Finding the right diet can be a problem but when there are medical considerations to take into account it can be even harder. Having balanced blood sugar is very important and as a result Low GI (glycaemic index) diets have become popular.
The Glycaemic Index has been around since 1981, thanks to Dr David Jenkins, and ranks food in levels depending on their affect on blood sugar levels.
Previously it had been considered that the main foods that led to diabetes were those high in sugar, but in fact the worst are the ones high in starch.
Foods are ranked 0-100 and the lower the ranking the less chance there is of eating them causing health problems.
How Do Low GI Diets Work?
The GI Diet works by reducing certain foods in the diet. These will be foods that will have a detrimental effect on both insulin levels and blood sugar levels. The Gi scale will allow the dieter to know how far up the specially devised scale their levels have gone.
The food group that is involved is carbohydrates and this does cover quite a large proportion of the food that we eat. Mainly it is flour, sugar, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and many things that are made with them. Some planning is needed, but there are still plenty of things that can eaten.
When deciding how severe to be when it comes to cutting down on certain products it is worth remembering that the less processed a product is the lower the Gi will be. Examples of this will be white bread having a higher Gi than wholegrain bread.
Fresh products may also have some carbohydrate content such as peas and beans. While there may not be carbohydrates in the likes of eggs and cheese they are often omitted when following a low Gi diet as they can be high in fat.
Foods lower down on the Gi drip sugar into the bloodstream in a slow stream providing a steady energy supply, while the higher up ones give a short burst that does not last long and requires further food quickly.
Some people think that a Lowe Gi and a Low Carb diet are the same thing but this is not the case.
Following a Low GI Diet.
There are a number of rules that need to be followed in order to be successful. The main one is to cut down the amount of starch and sugar eaten, along with changing to more healthy options of everyday food such as bread, pasta and cereals. Alongside this there has to be a higher percentage of fruit and vegetables in the diet.
As well as the changes already mentioned, there is also a need to reduce the amount of fat in other areas. No longer is it possible to eat fatty meat and while dairy does not have to be omitted totally, it is advisable to turn to the low fat version.
The amount that is eaten is not as important as what is eaten. Large amounts of fruit and vegetables will be much better than a small portion of foods such as bread and pasta.
Who Should Follow The Gi Diet?
By following the diet it is possible to avoid diabetes to an extent as processed products remove minerals and enzymes leaving the body struggling to work properly without them. Weight loss can happen but this was not the main aim.
For this reason there are two types of Low Gi plans and the difference between them lies in the amount of carbohydrates that can be eaten. For some who want to lose weight there will be a major cutback, but this can depend on their metabolism. Cooking can also affect the Gi level and also the amount of fibre as this acts as a barrier and makes it more difficult for carbohydrates get into the blood stream.
There are a lot of pros to this diet and the only con seems to be knowing how the scale works. It is difficult to get used to products such as chocolate and crisps being better than jacket potatoes and salted peanuts. Experts are impressed in principle as long as the dieter does not try to cut out all high Gi foods. It can be difficult to get the right balance as the level of a product on its own can be altered depending on what is eaten with it. Getting the balance wrong is going to be the main reason for failure.
Other Popular Diets and Diet Plans
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