Low glycemic index foods

So what exactly is the glycemic index anyway? Why do we need to be concerned with this index and how they rate foods? Well, researchers have found that when dealing with carbohydrates they cannot treat them all the same way. As there are many different types of carbs and different caloric values, there are just as many different ways that they behave in the body. The glycemic index was created to have a gauge of how certain foods act in the body. This also gauges the way that certain food affects our blood sugar levels. If a food has little affect on our blood sugar levels, it is considered to be a low glycemic index type of food. This level is reserved for foods that cause only small fluctuations in the glucose in our blood stream as well as our insulin levels.

The proponents of this index and the diets that have been created to encompass this index state that by putting a large amount of foods in a person’s diet that are considered low glycemic index foods, they should be able to lose weight and keep it off. They also go on to say that this type of diet can even reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. This type of diet is supposed to make a person feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time. They also state that by eating these types of foods a person will have increased energy levels.

The glycemic index is based on a scale that ranges from 1-100. Foods that are considered low on the glycemic index scale have values of 55 and less. Mid range index foods are scored 56-70. High glycemic index foods are scored 70 and above.

Listed below are foods that are considered to be low on the glycemic index:

  • Fruits: Cherries, grapefruit, prunes, apricots, apples, peaches, pears, plums strawberries, oranges, grapes, papaya, bananas, kiwi, and mango
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, carrots, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Cereals: Bran buds, All bran with fiber, Oatmeal, Muesli
  • Pasta: Spaghetti, fettuccini, whole wheat spaghetti, and macaroni
  • Rice and Grains: Brown rice, converted and long grain white rice, barley
  • Dairy: Yogurt, Low fat milk, whole milk, low fat and premium ice cream
  • Snacks: Hummus, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, milk chocolate
  • Juices: Tomato, Apple, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Orange, Carrot
  • Breads: Pumpernickel, sourdough, stone ground whole wheat
  • Potatoes: Yams, Sweet potatoes
  • Soups: Tomato, Minestrone, Lentil, Vegetable
  • Beans and Peas: Chick peas dried, Dried kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, blackeyed peas, baked beans, butter beans, pinto beans, soy beans, navy beans

All of these foods should be incorporated into a nutritionally sound diet plan for someone who is wanting to lose weight. The diet plan that is recommended for use with this index includes 30% lean proteins, 40% fruits and vegetables (carbs) and 30% lean whole grains. Please note that there is very little fat in this diet.

If this diet is followed to the letter a person can see weight loss in a short amount of time. Exercise or cardiovascular activity should be incorporated along with this diet to help to firm up and build lean muscle mass while enjoying the weight loss benefits of this diet.

This type of diet can also allow a person health benefits such as reduce a person’s risk of diabetes, cardiovascular and heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Therefore it is a very good diet for people to follow even if they are not interested in weight loss but want to have a good diet that allows them to live a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated on Jan 25th, 2011 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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