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Glycemic Index Diet

 

Glycemic index is a gauge of the effects of carbohydrates on our blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly and raise the blood sugar have high glycemic index. The increased blood sugar drops down swiftly and as a result it makes you feel hungry.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index on the other hand, break down slowly releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream, keeping a steady supply of energy for your body, making you feel full for a long time and as a result keeps you from overeating.

Is Glycemic Index Diet healthy?

The GI diet was actually developed with the diabetics in mind. This type of diet is quite healthy in the sense that it does not restrict consumption of any of the food groups such as protein, fats and carbohydrates.

Reports show that it actually decreases the risk of developing diabetes, colon and prostate cancer. It has also been noted that it can increase good cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Majority of dietitians favor the GI Diet because it helps insulin and sugar levels stable.

It is easy to follow

The GI Diet regimen is easy to follow and is not overloaded with confusing calorie calculations, carbohydrates, etc. Traffic light prinicple is used in order to illustrate better what foods are allowed and what foods to avoid. All the foods are classified into three groups, each marked with different colors like red, green, or yellow. It is easy to understand that the red group are the foods to avoid while the green group are the foods that are accepted by the GI Diet.

Downside of the GI Diet

Since the GI Diet is designed for individual food, it's still quite hard to define the glycemic index of every food that we consume especially when these foods are combined.

Diets that are ideal should not only be based on GI of the products. For instance, some chocolates have lower GI than vegetables, but vegetables are clearly a healthier choice than chocolates.

Upside:

  • Easy to follow meal plans.
  • It doesn't restrict consumption of any food groups.
  • It decreases risk of health disorders such as colon and prostate cancer, diabetes, and heart attack.
  • Helps stabilize insulin and sugar levels.

Downside:

  • Designed for individual products - not easy to define when we combine meals.
  • Ideal diet should not be based on GI alone. Eliminating foods just because they have high GI doesn't make sense and is therefore not endorsed by the American Dietetic Association.

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