The glycaemic index (GI factor) is a ranking offoods from 0 to 100 that tells us how quickly the carbohydrate in food isconverted to glucose for the body to use.
All carbohydrates, even when they are not sweet, are sugars. To be usedfor energy, the body must break them down into glucose. The slower the processof converting carbohydrate to glucose and releasing it into the bloodstream,the more energy we derive from the food over a sustained period of time.
To gain the most energy for the longest period of time, we should belooking to select foods with a low GI. Food that is converted quickly intoglucose has a high GI. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly duringdigestion have the highest GI factors.
Complex carbohydrates, which break down slowly, releasing glucosegradually into the blood steam, have low GI factors.
Why is the GI factor so important?
Foods with a low GI factor generallyare more sustaining and help people control their hunger and appetite. Thesefoods may help athletes prolong endurance when eaten before an event. After theevent, foods with a high GI factor have been shown to replenish energy storesfaster and give athletes a quick recovery.
How do I include the GI factor foodsin my diet?
Low GI foods (less than 55) provide aslow and sustained release of energy. Some low GI foods include grain breads,temperate fruits (such as such as apples, oranges, and grapes), vegetables,pasta and dairy products.
High GI foods provide a quick release of energy.Some high GI foods (greater than 70) include white bread, potatoes, rice, softdrinks, biscuits and crackers.
Easy Low GI Diet, You’re Eating Plan
Studies show that Low GI Diet may be beneficial for:
o Diabetes: Foods that have lower Glycaemic because only small fluctuations in blood sugar levels or insulin levels helping diabetics have a more stable blood sugar.
o High blood cholesterol: Low GI foods help you burn more of your body fat and less of your body muscle.
o Obesity: Studies show that eating low GI foods can increase satiety, feeling of fullness, and decrease feelings of hunger resulting in subsequently reduced energy intake and a stable body weight.
Applying the GI to your eating plan
Easy Low GI Diet is nothing but exchanging Red Zone Foods for Green Zone Foods in the same group, Choosing right foods to eat. For example, choose Porridge or Muesli instead of Corn Flakes. For achieving a successful Low GI Diet, simply follow these tips:
o Eat at least three low GI foods throughout the day, ideally one at each meal. All carbohydrates that you eat do not need to be low GI.
o Do not avoid all high GI foods, but try and eat them with low or intermediate GI foods whenever possible. This will decrease the average GI of the meal.
o Eat breads that contain a high proportion of whole or cracked grains, stone-ground whole wheat flour, oats, bran and/or seeds.
o Eat unrefined cereals, like large-flake rolled oats, wheat bran, oat bran, muesli and cereals made with psyllium (Psyllium is mainly used as a dietary fiber, which is not absorbed by the small intestine)
o Eat brown, wild, basmati or converted (parboiled) rice.
o Eat sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes.
o Snack on fruits, vegetables, yogurt or nuts
o Eat pasta, legumes, vegetables and low-fat dairy products more often.
o Eat a variety of salad vegetables.
o Spread the amount of carbohydrate you eat evenly throughout the day.
o Try tofu, barley, bulgur or lentils.
o Try to include at least one low-GI food at each meal.
Also try to:
o Eat breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
o Eat breads with whole grains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
o Eat less potato
o Eat from all types of fruit and vegetables
o Eat and enjoy pasta, noodles and quinoa (While quinoa is usually considered to be whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley)
o Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing
Remember that the Low GI Diet is just one part of healthy eating. Don’t forget to:
o Eat at regular times
o Eat from a variety of food groups
o Limit sugar and sweets
o Eat less fat
o Include foods high in fibre
o Limit salt, alcohol and caffeineoDrink plenty of water
o Choose heart healthy fats such as canola and olive oil
Glycaemic Index Range
Carbs-containing foods, based on their GI rank, are categorized into three groups, Low, Medium and High GI Foods:
Glycaemic Index Range
55 or less
56 – 69
70 or more
o Low GI foods are foods with a GI less than 55.
oMedium foodsare foods with a GI between 55 and 69.
o High GI foodsare foods with a GI greater than 70.
About G.I. Food Zones
Based on their GI values, foods are categorized into three zones:
oGreen Zone Foods,Low GI foods, are foods with a GI less than 55. They cause a slower and lower rise in blood glucose levels. Mostly fruits and vegetables, these foods are low in fat and calories. Try to eat these foods more often.
Examples are Porridge, Apple and Lentil.
o Yellow Zone Foods, Medium GI foods, are foods with a GI between 55 and 70. They cause blood glucose levels to go up at a moderate rate. These foods are higher in fat or calories than green-light foods. Take these foods occasionally.
Examples are Pineapple, New Potato and Basmati rice.
o Red Zone Foods,High GI foods, are foods with a GI greater than 70. They cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. These foods are high in sugar or fat. Try to avoid these foods.
Examples include sweets, watermelon and junk food.
Steps to permanent, stable weight loss
There are two steps in Easy Low GI Diet weight-loss plan:
o Step I: During this step, weight reduction, avoid Yellow and Red zone Foods instead focus on eating Green zone Foods that are low G.I. and also low in sugar and fat.
o Step II: Once you’ve achieved your desired weight, you enter step II, maintenance, and you can start to enjoy Yellow zone foods now and then.