The Glucose Revolution diet focuses on eating foods that are ranked low on the Glycemic Index. This index, often referred to as G.I., ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. Low G.I. foods metabolize slowly, allowing the body to absorb the glucose over time, while high G.I. foods metabolize rapidly, leaving feelings of hunger and spiking blood sugar levels.
This low-glycemic diet was developed in the 1970s and resulted in a book titled “The Glucose Revolution,” which summarizes two decades of research and hundreds of research papers published in many scientific journals. The book was co-authored by a number of professionals in the medical field on diabetes, most notably Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D., an associate professor of human nutrition at the University of Sydney in Australia and the author of more than 200 research papers (with 60 papers on the glycemic index alone). Other professionals included a doctor who was the president of the Australian Diabetes Society, two registered dieticians, and Thomas Wolever, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences of the University of Toronto, and a member of the endocrinology and metabolism division of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. His research has focused on the glycemic index and the prevention of type 2 diabetes since 1980.
The Premise: The carbohydrates that produce small fluctuations in the blood glucose and insulin levels are given a low index of less than 55, foods, an intermediate G.I. is between 55 and 70, and those with a high G.I. are greater than 70. Low G.I. foods help suppress hunger between meals and manage blood sugar levels.
The Diet: The hardest part of this diet is determining the G.I. of certain foods.
Low G.I Foods Include:
- Kellogg’s Raisin Bran
- rye bread
- kidney and navy beans
- whole and skim milk
- fajita pockets with lean beef
- minestrone soup
- fruits (including apples, bananas and oranges)
Intermediate G.I. foods include:
- sourdough bread
- red-skinned potatoes
- graham crackers
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (and Special K)
High G.I. foods include:
- some pastas
- stone-ground whole wheat
What to get excited over: The diet does not eliminate protein and fat, which metabolize more slowly. Instead, the diet addresses the quality, not quantity, of carbohydrates. Therefore, you don’t have to completely eliminate carbs, or any food group, from your diet.
Things to consider: As with any diet, this one requires possibly giving up some favorite foods.
Verdict: Though specifically designed for diabetics, anyone following this diet can reap the benefits of decreasing their chances of developing heart disease and diabetes, as well as lose weight and rid themselves of the starchy foods typically found in the Western diet.