Low GI Diet Low GI Food for a Healthier You
In order to maintain a healthy body we need to ensure our diet includes the right type – and amount – of food. A low GI diet isn’t a quick fix solution for weight loss but an ongoing approach to food that promotes healthy living.
What is GI?
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GI specifically stands for glycaemic index. This index measures how carbohydrates are broken down and digested and what effect that has on the blood glucose levels in the body. High GI foods will raise the blood sugar levels in the body because the sugar is broken down too quickly. Low GI foods help to maintain stable blood sugar levels by slowly releasing the sugar into the blood stream.
Why Should I Choose a Low GI Diet?
Weight Loss – A low GI diet is a healthy way to lose weight and maintain a size that’s right for you. Combined with regular exercise, a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to control your weight. Low GI foods help to sustain your energy and will leave you feeling fuller for longer, leaving you less likely to snack.
Healthy Heart – High GI foods will cause a spike in your glucose levels, which ultimately lower your good cholesterol.
Better Moods – Your brain reacts to glucose levels and whilst low levels can cause symptoms of depression, poor memory and a lack of concentration, high levels can impair the brain and increase the risk of dementia. A low GI diet will help to balance your glucose levels and reduce the risk of your blood sugar becoming too low or too high.
Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes – High glucose levels will increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
A Good Source of Fibre – Low GI foods tend to be high in fibre. Experts recommend an intake of 25 – 30g of fibre per day. A low GI diet will help you to hit this target.
Which Foods are Low GI?
GI is used to measure carbohydrates so sources of protein and dairy can be classed as low GI foods. Meat, fish and poultry along with dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are all considered to be low GI.
Pretty much all fresh fruit is low GI with the exception of melons and dates. Fresh vegetables are also low GI but starchy vegetables such as white potatoes are very high in GI. Other low GI foods include pulses, wholegrain / high fibre bread, bran, homemade muesli, traditional porridge oats, nuts, skimmed milk, soya milk and tea. Detailed lists of low GI foods can be found online.
A Balanced Diet
A low GI diet doesn’t mean that you can’t eat foods that have high GI. It’s all about moderation. You can eat high GI food but you should reduce your portions and ensure you have plenty of low GI food. Whilst considering GI is important, don’t forget to look out for things like saturated fat, additives and preservatives. Just because a food is low GI doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice. Look for fresh produce wherever possible and try to avoid anything that’s too processed.
Low GI Diet Plan
Incorporating a low GI diet into your daily routine is easy once you know what foods to look for. You can still enjoy tasty meals whilst reaping the rewards of a healthy diet. There are plenty of books and websites dedicated to low GI food and you’ll even find your local library stocked with low GI cook books, full of low GI recipes. It’s easy to make the change to a low GI diet and once you do you’ll feel better for it.
Disclaimer: The information and links contained in this article are for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a licensed medical doctor for advice.
“Low GI Cookbook”, Louise Blair
“Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook”, Rose Elliot
“The GI Cookbook”, Reader’s Digest