You may have heard about the Glycemic Index …
but what does it really mean? … and how important is it for your health? … What is a low glycemic diet?
Very simply, the Glycemic Index is a scientific ranking of how the foods we eat affect our blood sugar levels in the 2 or 3 hours after eating. This index is measured against pure glucose, which has a value of 100 on the index. The index ranges from 0 to 100 with:
0-55 = Low-GI 56-69 = Moderate-GI 70-100 = High-GI
High GI 70-100 Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion, release blood sugar rapidly into the bloodstream, and cause marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Medium GI 56-69 Carbohydrates that break down moderately during digestion and release blood sugar moderately into the bloodstream.
Low GI 0-55 Carbohydrates that break down slowly during digestion, release blood sugar gradually into the bloodstream, and keep blood sugar levels steady … and provide you with proven benefits for your health!
Low GI Meals leave you feeling fuller longer, ease food cravings and provide you with greater and more sustained energy levels. If you’re looking to either lose weight, or maintain your existing weight, a low GI diet lifestyle is the perfect option. Also, if you find yourself lethargic, losing concentration, or experiencing mood swings an hour or so after eating, a change to low GI meals may show immediate benefits.
In term of long terms health, Low GI Diets are important to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease. However, if you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, low GI diets have been shown to improve both lipid and glucose levels, maintain more stable insulin levels and reduce insulin resistance, which is important in reducing the risk of long term diabetes-related complications.
More and more health benefits associated with choosing a low glycemic index diet are constantly being realised, but the ones we’ve listed are certainly already impressive …
- Control and stabilise your blood sugar levels
- Raise your HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels
- Assist you with weight loss
- Manage symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin
- Lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Improve your energy levels and general wellbeing
So, to get started, just do your best to avoid high Glycemic foods as much as possible … and simply choose medium or low GI foods wherever you can! It becomes very easy once your understand the basics, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you’ll be forever consulting charts and adding up numbers to succeed. Begin simply, by continuing to learn a little about the glycemic index and you’ll be on your way to a satisfying and tasty low glycemic diet lifestyle.