The Low Glycemic Index Diet

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Diabetes, Obesity, low blood sugar, Metabolic Syndrome All Need to use the Low GI dietBalancing Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. This is why it is important to choose the right kinds of carbohydrates, ones that don’t raise your blood sugar levels too high and therefore cause a blood sugar level spike. If your blood sugar levels are raised too quickly then your body needs immediate insulin to bring sugar levels down to a manageable level. If your body has to do this too often, say when you eat sugary foods and drinks too frequently, then your body loses its ability to administer insulin on time and in the right quantities or you become insulin resistant. When you suffer from insulin resistance, you will experience peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels. When you experience a blood sugar peak, you have too much sugar (glucose) circulating around your blood stream and so when insulin does eventually respond, it has a lot of excess sugar to remove from the blood stream and consequently lays it down as fat. It is at this point that you will begin to put on weight, especially if you do not use up the excess glucose through activity or exercise. When insulin removes the excess glucose, it begins to take more glucose from your blood than it should and it is at this point that you suffer a blood sugar trough and feel tired, irritable and crave more carbohydrates or other stimulants. Over time this can lead to Type II diabetes.
Type I diabetes occurs when the body has difficulty producing any insulin.
Glycemic Index
The glycemic index measures the effect that a given carbohydrate has on your blood sugar levels. The aim is to choose carbohydrates that release their energy over a longer period, keeping you satisfied for longer and ensuring that you don’t suffer blood sugar peaks and troughs. All carbohydrates are converted into glucose whereupon glucose is used as the fuel to give your body energy. This is why it is essential that all diets contain a good supply of carbohydrates. There are differing types of carbohydrates simple or fast releasing and complex or slow releasing and as the names suggest a simple carbohydrate needs little effort to convert it into glucose, whilst complex carbohydrates take much longer for the conversion to take place, thus staying within the digestive system for much longer than simple carbohydrates. Using the glycemic index (see diagram ) you can see that glucose is 100 ie it needs no conversion by the body and can be used immediately as fuel for energy. All carbohydrates are given a value between 1 and 100 depending on how far they raise blood sugar levels and how quickly the glucose enters the blood stream. For example; white bread has a rating of 100 and in effect needs no conversion, whilst an apple is given a rating of just 39 because it takes longer and does not ultimately raise blood sugar levels too high. The aim of following a low glydemic index (GI) diet is to ensure that the carbohydrate choices you make do not raise blood sugar levels above 50. This way you will manage you blood sugar levels, which means your energy levels will be maintained at a constant level and your weight can be stabilised or reduced. Additionally, by following a low GI diet you are helping to restore hormonal balance, reduce inflammatory responses and reduce the likelihood of becoming diabetic and or obese.

GI100
20 minutes

GI 50

Apple or Porridge

Glycemic load comparisons

Glycemic Index : examples of some common foods

Sugars Fruit Grains Vegetables
Glucose 100 Dates 100 Baguette 95 Parsnips cooked 97
Sucrose 68 Watermelon 72 White Rice 72 Baked potato 85
Honey 46 Pineapple 59 Bagel 72 Chips 75
Fructose 19 Melon 65 Wholemeal bread 71 Sweet potato 61
Raisins 64 White bread 70 New Potato 57
Kiwi Fruit 53 Crumpet 69 Sweetcorn 54
Banana 52 Pastry 59 Peas 48
Grapes 46 Basmati Rice 47 Carrot 47
Apple 38 Wholemeal spaghetti 37

Glycemic Load
The glycemic load is a more precise way of managing blood sugar levels and is more effective for losing weight. The glycemic load measures not only the effect a carbohydrate has on blood sugar levels but it uses a quantity measurements to ensure that the total load on the blood is at a manageable level that will impact on weight and help you to lose weight.
Following a low GL diet is one of the most healthy and effective ways of losing weight and sustaining the weight loss. This is because the measurement is not about calories or the amount of energy within a given food. It is based on the impact that the carbohydrate has on your body and it has been proved in many studies that focusing on a low GL diet, and balancing it with right amount of proteins and fats, will allow consistent weight loss and a significant improvement in overall health.
Technically, following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is a low GL diet, by definition, however, consuming too many proteins and not enough carbohydrates or the right fats can store up many long term illnesses and problems, which are induced by an increase in the inflammatory response. This can ultimately lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Using the Glycemic Load to control and lose weight.

Using the glycemic load will allow you to lose weight or control your weight whilst ensuring that you are eating a healthy diet that will help to control blood sugar, hormone balance limit your potential for becoming diabetic or suffering other very serious condition such as heart disease.
The Glycemic load approach is based on choosing the ‘right’ kinds of carbohydrates and balancing all the other food groups in a sensible way. As shown below:

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