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What's so good about low GI?

By Vicky Hall BSc Nutritional Medicine BSc Biology

We all know that the food we eat gives us energy, but do you know which will give you the longest lasting energy? Sustained energy between meals can prevent blood sugar dips, cravings and snacking and also over-eating at your next meal. So, it's worth knowing the best way to achieve this, which is by eating low Glycaemic Index foods.

What is the Glycaemic Index (GI)?

Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal - in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycaemic index, or GI, describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. High GI foods raise blood glucose levels too quickly, which promotes glucose storage in fat cells as well as sudden blood sugar dips. Low GI carbohydrates are the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels and can be the key to long-term health and sustainable weight loss.

What are the benefits of the Glycaemic Index?

Switching to eating mainly low GI carbohydrates, which slowly trickle glucose into your blood stream, keeps your energy levels balanced and means you will feel fuller for longer between meals. Recent research confirmed that a low GI diet is the best way to lose weight and has the added benefit of not being a restrictive diet plan. There are a number of benefits:

  • Losing and controlling weight
  • Increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin and improving diabetes control
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Reducing blood cholesterol levels
  • Increasing energy for exercise

How to switch to a Low GI Diet

It's easy! Simply swap high GI carbohydrates for low GI carbohydrates. To avoid high GI foods, steer clear of those that contain sugar or are processed carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice. Make these changes to healthy wholegrains that are high in fibre and you are well on the way.

  • Use no-added sugar breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
  • Use breads with wholemeal or stone-ground flour
  • Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat (and always eat the skin)
  • Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables, including salad vegetables
  • Use whole grain brown rice or Basmati brown rice
  • Enjoy whole wheat pasta or noodles

This way of eating doesn't just help you lose weight; it's tasty and good for you too!

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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