Low glycemic foods

Low glycemic foods are typically carbohydrates which breakdown slowly and aim to release glucose gradually into the bloodstream. The glycemic index of food is a ranking system that will rank foods based on the immediate effect that they have on your blood glucose or blood sugar levels. If a specific carbohydrate breaks down very quickly during digestion it is said to have a high glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) is extremely significant and can help you determine low GI foods which can help to control established diabetes by only raising the blood sugar by low amounts. Low GI diets can also help you to lose weight, lower blood lipids and improve your body’s overall sensitivity to insulin. Foods that have a high GI are known to re-fuel your carbohydrate stores after exercise.

Your eventual goal should be to build a good eating plan that will include low glycemic index foods. This will help you ensure that hunger is kept at bay and to avoid overeating. If you can continue eating low glycemic index foods this will help you to lose body fat and maintain your weight, once the excess weight has been lost. To initially switch to a low GI diet you can start eating breakfast cereals that are based around wheat bran, oats and barley. Try eating grainy breads that are made from whole seeds, replace potatoes with rice and pasta and aim to use vinegar and lemon juice dressings.

If your overall goal is not to lose fat, foods that have a low glycemic index will also help to regulate your energy levels and alleviate and possibly avoid mood swings. It is important to consider certain points such as foods that are known to stimulate insulin surges may cause you to eat up to 70% more calories during your next meal. Foods that are high in glucose, such as white bread may, once again, force you to consume far more calories at your next meal. However you are more than able to mix low glycemic index foods with a modest quantity of high glycemic foods, without this causing any problems.

Low glycemic index foods plans can be extremely beneficial to you if you are suffering from diabetes, if you have an insulin resistance, hypoglycemics, if you are dieting or an athlete. High glycemic foods are well known to stimulate fat storage, increase the levels of insulin and blood glucose and may well reduce your sports performance and overall hyperactivity. It is important to consider that no glycemic food plans are based around deprivation or starvation. Eating forms part of your everyday life and therefore you should not have to sacrifice tasty foods, or the foods you love, in order to stay healthy.

Low glycemic food plans are known to control type I and type II diabetes, hypertension and hypoglycaemia. The specific foods will not stimulate your food craving hormones, which are known to cause chemically triggered cravings and often uncontrolled eating binges. However you must remember that even though you are looking to control your eating through a low glycemic food plan, you still have certain calorie requirements. Many low glycemic food plans will actually include fast foods, as in reality it may be impossible for a family to eat a cooked and balanced meal at home every day.

There is no specific low glycemic food plan that you need to follow, and you can indeed create your own variation. In order to stay in optimum health you should choose a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and other healthy options. This will help to ensure that you are consuming an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. The actual GI of foods has become far more widely recognised in the food industry. You will often see terms such as complex carbohydrates and sugars on many food labels. These are now known to provide little nutritional value. Certain government offices are working hard to have these specific terms removed from food packaging and have asked that is replaced with the total carbohydrate content of your food and its actual GI value.

Low glycemic foods that you should look to eat will include:

  • Breads – they should specifically be whole-grain wheat, rye, cracked or sprouted whole wheat
  • Cereals – especially those that are the highbrow variety such as All Bran, Fibre One coarse oatmeal, porridge and whole grain cereals
  • Pastas, grains and starchy vegetables – all types of pasta are fine, barley, buckwheat, couscous, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, Lima beans, peas, yams, sweet potato, soy beans and most vegetables
  • Dairy products – you should always aim for the low-fat or the skimmed variety, cottage cheese, low-fat plain yoghurt, buttermilk, low-fat fruited or frozen yoghurts and artificial sweeteners
  • Fruits – the majority of fruit and natural fruit juices are fine and these can include apples, berries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew, oranges, pears and peaches
  • Meats – should include chicken, turkey, venison and Cornish hen. You can also consume white fish such as cod, trout, tuna and shellfish.


Last updated on Oct 4th, 2011 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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