While it’s always great to hear about the best low-GI foods that are good for our health and wellbeing, it’s important to ensure we understand the real benefits of low-GI foods. No one food can supply you with everything you need.
Keep in mind that the glycemic index (GI) diet doesn’t cover everything you eat or should eat for a healthy diet. Some higher-glycemic foods are still healthy for you, like sweet potatoes. And some lower-glycemic foods can pack a lot of calories if you eat too many, like nuts.
The added benefit of better blood sugar control is you lower your odds of getting complications from diabetes, including heart, eye, and kidney disease.
What Does GI Stand For in Food?
GI stands for Glycaemic Index and is a measure of the impact of food on your blood sugar. Foods with a high GI tend to quickly raise your body’s blood sugar levels, by contrast foods with a low GI will raise them more slowly and over a longer period.
What is a GI Diet?
Glycemic Index GI Diet Reduce Glucose
While most people are familiar with the energy sustenance benefits of low glycemic index GI diet foods, only half of the people knows that such foods reduce glucose spikes.
The Glycemic Index based diets was originally developed to assist in treating diabetics and managing their blood glucose levels (BGLs). So why are BGLs such a big deal? Well, most of us operate best when they’re steady most of the time.
How Can The GI Diet Help Weight Loss?
By eating meals that have a low GI you will feel less hungry. This means that rather then controlling your cravings for food by will-power alone your are controlling them by satisfying your body.
On the GI diet your desire to snack or over eat should be greatly reduced, therefore by eating fewer calories you can control your weight.
Glycemic Index Ranks Foods for Healthy Weight Loss
The glycaemic index (GI) rates carbohydrates according to how quickly they raise the glucose level of the blood.
According to Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Sonya Stanley, The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks foods according to how quickly they are digested. Low GI foods are slowly digested and therefore more filling, which can be beneficial for healthy weight and blood glucose levels.
A low GI rating of a food does not mean you can eat a larger serve of that food. The total amount of carbohydrate and kilojoules consumed is still important.
While GI can be a useful guide in planning a diet and controlling blood sugar levels, it should not be the only consideration. Both the serving size of foods and the nutritional quality of the diet are just as important to consider.
Your diet needs to be healthy, that involves more than the glycemic index, but you should try to eat more foods in the low-GI category, and fewer in the high-GI group.
Also a low-GI label does not automatically make food healthy. A low-GI ranking is no automatic guarantee of nutritional value; chocolate is low-GI, but it’s hardly a healthy choice. The best low-GI foods to healthy eating are those which are also part of the core food groups.
High GI Foods Disadvantages
The rush of energy given by high GI foods does not last and is soon followed by an energy
lull. So you get hungry and want to eat more.
After eating high GI foods you will have a lot of readily available energy in your blood. Your
body will use this energy first rather then other stores of energy like body fat. This makes it
harder to lose weight.
Best Foods That Are The Real Low GI Giants
Legumes (kidney beans, baked beans, chickpeas)
Low-fat dairy products (milk, yoghurt)
Many whole fruits (including apples and oranges, which are affordable year round)
Pasta (excepting ‘quick cook’ varieties)
Wholegrain cereals (oats: one of the reigning champions of low-GI living)
In general, look for foods certified by the Glycemic Index Foundation; products displaying the Foundation’s GI Symbol meet all criteria for sustaining energy and helping weight management.
For instance, the Foundation recommends the SunRice low-GI range of white, brown and steamed rices as alternatives to such rice varieties as Arborio, Jasmine and Calrose.
Low GI Foods Shopping List: Tips
Eat plenty of salad vegetables with vinaigrette dressing. Eat a variety of carbohydrate-containing foods. If the main sources of carbohydrates in your diet are bread and potatoes, then try lentils, legumes, pasta, basmati rice and pita breads. Focus more on the serving size of foods, rather than just their GI rating.
Go for smart snacking. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and yoghurt. Avoid refined flour products like cookies, crackers and biscuits.
Make water your first choice. Avoid sugary drinks and drink no more than one to two glasses of alcohol a day.
It’s all about combinations. You don’t need to completely cut out high GI options, the trick is to combine them with low GI options to achieve a moderate GI. Additionally, certain acids help to lower the GI of certain foods. Try vinegars on salads, yoghurt with cereal and lemon juice on vegetables.
Low GI Foods Helps with Diabetes plus Healthy Weight Loss
Aim for Low GI Foods.
You should include more foods with a low GI in your diet to maintain healthy nutrition. A low-GI food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which in turn leads to a small and gentle rise in insulin.
Hardly a week goes by without a new weight-loss craze hitting the headlines. From pills and detox programs to prepackaged meals, it’s no wonder dieters can become confused.
Is Pasta a Low Glycemic Food?
Pasta is part of the low GI carbs list – try pasta (cooked al dente), low GI white rice, pearl cous cous, soba noodles, or quinoa.
Meal Planning With Low GI – Choosing Foods
Eat breakfast cereals which include oats, barley and bran.
Eat breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour or sourdough.
Reduce your consumption of potatoes.
Enjoy all other types of vegetables and fruit.
Cook basmatic or doongara (a low GI) rice.
Eat pasta, noodle and quinoa.
Eat plenty of salad with vinaigrette dressing.
A low-Gl research shows that some carbohydrates have a different effect on blood glucose levels than others. While some flow the bloodstream quickly, causing glucose to spike, others trickle in slowly, keeping it low.
Based on this research, the glycaemic index, or GI, was established about 25 years ago. it’s a scaie that ranks foods from zero to 100 based on their effect on the body’s blood glucose, but how does it relate to our weight?
Your body performs best when blood glucose is kept relatively constant. If blood glucose drops too low, you are left fatigued and looking for your next food fix. But if it goes too high, the pancreas secretes more insulin. This brings the level of glucose down, but primarily by converting the excess glucose into stored fat.
Lose Weight – Control Cravings
Low GI foods were originally intended to help people with diabetes control their blood glucose levels, but now adapted to help people trying to lose weight as it also helps to control cravings and appetite for healthy weight loss. The low GI foods proves that weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated, restrictive or expensive.
Jennie Brand-Miller, a professor of human nutrition at the University of Sydney and a world authority on the GI says a low-Gl diet that promotes fat loss rather than muscle or fluid loss is best. if you have “dangerous” levels of belly fat, a low-GI diet can help to get rid of it.
All of the information you need to know about the the Gl, including a comprehensive database of food rankings, can be found free of charge on the glycaemic index website.
When looking through the food database, a few things might come as a surprise. One is that some healthy, high-fibre foods, such as brown rice, have a high GI ranking.
Fibre is essential in our diet, for a lot of people eating everything ‘brown’ isn’t very appealing, says professor Brand-Miller. One of the great things about a low-GI diet is that it is naturally high in fibre. People can eat low-GI bread, pasta and basmatic rice, and not have to eat the brown versions.
Also, certain high fat foods, such as chocolate, have a low-Gl ranking. High-fat and saturated-fat foods still need to be limited as they would in any healthy diet, says Professor Brand-Miller.
Carbohydrates Can Be Useful For Weight Loss
The GI is a scientifically sound way of eating, as opposed to ‘fad’ diets which may avoid food groups, as it is based on eating carbohydrates which are generally higher in fibre and less refined, according to Lisa Renn, a Melbourne-based accredited practising dietitian and a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia.
There are different types of carbohydrates, and some may be more beneficial than others to your health. But carbohydrates are part of a healthy diet and can be useful for weight loss.
High-GI foods have a ranking of 70 or higher, such as potatoes and most breads.
Low-GI foods have a ranking of 55 or lower such as pasta, legumes and porridge.
Low-GI foods are best for most people most of the time, because they reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Low-GI foods are the most satisfying to eat, and help suppress appetite.
Low-GI foods help people with diabetes control their blood glucose levels.