Glycemic Index Diet
The glycemic index diet or also popularly acknowledged as the GI diet and low glycemic diet is actually just one of the many intriguing diet programs at present. It’s a diet program that refers to a system of ranking carbohydrate foods basing on the increase and decrease in a person’s blood sugar levels.
At first, the glycemic index diet was for the diabetics alone and not for dieters. Originally, it aims to help diabetics manage their blood sugar level. However, later on, because of its some positive effects on managing weight, it was then considered as a program not only for diabetics but also for dieters.
Basically, the glycemic index diet promoting low-GI foods has been found effective in controlling appetite as well as weight. It was believed that if low-GI foods are absorbed more slowly, there’s a very a small possibility that you will overeat.
However, to be really effective, it is vital that you choose carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index that are at the same time nutrient-rich, healthier, less refined, and higher in fiber such as beans, whole fruits, and vegetables. You also need to have regular exercise and eat in moderate amounts particularly when in eating lean protein and healthy fats.
At present, a number of diet programs like SouthBeach, The Zone, Sugar Busters, Glucose Revolution, and Ending the Food Fight were influenced by the glycemic index diet. All these diets together with glycemic index diet have encountered so many intrigues and issues for many years they’ve existed.
Recommendations, Limitations and Restrictions
Generally speaking, the glycemic index diet is quite restrictive. You will be encouraged to focus on quality and not quantity, and concurrently, enjoy plenty of low-GI “smart” carbs such as whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables and legumes for you to eventually feel fuller.
On the flip side, you of course have to avoid high-GI foods which are normally heavily processed and with so much flour.
One thing nice about glycemic index diet is that it never requires calorie counting; though it has so many food recommendations and restrictions. You just have to be aware of the foods that are healthy and do contain reasonable glycemic index or glycemic load.
The Glycemic Index Diet Works
The glycemic index diet works mainly by means of emphasizing the theory that high-GI foods raise blood sugar levels, therefore induce the body to release excess insulin, and eventually store fat. And that only low-GI foods can help dieters lose pounds.
However, of course, there’s no such thing made perfect. Like the glycemic index diet, many believe that there’s variability in its GI score system, and at the same time some sort of alterations based on factors like quantity of food, the amount and type of carbohydrate, the cooking method, and degree of processing.
For an instance, explains by Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD, professor and dean at the University of Vermont, “the riper a banana, the higher the score” and that “Al dente pasta is higher than more cooked pasta”.
On the GI scores on the hand, responses vary significantly from one person to another therefore GI scores may become inconsistent. Similarly, for nationally known diabetes expert and author Marion Franz, MS, RD, CDE, glycemic index particularly the scores at hand are not sufficient evidences that the program can help reduce hunger.
Insights of Some Experts
People feel in between when it comes to the effectiveness of the glycemic index diet. There are some who fairly give credit to the diet program but there are also some who are not that in favor.
For Ludwig and his colleagues at TheJournal of the American Medical Association, “the boys were hungrier after they had eaten a high-GI breakfast, which resulted in eating 600 to 700 more calories at lunchtime than when they ate a low GI breakfast”.
In addition, for Ludwig “in our experience, anyone who followed a low GI diet improved their triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels, both important cardiovascular risk factors”.
Similarly, for Johnson, a health concern, glycemic index diet has merit “as long as you choose healthy carbs that are high in fiber, whole, natural, and less processed to help with satiety and reducing calories.”
On the contrary, for Lichtenstein, another health concern, “diet books have embraced the concept of the glycemic index because it is simple, but there are so many factors that confound the use of the GI as a weight loss tool that it is premature to assume it is the answer”.
Likewise, for Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, she does not like the GI diet as for her “it promotes a good food/bad food message. … It has not been shown to be an effective weight loss tool.”
Why Glycemic Index Diet?
Glycemic index diet is one of the many diet programs that actually sound gimmicky but if followed properly will bring forth positive results on your body particularly on your weight.
At first, glycemic index diet may seem restrictive because of the low-GI foods it promote, but later on, if you get the hang of it – selecting low-GI healthy and wholesome foods, doing some physical activities regularly, watching over your portions, etc. you’ll surely benefit much from glycemic index diet.