The glycemic diet is formed from the glycemic index (GI).
If you’re not diabetic or have normal blood-sugar numbers, you may be unfamiliar with the glycemic index.
For those of us who have to constantly measure or be vigilant with our blood-sugar levels, the glycemic index is an important tool.
The glycemic index was created in the 1980s to help people manage and prevent diabetes.
It ranks food based on the amount of time it takes glucose to get into the bloodstream.
Those foods which release glucose rapidly have a higher GI; those that release glucose more gradually generally have a lower GI.
Lower GI scores are better because foods that release glucose quickly can cause spikes in blood-sugar.
This diet contains a mix of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
It focuses on carbohydrates that are lower on the glycemic scale.
The diet is built upon the belief that too many carbohydrates from the wrong sources can cause the body to produce too much insulin.
Excess insulin can cause side effects like low energy levels and hunger.
On this diet, 40 percent of your total calories come from unrefined carbs like whole-grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Thirty percent of your calories will come from lean protein sources like fish and eggs.
The remaining 30 percent of your diet will consist of healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
The goal of the meal plan is to include each type of food in every meal so you create balance and prevent wild swings in blood sugar levels.
This diet is proven to be an effective way to lose weight in the long term.
No, it doesn’t promise rapid weight loss like some diet plans.
Yet, precisely because you don’t remove any food groups and maintain a good ratio for each, you can expect the weight to stay off.
Researchers have found that those who ate foods that had a high glycemic load (which includes refined grains, starches, and sugars) gained more weight than those who ate foods with a low glycemic load (foods such as nuts, dairy, and certain fruits and vegetables).
Other research has shown that going lower on the glycemic index (GI) scale will help you lose weight.
Researchers found that the best diets for weight loss were high in protein-rich foods like fish, nuts, and yogurt, which helped prevent weight gain.
Avoiding refined grains, starches, and sugars further helped, as did replacing all meat consumption with other protein-rich foods like fish,eggs and cheese.
The glycemic index diet goes beyond calories; it encourages you to look at the way foods are digested and metabolized in your body and what impact that has on your body weight and how full you feel after eating.
Use a glycemic index list as a weight-loss tool by selecting low-glycemic foods or balancing out a high-glycemic food choice with a lower-glycemic one.
Use the information in the glycemic index list below to add healthy benefits to your food choices.
GI Of Popular Foods
Despite this slight variation the index provides a good guide to which foods you should be eating and which foods to avoid.
The goal for weight loss on the glycemic index diet is to consume mostly nutritious low-glycemix foods and incorporate medium- and high-glycemic foods rarely.
The glycemic load takes into consideration both the glycemic index of a food and the amount of carbohydrate in the portion of food eaten.
The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index value by the number of grams of carbohydrate, then dividing by 100.
In general, a serving of food with a glycemic load of 1—10 is considered to have a low glycemic load.
11—19 is a medium glycemic load.
and 20 or higher is a high glycemic load.
For those with diabetes, you want your diet to have GL values as low as possible.
The Glycemic Index Range is as Follows:
|Low GI = 55 or less
Medium GI = 56 – 69
High GI = 70 or more
Snacks & Sweet Foods
Glycemic Load Table
|FOOD||Glycemic index (glucose = 100)||Serving size (grams)||Glycemic load per serving|
|BAKERY PRODUCTS AND BREADS|
|Banana cake, made with sugar||47||60||14|
|Banana cake, made without sugar||55||60||12|
|Sponge cake, plain||46||63||17|
|Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker)||42||111||24|
|Apple, made with sugar||44||60||13|
|Apple, made without sugar||48||60||9|
|Waffles, Aunt Jemima® (Quaker Oats)||76||35||10|
|Bagel, white, frozen||72||70||25|
|Baguette, white, plain||95||30||15|
|Coarse barley bread, 75-80% kernels, average||34||30||7|
|50% cracked wheat kernel bread||58||30||12|
|White wheat flour bread||71||30||10|
|Wonder® bread, average||73||30||10|
|Whole wheat bread, average||71||30||9|
|100% Whole Grain® bread (Natural Ovens)||51||30||7|
|Pita bread, white||68||30||10|
|Coca Cola®, average||63||250 mL||16|
|Fanta®, orange soft drink||68||250 mL||23|
|Lucozade®, original (sparkling glucose drink)||95 ±10||250 mL||40|
|Apple juice, unsweetened, average||44||250 mL||30|
|Cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean Spray®)||68||250 mL||24|
|Orange juice, unsweetened||50||250 mL||12|
|Tomato juice, canned||38||250 mL||4|
|BREAKFAST CEREALS AND RELATED PRODUCTS|
|Coco Pops®, average||77||30||20|
|Cream of Wheat® (Nabisco)||66||250||17|
|Cream of Wheat®, Instant (Nabisco)||74||250||22|
|Instant oatmeal, average||83||250||30|
|Puffed wheat, average||80||30||17|
|Raisin Bran® (Kellogg’s)||61||30||12|
|Special K® (Kellogg’s)||69||30||14|
|Pearled barley, average||28||150||12|
|Sweet corn on the cob, average||60||150||20|
|White rice, average||73 ± 4||150||43|
|Quick cooking white basmati||67||150||28|
|Brown rice, average||68 ± 4||150||16|
|Converted, white rice (Uncle Ben’s®)||38||150||14|
|Whole wheat kernels, average||30||50||11|
|COOKIES AND CRACKERS|
|Rice cakes, average||82||25||17|
|Rye crisps, average||64||25||11|
|DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES|
|Ice cream, regular||57||50||6|
|Ice cream, premium||38||50||3|
|Milk, full fat||41||250mL||5|
|Milk, skim||32||250 mL||4|
|Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average||33||200||11|
|Peach, canned in light syrup||40||120||5|
|Pear, canned in pear juice||43||120||5|
|BEANS AND NUTS|
|Baked beans, average||40||150||6|
|Blackeye peas, average||33||150||10|
|Chickpeas, canned in brine||38||150||9|
|Navy beans, average||31||150||9|
|Kidney beans, average||29||150||7|
|Soy beans, average||15||150||1|
|PASTA and NOODLES|
|Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft)||64||180||32|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled, average||46||180||22|
|Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min, average||58||180||26|
|Spaghetti, wholemeal, boiled, average||42||180||17|
|Corn chips, plain, salted, average||42||50||11|
|M & M’s®, peanut||33||30||6|
|Microwave popcorn, plain, average||55||20||6|
|Potato chips, average||51||50||12|
|Green peas, average||51||80||4|
|Baked russet potato, average||111||150||33|
|Boiled white potato, average||82||150||21|
|Instant mashed potato, average||87||150||17|
|Sweet potato, average||70||150||22|
|Hummus (chickpea salad dip)||6||30||0|
|frozen vegetables reheated in microwave oven 5 min||46||100||7|
|Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce||80||100||22|
|Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut)||36||100||9|
By choosing low-glycemic foods, you’ll naturally eat fewer calories, feel fuller for longer, and lose weight.
When you follow a low-glycemic lifestyle, you’re not always eliminating the foods you enjoy.
If you enjoy your food choices, you’re more likely to continue with this healthier way of eating.
Strive to maintain an even carbohydrate intake at meals .
Choose foods that are higher in fiber and monounsaturated fat, enjoy seafood that contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids more often, and decrease the amount of saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium that you consume.
Fortunately, low-glycemic fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains already meet these heart-healthy nutrition guidelines, so simply incorporating a variety of these low-glycemic foods into your diet each day can help protect you from heart disease.
Lettuce is a very low glycemic index food more so than any other food!
Knowing which foods to eat before, during, and after exercise based on their glycemic index level helps people maximize their energy and recovery time.
The human body digests and metabolizes low-glycemic foods slowly, thereby providing a continued amount of energy for working muscles.
Start your day with a breakfast that’s built on lower-glycemic foods to provide longer-lasting energy and wake up your brain.
Serve a low-glycemic breakfast cereal (such as rolled oats), top it with some fruit, and pour a glass of goats milk for a balanced, low-glycemic breakfast that’ll give you sustained energy throughout the morning.
Food cravings occur for many reasons, both physiological and psychological, but one core cause of food cravings is erratic blood glucose levels.
When your body’s blood glucose levels go through high spikes throughout the day, you can wind up feeling hungry hence the unwanted yet nagging food craving.
Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that are overloaded with high-glycemic foods can also send your blood glucose levels sky-high.
To keep your food cravings under control, choose low-glycemic foods for your meals and snacks,match these foods with protein and monosaturated fat sources.
Hummus Beiruti Recipe: Hummus Beiruti is a Lebanese version of Hummus that adds a copious amount of garlic, bringing a touch of spice to it. Drizzled with olive oil, this dish is mainly paired with wholegrain Pita bread.
How to Make Hummus Beiruti
- Soak chickpeas in water for overnight.
- Boil the chickpeas, wash properly with cold water. Allow the chickpeas to cool.
- Add chickpeas, tahini paste, and crushed ice in a food processor. Remove the hummus and add chopped onion, chilli, parsley and lemon juice.
- Garnish with olive oil, chopped tomatoes and paprika powder.
Two food groups are generally safe to eat in greater amounts when you want to lose weight: vegetables and fruits.
These foods (particularly vegetables) contain lower calorie levels and lower glycemic loads than most other foods.
As for the calorie factor, a whole cup of raw vegetables or a half cup of cooked vegetables is, on average, a mere 25 calories. That’s a lot of food for such a small calorie amount!
On the fruit side of things, most fruits tend to have a low-glycemic load, and one small piece averages out to 60 calories. Sure, that’s not as low as the veggies, but it’s still lower than many other food groups.
Of course, you can’t pursue weight loss and health without taking a look at all the foods you consume, including your protein and fat sources.
Some examples of lean-protein sources are skinless chicken breasts, lean cuts of beef and eggs, fish and soy foods like tofu.
Believe it or not, fat is healthy when it’s the right kind and when you consume it in moderate amounts.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, chia seeds, and flax seeds (among other foods) are essential for good health.
Look for unsaturated fat sources, specifically oils, seeds, nuts, nut butters, olives, and avocados.
Do your best to limit saturated fats like butter and cream, and avoid trans fats like hydrogenated oils.
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Eating the right amounts of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables along with portion-controlled low-glycemic starches is great, but if you’re pairing those foods with excessive amounts of butter, oils, or high-fat meats, your hard work may all be for nothing. Pay attention to your portion sizes!
Low-glycemic foods can become high-glycemic foods if you eat too large of a serving.
The low-glycemic status of many foods is dependent on you consuming the right portion size, meaning if you eat more than that amount, your glycemic load will add up.
So if you eat two servings of pasta rather than one, you wind up with a higher glycemic load for that whole meal.
More food equals more calories.
Adding more calories with large portion sizes will defeat your efforts at weight loss quickly.
Whether or not your calories are coming primarily from low-glycemic foods, eating too many of them raises your insulin levels and causes you to gain weight.
Portion sizes are probably one of the biggest culprits in weight gain.
People are eating larger portion sizes than ever these days, a fact that correlates directly to the rate of weight gain in many countries.
Glycemic Index Diet Plan
Eat more of the Following Carbohydrate Foods
|All green vegetables including broccoli, courgettes/zucchini, green beans, kale
All white vegetables including cauliflower, white cabbage, mushrooms, radishes
All salad vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes
Whole fruits such as apples, cherries, grapefruit, pears, plums, oranges, strawberries, peaches
Pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and dried beans
Seeds such as linseeds/flax, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and hemp
Nuts such as almonds, brazils, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamias and peanuts
High fibre, unsweetened cereals
High fibre, whole grain bread *
Sweet potatoes *
Whole wheat pasta *
Brown basmati rice, buckwheat grains, quinoa, bulgur wheat, pearl barley *
* whole grains, starchy vegetables and some fruits are in between on the GI scale – treat them cautiously until you know you can include them in your diet and still lose weight
Cut out or Severely restrict the Following Carbohydrate Foods
|Starchy vegetables such as parsnips
Fruit yogurts and desserts high in sugar such as imitation mousse
White bread, baguettes, bagels
Cream crackers, white rice cakes
Iced cakes and pastries, filled biscuits/cookies, doughnuts
Scones, crumpets, waffles
Fruit canned in syrup
Breakfast cereals containing sugar
Baked and mashed potatoes, chips/fries
Corn and rice pasta
High sugar jams/jelly
Crisps/chips and other potato- and corn-based snacks
Fruit drinks containing added sugar
Fizzy drinks containing sugar
Sweets/sugar candy and chocolate bars/chocolate candy
Ice cream containing glucose syrup or high levels of other sugars
Swap these higher GI foods…
… for these lower GI foods
|Refined sugary cereal||Old-fashioned oatmeal porridge|
|Cornflakes or rice krispies||All bran or muesli|
|White bread sandwich||Whole grain / granary bread sandwich|
|Baked potato||Basmati rice, wholegrain rice or sweet potato|
|White rice||Basmati rice or wholegrain rice|
|Biscuits/cookies||Small handful of nuts, or raw vegetable sticks|
|Cola or other regular fizzy drink||Caffeine free herbal tea (or better still, water)|
|Sweets/sugar candy||Apple or pear or other low GI fruit|
|Fruit-filled chocolate bar||Plain dark chocolate (70% or more cocoa solids)|
|Jam/jelly or marmalade on toast||Egg on toast|
|Curry with rice||Curry with chickpeas or lentils|
Follow a meal plan that is tailored to a healthy lifestyle and helps achieve goals for stable blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight management.
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