The GI Diet appeals to me because it doesn’t involve calorie or point counting.
GI, which stands for Glycemic Index, is more about knowing which foods to avoid and which foods you can really tuck into. The GI diet focuses the types of carbs rather than the quantity of carbs for each meal. The GI ranks carbohydrate foods, from 0 to 100. The rule of thumb of this diet is to eat low GI foods (with GI values under 55) and avoid high GI foods (with GI values over 70), that and being careful about the fat content as the GI is not a measure of fat levels. In more medical terms, the GI diet is about insulin and controlling blood sugar levels.
Eating low glycemic foods raises your body’s sugar levels slowly. The lower the GI value, the slower the sugar is absorbed from the blood into the cells. This means you will have a steady supply of energy over the course of several hours, contributing to a feeling fuller longer.
Eating these foods give you an energy rush that’s followed by an energy lull. The higher the value, the quicker the sugar is absorbed from the blood into the cells, lowering your blood sugar levels. Even more disconcerting is that if you eat a high GI snack or meal, your body uses this energy first instead of the energy you’ve got stored in body fat, making it harder to lose weight.
The best, or simplest approach is to choose low glycemic items for your meals. There are some healthy high GI foods, which can be combined with low GI foods to maintain low-medium GI value. For example, a baked potato (high GI) with baked beans (low GI). There are also low GI foods which should be limited. For example, fresh meat and poultry.
Here are a few pointers:
1: Eat at least three low GI foods a day, ideally one at each meal.
2: Make sure you combine any high GI foods with low GI foods.
3: Eat brown rice (vs. white), sweet potatoes (vs. white), grain breads (vs. white)
4: Choose heart healthy fats such as canola and olive oil
5: Snack on fruits, vegetables, yogurt or nuts
What I personally like best about the GI plan is that the book has a handy chart, with foods indexed as green, yellow and red foods. This means, it’s fairly easy to, at a glance, decide which foods you want to be putting in your shopping cart and which ones you need to leave on the shelves.