How Does Low Glycemic Diet Work – Why You Should Try It?
Probably you have tried different diets so far and now you are looking for a diet that is suitable for diabetics or reduces the risk of diabetes. I present a diet adapted to diabetics and all folks who want to lose weight that works according to the principle of controlling blood sugar levels.
First, I will explain the basics of how does low glycemic diet work so you can easily understand it.
Glycemic index is a common term for a weight loss diet that “targets” the reduction of blood sugar levels. In making a nutrition plan, a glycemic index is used. The diet is based on foods that have low levels of glucose. At first, it was invented to improve blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Glycemic index and glycogen intake are blood glucose levels in the body. Glucose in the body is the main source of energy. It’s used by brain, muscles and organs as “fuel” to function. The glucose scale is measured by numbers up to 100 and the foods are indexed on that scale.
The goal of this diet is to help in weight loss and maintenance of weight, reduce blood sugar levels and maintain heart health. It helps with weight loss and at the same time reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
Theory About Low GI Diet
High blood sugar is associated with diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The main goal of this diet is to control or prevent the onset of diabetes.
The diet is based on the theory that the intake of healthy carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and non-minced cereals controls the appetite and prevents hunger attacks, while at the same time keeping the blood sugar level stable. Foods rich in starch, such as potatoes, cakes and white bread, increase the level of blood sugar.
It’s easy and quick to digest and carbohydrates immediately go into the bloodstream, which leads to an elevated sugar level and makes you even more hungry.
Keeping this diet based on the glycemic index of foods can help reduce weight, prevent diabetes, and some chronic illnesses. The glycemic index classifies carbohydrates in foods according to their potential to increase blood sugar levels.
“Good” carbohydrates have a smaller glycemic index, they digest slower that make you satiated longer, while “bad” carbohydrates have a high glycemic index.
The glycemic index ranks the foods individually, not in combination with other foods. The glycemic index depends on several factors, such as:
Maturity and time of food storage
As a rule, mature and fruits and vegetables are considered to have a higher glycemic index.
Squeezed juice has a higher glycemic index than the whole fruit. Or, mashed potatoes have a higher glycemic index than cooked potatoes.
The length of cooking also determines and affects the glycemic index. For example, hard-boiled pasta has a lower glycemic index than a softer, which is cooked longer.
(Sub) type of food
Food type also affects the glycemic index. White rice of long grain has a higher glycemic index than brown rice with long-grain. The same goes for plain white and brown rice. Therefore, the glycemic index may not always give precise information about what foods affect the blood sugar level.
How Does This Diet Work?
As already mentioned, the glycemic index divides food and beverages into several categories depending on their effect on blood sugar levels. Foods may have a glycemic index from 0 to 100.
Foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates are listed the most on this list because they have a strong effect on blood sugar levels. You can easily find on the Internet lists of foods with data on the number of carbohydrates they contain.
Foods with a high glycemic index are not recommended during the maintenance of this diet. High-glycemic index foods and beverages are rapidly digested, causing an abrupt rise in blood sugar levels. This is followed by a rapid drop in sugar levels, which causes unwanted oscillations.
Foods with a low glycemic index digest for a long time. Thus, the appetite is controlled and it feels longer, and therefore encourages the process of weight loss. Stable blood sugar also reduces the risk of insulin resistance.
Consuming too much alcohol, especially beer, can increase blood sugar levels and therefore consume it in moderate amounts. The recommended dose is one drink per day for women, and two for men.
Although it is a glycemic index based diet, exercise and physical activity are equally emphasized. The more physically active you will lose more weight. Practice moderate intensity of three hours each week and combine regular exercises with muscle strengthening exercises.
Experts believe that this “look” on this diet is not completely correct and that it can not be predicted how specific combinations of certain foods can affect the level of blood sugar. It also raises the question of whether the rise in blood sugar levels caused by carbohydrates is important for this diet.
Advantages of Using Low GI Diet
The advocates of this diet claim that by keeping this child you can reduce the risk of many serious illnesses.
1. No calories count
If you hold this diet, you do not need to count calories or limit food portions. You do not have to throw out carbohydrates, but just choose the ones you are going to import. Check the value of the glycemic index of the food before you eat it.
Foods with a low glycemic index such as legumes, cereals, fruits and vegetables contain a high level of fiber, which makes you satiated for a long time and thus suppresses appetite.
3. Weight loss
A glycemic index based diet, like most diets associated with reduced carbohydrate intake, can help in weight loss for a short or moderately long period. In any case, the diet is not effective if your weight loss is the primary goal.
In one study, 129 respondents held four different types of diet – protein diet with high glycemic index, protein diet with a low-glycemic index, poor carbohydrate diet with high glycemic index, and rich carbohydrates diet with a low-glycemic index.
After a 12-week study, people who kept a low-glycemic index diet lost an average of 5-6 kilograms, while people who kept a high-glycemic index diet lost 4-6 kilograms.
Other studies have come to the conclusion that you are more likely to lose weight and lower your body weight if you hold a low glycemic index diet.
4. Benefits for heart health
Some experts believe that a diet based on a glycemic index can reduce the level of “bad” and increase the level of “good” cholesterol in the blood.
In any case, do not rely solely on this diet if you want to control your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
A glycemic index based diet is most beneficial for people who want to keep under control the blood glucose level. A diet that includes foods with a low glycemic index improves the level of lipids in the blood and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Foods with a low glycemic index digest slower, making blood glucose level stable. It has been proven that a low glycemic index diet has beneficial equities at hemoglobin level A1C, blood glucose in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
This diet reduces the level of A1C by 0.5%, according to a survey conducted on 402 subjects. In addition, by weight loss, you reduce the chance of getting type 2 diabetes.
Disadvantages of Using Low GI Diet
This diet is not too nutritious. The prevailing food is rich in sugar, calories, saturated fats, yet it falls into foods with a low glycemic index. A diet rich in sugars and fats can nullify the effect on weight loss.
It can also be difficult to keep this diet. It’s not always possible to find the glycemic index value for each food, so you may not know what kind of food you eat. Even perfectly healthy foods can have a high glycemic index, while unhealthy foods can be low. Industrial food usually does not have information on the glycemic index on the packaging, which can confuse people.
A glycemic index based diet does not provide any food-related advice that does not contain carbohydrates so people who keep this diet have to evaluate on their own how much fat and calories they eat daily.
Such scarce information can deter many people from making a calorie reduction plan. For example – eating foods with high glycemic index, fats and proteins can have a detrimental effect on blood sugar levels.
The glycemic index is viewed only for individual foods. The combination with other foods and the method of preparation can alter the glycemic index, and it is, therefore, difficult to predict the exact glycemic index of a particular food.
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Foods With Low Glycemic Index
Recommended foods in a glycemic-based diet are “scoring” on a scale of 0 to 100. This scale is based on how much foods raise the level of blood sugar.
- White rice
- White bread
- White flour pastries
- Roasted white potatoes
- Carbonated drinks
Medium glycemic index foods (56-69)
- Ice cream
Foods with a low glycemic index (55 and less)
If you hold this diet, you must eat foods from a category with a low glycemic index, but also include some high glycemic index group.
Start with this diet to keep your blood sugar level under control. This is one of the best diets for vegetarians and those who need gluten-free food or have some other food-related restrictions. In any case, seek advice from your doctor before starting a diet.