phase is the weight management phase, and you can include medium glycemic index foods, in addition to low glycemic value foods. Above all, make sure that you incorporate effective exercise plans in order to get best results from this diet plan.
Diabetes is a condition that primarily occurs due to the imbalances in carbohydrate metabolism. Therefore, a well balanced diet with right proportion of complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemical, minerals and vitamins can prove highly beneficial for diabetes. Since it restricts the consumption of starchy as well as sugary carbohydrates food items like potatoes and candy, a low glycemic diet plan does not cause radical fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. In other words, majority of the low glycemic food items are made up of complex carbohydrates and hence their consumption do not result in the rapid absorption and elevation of the triglycerides and blood sugar levels.
- Avoid the consumption of starches and concentrated sugar.
- Limit the consumption of foods containing saturated fat.
- Include whole grains items like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat in your diet.
- Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as most of them are low in GI.
- Use fresh and natural food items in order to ensure that you cook healthy and wholesome meal.
- Replace the consumption of white rice with pasta and brown rice.
- Use lean meat and skimmed dairy products.
Foods with a Low GI Value
Here is a list of foods whose glycemic index values are below 55:
Low fat yoghurt – 14
Skimmed Milk – 32
Semi skimmed Milk – 34
Soya Milk – 30
Apples – 38
Pears – 38
Plums – 39
Grapefruit – 25
Kiwi – 53
Bananas – 54
Asparagus – 15
Cauliflower – 15
Celery – 15
Broccoli – 15
Cucumber – 15
Spinach – 15
Sweet Potato – 54
Whole Grain – 50
Whole Wheat Spaghetti – 37
Cracked Barley – 50
Kidney Beans – 52
Green Lentils – 52
Factors that affect this plan
Even though this diet plan is touted as a fantastic tool to gauge carbohydrate-containing foods, it has certain limitations because it only indicates the nature of carbohydrate present in a food however not about the amount of calories and carbohydrates contained it. Hence, it entails further research.
Mentioned below are some of the factors that affect the low glycemic index diet plan:
- Carbohydrates’ biochemical structure
- Cooking as well as preparation method
- Size of food particles
- Ripeness, processing and storage time of a food
- Intestinal absorption
- Previous meal’s timing
In fact, the glycemic index diet alone cannot help you to combat conditions such as diabetes and obesity, as it is sometimes a tedious task for people to make healthy food choices under this diet plan. Alternatively, it is only one of the many tools to know about the pros and cons of a particular food rather than a comprehensive guide to healthy eating.