Glycemic Index Diet
by: Floyd Adan
The Europeans have known about the benefits of a low glycemic index diet for some time now, and its benefits in chronic disease-prevention. Even endurance athletes are giving it a go for its benefits in training, helping to prolong endurance. So what is this GI diet, you ask? Well, technically, glycemic index (GI) measures how much a 50-gram portion of carbohydrate raises a person's blood-sugar levels compared with pure glucose, which almost all carbs are digested into. The digestion of carbs into glucose causes a temporary rise in blood sugar levels, called a glycemic response, which is affected by many factors, including the quantity of food, the amount and type of carbohydrate, the cooking method and more. The glycemic index is a list of foods which have been assigned an index number from 1-100, with 100 as the reference score for pure glucose. Foods are rated high (greater than 70), low (less than 55) or moderate (56-69).
A typical low glycemic index diet is low in fat and high in low-GI carbs. There are many benefits to such a diet but the main ones are that people experience weight loss and often more energy, due to less blood sugar / insulin spikes during the day. Low GI diets increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, improving diabetes control and a reduced risk of heart disease and high blood cholesterol. Low GI foods typically are higher in fiber, which has its own digestive benefits. And as previously mentioned, low GI carbs prolong physical endurance while high GI carbs help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise.
So you want to give the GI diet a shot? Here are some tips to get you started:
• Eat cereals based on oats, barley and bran
• Eat breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
• Eliminate potatoes
• Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
• Use Basmati rice
• Enjoy whole wheat pasta, noodles, quinoa
• Eat plenty of green salads
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