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Low GI (Glycemic Index) Diets For Best Blood Glucose and Appetite Control

Low GI Diet

Diet Information - Best Weight Loss Diet - What is the Glycemic Index

Low GI Diet Program

Lower Glycemic Index Foods For Blood Glucose and Weight Control

A low GI diet or eating plan contains foods with a lower GI (glycemic index) value. The glycemic index is a relatively new method of classifying carbohydrate-containing foods, according to how quickly they raise our blood-glucose levels. Although the glycemic index was invented originally to help diabetics manage their blood-glucose levels, it is now used by dietitians and nutritionists for weight control, because lower GI foods help to reduce cravings, curb appetite swings, and thus control calorie-intake. See also Glycemic Load. The higher the GI value of a food, the faster the rise in blood glucose. The glycemic index classifies foods into three general categories:

  • High Glycemic Index Foods (GI Value 70+)
    This type of food causes a rapid rise in blood-glucose levels.
  • Medium Glycemic Index Foods (GI Value 55-69)
    This type of food leads to a moderately fast rise in blood-sugar levels.
  • Low Glycemic Index Foods (GI Value 54 or less)
    This type of food causes blood-glucose levels to rise more slowly.

Calorie-Controlled Low GI Weight Loss Diet Plus Exercise

Eating lower GI carbs and taking regular exercise is a good foundation for weight reduction, but calorie-control is still important. If you eat large serving sizes of low-GI foods you can still end up digesting too many calories and gain weight in the process. So ideally, follow a calorie-controlled low GI diet plan and take regular physical exercise. This approach is guaranteed to provide relatively fast weight loss plus significant health benefits.

Blood Glucose and Insulin Response to Low GI Diet

Blood Glucose Levels Should be Stable
For optimum health, the amount of glucose in our bloodstream should remain within certain levels. The body regulates blood glucose levels by using two mechanisms: hunger and insulin.

Hunger Triggers Eating and a Rise in Blood Sugar
When blood-glucose levels drop, we feel hungry. Result? We eat food that is converted into glucose which enters the bloodstream so our blood sugar levels rise. If we don't eat and blood-glucose levels fall too low, we experience the condition known as hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar).

Rise in Blood Sugar Stimulates Insulin Release From Pancreas
As our blood-glucose levels rise, our brain instructs the pancreas to secrete insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin disperses the blood sugar and over a few hours sugar levels fall back within healthy limits. If we can't produce enough insulin the amount of sugar in our bloodstream becomes toxic, triggering the condition known as hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood glucose).

High GI Foods Cause Blood Glucose Levels to Rise Too Fast
Foods or meals with a high GI value cause blood-glucose levels to rise very rapidly. Result? The pancreas releases too much insulin. Result? Within an hour or so, this insulin disperses too much blood glucose, causing too big a drop in levels. Result? Hunger returns and we start eating again! Not surprisingly, this see-saw effect in blood glucose is harmful to our health and weight.

Low GI Foods Help Maintain Stable Glucose Levels in Bloodstream
Foods or meals with a low GI value raise glucose levels much more slowly over a longer period of time. Result? The pancreas secretes a more moderate amount of insulin. Result? Not only do we stay full for longer, but our pancreas doesn't have to work so hard pumping out excessive amounts of insulin. This helps to maintain optimum insulin sensitivity.

Mix Low GI and High GI Carbohydrates

Not all carbs cause a rapid rise in blood glucose - only carbohydrates with a high GI rating do this. Furthermore, this effect can be reduced by combining a high-GI food with a lower GI food.

Related Glycemic Index Links

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How is Glycemic Index Measured
Glycemic Load
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Low GI Diets: Weight Loss Study
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High GI Foods
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What Determines Glycemic Index Values of Carbs
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Effects of Fat on Glycemic Index Value of Foods
Glycemic Index and Meals
Low GI Diet and Potatoes
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Glycemic Index and Diabetes
Carbs and Glycemic Index

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