Glycemic Diet

Glycemic Diet

The Glycemic Diet, or the GI Diet, is based on dieters choosing their foods according to their Glycemic Index ranking. The Glycemic index measures how carbohydrates effect blood glucose (sugar) levels, and it was created by Dr. David J. Jenkins and his colleagues at the University of Toronto in 1980 to 1981.

The Premise: Overall, the Glycemic Diet is about planning food intake to make sure that you are eating foods low on the Glycemic Index in combination with lean protein. The Glycemic Diet is a way to pay attention to what you are eating by monitoring the foods you eat, noticing their place on the index, and then making sure that portion control is in place.

The Diet: Simply put, the Glycemic Index ranks foods numerically based on how quickly they can raise your blood sugar. The higher the number a food has on the index, the faster the carbohydrates (in that food) are turned into glucose once they hit the bloodstream. On the Glycemic Diet, a person wants to stick with foods that have a lower number on the index.  Eating the foods that rank low on the glycemic index, along with lean protein, can help to stabilize a person's blood sugar and reduce their hunger overall. By eating the foods that are absorbed slowly over the course of the day, energy levels remain high and a person feels full.

Foods that rank 0 to 54 on the Glycemic index are considered low, and therefore are the foods you should aim to eat. Foods that rank low on the Glycemic Index include:

  • vegetables
  • whole grains like barley and brown rice

Foods that rank as medium, with ratings of anywhere from 55 to 69, on the index include:

  • bran muffins 
  • a ½ cup of couscous

Foods that rank above 70 on the index have a high GI, and should therefore be avoided. Foods high on the Glycemic Index include:

  • white bread
  • instant rice 
  • most of the popular cereals like Cream of Wheat and Corn Flakes

Things to get excited over:
The Glycemic Diet is a great way to help a person become more aware of their blood sugar numbers. People with Type II Diabetes are particularly great candidates for the Glycemic Diet. Following the Glycemic Diet has been to lower the risk of heart disease.

Things to consider:
The glycemic response changes from person to person and can even be different in the same person from one day to the next. Also, the Glycemic ranking of a food can vary depending on many factors.

Verdict: Recommended. The Glycemic Diet offers people a relatively easy way to reference the food choices they are making.  By eating foods that are absorbed slowly throughout the day, food is used as energy rather than being stored as fat. Therefore, this diet can be an effective way to lose weight.  A person can also feel better on the Glycemic Diet because their blood sugar levels are likely to maintain at a steady level, reducing cravings for sweets and bad carbohydrates.