The low glycemic diet plan (also known as the low glycemic index diet) can be a great help for diabetics who want to control their diabetes as naturally as possible.
If followed faithfully, diabetic diet recipes using low glycemic foods can help to lower and stabilize your blood glucose levels. As a side benefit, it will also help you to control your weight and make you a healthier individual overall.
What The Low GI Diet Plan Is All About
The basics of a low glycemic diet is simple. According the the glycemic index chart, each food is rated according to how fast the body is able to metabolize it into glucose. The rate at which this metabolism takes place largely determines how much and how fast your blood sugar rises after you have eaten.
By following a low glycemic diet, you will naturally eat foods that lower blood sugar. You will limit the foods that can have dramatic effects on your blood sugar levels and maximize your intake of foods that stabilize it and allow your blood sugar levels to remain constant throughout the day.
The basics of the glycemic chart itself is that each food is given a rating of 1 to 100. The rating is a measurement of how fast and how much 50 grams of that food will cause the blood sugar to rise. A food with an index of 1 will have the least effect towards raising a person’s blood sugar. An index of 100, will have the greatest effect on a person’s blood sugar level.
How Cooked VS Raw Foods Affect The Diet Plan
The glycemic index is based on more than just the raw food, however. It also depends on how the food is processed. For example, 50 grams of raw carrots have a significantly lower GI than do 50 grams of cooked carrots.
And, if butter and sugar are added to the cooked carrots, the glycemic index will rise even more. Likewise, a very ripe banana will have a higher index than will a green banana from the same bunch. Therefore, it’s worth keeping in mind that although this tool can be very helpful in setting up a diet plan, you also have to recognize that it is not perfect.
When it comes to meals, the most important thing for those with diabetes, is controlling your blood sugar. Especially the highs and lows. A low glycemic diet will help you to do that. It can also give you greater overall energy.
How Low Glycemic Diet Foods Keep You Energized
A common complaint among many diabetics is that they peter out or lose energy as they go through the day. Or they are constantly tired or listless. One possible reason is that their diet may consist of a number of high glycemic foods. High glycemic foods will enter the bloodstream faster, thus giving you a burst of energy. But, they will also leave the bloodstream quicker, thus resulting in that lack of energy that so many experience.
A Low GI Diet Can Help You To Lose weight
If you want to lose weight, the GI is a fantastic tool. As a matter of fact, it is the basis of many prominent and well known diet plans. The South Beach diet, the Nutri-system diet, The Zone diet, and several others are partially based on the glycemic index. This type of diet is sometimes referred to as an insulin resistance diet
A diet based on the GI is based on reducing their intake of the number of foods that score high on the index and increasing their intake of foods that generally score low on the GI.
When foods score high in the GI, they tend to be assimilated into the body at an extremely fast rate. Unfortunately, because they are assimilated so quickly, its not too long before you start to have those hunger pains again. Foods that score low on the GI scale are processed by the body at a slower rate. This means that they stay in the body for a longer period of time.
Because they stay in the body longer, you have less of an urge to eat. And, of course, the less you eat the faster you will lose weight.
Limitations Of The Low GI Diet
Even though a glycemic index diet has a lot of benefits, it is not perfect. It is extremely useful in determining how much a specific food will affect your blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, however, in real life, we seldom eat one food alone.
For instance, when you eat dinner, you might have a steak, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable. In addition, you might have wine or a coke to drink. And, finally, you will probably top everything off with a nice dessert. Taking the average GI of all of these foods is a tough calculation to make.
Fortunately, in practice, you don’t have to do this. All you really need to do is to be aware of the general principal of attempting to arrange your diet so that the proportion of low to mid GI foods that you eat is higher than the proportion of high GI foods. Just do this and you’ll be on solid ground.
Comparing The GI to The GL
As shown above, the glycemic index (i.e., GI) is a great way to rate food. However, another factor to consider is the glycemic load or GL.
The GL is a figure that determines exactly how much a certain food will raise you blood sugar level when you consume it. It is an important distinction from the GI.
It is a calculation that takes the number of grams of starch in a serving of food multiplied by the food’s GI and divided by a hundred. One unit is the effect that that one gram of a carbohydrate will have on the blood sugar level. Two units is the effect that two grams of a carbohydrate will have on the blood sugar level, and so on.
The glycemic load of a good is rated as follows: A GL of less than 11 is rated as low, a value of 11 to 20 is rated as medium, and a value of greater than 20 is rated as high. A food with a low GL is generally thought to be healthier than one with a high value.
Ideally, when evaluating foods you want to take both the GI and GL into account. Only using the two together can you really determine how good or bad a specific food is for managing your blood glucose.