Carbohydrate is one of the major sources of food in our daily life. This can break into energies within a short span of time and release sugar in the blood stream. It’s also influential to increase the insulin erection inside the body.
But, the level of increase in the blood sugar for consuming carbohydrate varies due to the type of food and its amount. Some type of carbohydrate can be a potential catalyst to raise the blood sugar significantly, some can rise moderately and some will respond very slowly.
This fact of influencing blood sugar is measured by GI values, which I have discussed in my previous article.
Depending on the variation of GI values, foods are mainly classified into three major divisions. These are-
1. Low GI foods (GI value- 55 or less)
2.Medium GI foods (GI value 56-69)
3. High GI foods (GI value 70 or more)
Here I have written down a short list of foods along with the brief description containing different GI values.
1. Low glycemic foods (GI value- 55 or less)
Low GI food refers to those which contain the value 55 or less in the GI chart. These foods respond very slowly regarding the increase in blood sugar level. It’s also known as slow carbohydrates. Here is a short list of GI foods; you might used to eat in regular basis. These are likely-
- Oatmeal ( steel cut or rolled), oat bran, muesli
- Converted rice
- Sweet potato
- Lima beans
- Whole wheat
- Pumpernickel bread
2. Medium glycemic foods (GI value 56-69)
Medium GI food refers to the carbohydrates which contain the value between 56 -69 in GI chart. These foods respond relatively faster than low GI food. But this type of food won’t increase your blood sugar level rapidly. Therefore medium GI foods can be consumed on daily basis regardless the increase in blood sugar.
Here is a short list of Medium GI foods-
- Whole wheat bread
- Rye pita bread
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Quick oats
3. High glycemic foods (GI value 70 or more)
High GI food refers to those which contain the value 70 or more in GI chart. These foods are much responsible to raise the blood sugar level within a short period of time. Moreover, it can trigger the insulin erection significantly.
Here is a short list of high GI foods. You can take a look to skip from the next time
- White bread
- Corn flakes
- Puffed rice
- Instant oat meals
- Rice pasta
- Short grain white rice
- Rice cakes
- Pineapples etc.
How to stick on the low glycemic food?
Foods with the low GI value are very suitable to consume while you are on the way to flatten your belly. In addition it can also help you to shrug off some extra fats from the body. In the previous section of this article I have written down a short list of low GI foods.
You can take a look at that list and motivate yourself to stick on the low GI food. There are few things you can follow to stick on the low GI food.
Here some tips for you.
1. Stay away from refined foods
We do have a very common intention to buy refined foods or products made from refined grains. White rice, white bread, crackers, pasta etc. belongs to the refined foods. While shopping in the super store we usually tend to keep those foods in our cart.
But, to get rid of the bloated stomach or obesity you have to keep yourself away from these refined foods. From now on whenever stepping into the super shop try to keep unrefined carbohydrate (whole grain) in your cart.
There some potential danger having refined foods. It ultimately helps in weight gain. The potential risk of refined foods are-
- Processed foods looks good and taste good but lacks some necessary vitamins. So when you eat refined foods you are getting full stomach but with nutrients. So your body becomes weak without letting you know.
- Refined foods are made with some preservatives. It keeps the food fresh but harms you body badly. It causes cancer and some other complicated diseases. So avoiding the additives refined foods is the best option.
- Refined foods are exaggeratedly added with sugar and fat. When you eat a very small amount of fat sugar mixed foods, you ultimately consume a huge number of calorie within a very short time. So You gain weight very quickly
- Contamination is another risk of having refined foods. It is seen that refined food are kept for long time. Therefore, the chance of being rotten is very high. Ultimately, at the time of eating refined foods we eat potentially contaminated foods.
2. Add some edible oil with carbohydrates
Body takes longer time to digest the fat. No matter what the type is. Therefore, it’s proved that if you tend to add little amount of edible oil with the carbohydrates meal, then it will necessarily reduce the value of GI in total.
But, be careful about the amount of fat you are adding with the carbohydrates. As you already know that, fat can produce twice as more calories than carbohydrates or protein.
3. Mix some protein with the carbohydrates
Protein stays longer period of time in the digestive system. In addition it can contribute significantly to the metabolism process. Metabolism is considered as a key to utilize the energy from foods. Mixing up protein with carbohydrate can lower the GI value in return.
Therefore, whenever you are going to eat some carbohydrate based snacks or meal. Then you can mix some amount of protein to lessen the value of GI.
4. Concentrate on fiber containing food
You may be confused about the food rich in fiber. To help you find the fiber containing food in super shop, I would like to suggest you to take a look at the food labels. From nutrition facts you can get an idea about the amount of fiber in particular food item.
Health professional recommends eating 25-30 gm fiber each day.
Fiber containing foods are likely- beans, legumes, lentils, split peas and so forth. Foods containing fiber are usually lower in GI value chart.
These are the few things you can follow for a long term effect and can lead you to the way of flattening stomach or losing weight.
5. Think about metabolism process by eating low GI foods
By conducting several studies in the previous year, scientists have proved that eating low GI food can accelerate the metabolism process in human body. It occurs because the body never finds more than enough calories, if someone can consistently stick to eating low GI food.
So, body mechanism motivates itself to produce necessary calories from the available foods. Thereby you can keep your digestion and metabolism process very fast and repeated. Once your body could realize that you are not tending to store calories in your body, then it will never help to acquire excess fats.
6. Set your personal goal on dieting
Setting personal goal on dieting can lead the way to stick to the low GI foods in course of time. Without setting goal, you may go far away from the healthy diet, which can pave the way to gain more than enough calories over the body.
So, it is inevitable to do some pre-plan for setting the personal goal on dieting. For instance you can plan your next day morning breakfast with the whole grain bread and a fried egg instead of butter bread and corn flakes. Thus, you can find it easy to eat low GI food in your lunch and dinner as well. Once you can set your personal goal on dieting and consistently stick to it, then you shouldn’t worry about how to lead a healthy life.
7. Imagine on broader perspective
In everyday life if you can control yourself from taking all kinds of high GI foods, then certainly you are relatively in the lower risk of different kinds of diseases being occurred by the obesity problem. For instance, you may keep yourself safe from the following diseases -
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Respiratory disease
- High cholesterol level etc.
So, if you can imagine the effect of low GI foods in broader spectrum, then you will definitely find it meaningful and worth to follow consistently.
Low GI Food List
Low GI foods are suggested as it causes low chances of increased blood sugar level. This diet helps to fight against diabetes, heart diseases and weight loss as well. Low GI foods is not the only way to lose belly fat rather you can maintain the same level of weight by other type of healthy diet and exercise. Here I am giving some a list of low GI foods so that you can have a general idea about what to eat for maintaining a balanced weight.
Vegetables, Legumes and Fruit
- Packaged vegetables with no added salt.
- Butternut, pumpkin, carrots, corn, orange
- Chickpeas, lentils, dried beans such as kidney beans, lima beans, dried peas etc.
- Fresh fruits including apples, pears, bananas, grapes, kiwi, orange.
- Canned fruit and natural juices.
- Dried fruits like prunes, dates, apricots
Breads and Cereals (rice, pasta and noodles)
- Sourdough, dense or whole grains
- Fruit loaf.
- Basmati, wild rice
- Noodles, quinoa, pearl barley
- Oats, buckwheat, natural muesli.
Nuts and Seeds
- Nuts are not a good source of carb but peanuts and cashew are high carb containing low GI foods.
- Sugar free butternut, starch and salt.
- Low GI sugar
- Maple syrup
- Yellow box honey or blended honey
Milk and Dairy based Products
- Plain milk, evaporated or UHT powered milk.
- Soy almond drinks.
- soy yogurt
- Cottage cheese, extra light cream cheese.
- Soy cheese
- Low fat custard.
Meat, poultry, fish, seafood and eggs
- Lean meat
- Lean short cut bacon
- Lean meat patties
- Skin and fat removed chicken, turkey, duck.
- Fish like Atlantic salmon, blue mackerel, blue fin tuna, yellow tail kingfish, and silver perch.
- Canned fish like sardine, salmon, tuna.
- Green mussels, oyster, scallops.
- Crab, clams, cockles.
- Lobster, crayfish, yabby, marron
- Balmain, moreton bay bugs
- Prawns, scampi, calamari or squid.
There are some issues that low GI foods do not recommend the amount of foods that you should eat. Therefore, you should consult with your dietician regarding how much you should eat.
Low GI Diet Plan
Low GI diet plan is very well known concept for heart and diabetes patient. Doctors suggest this diet plan as it helps to control blood sugar level. Low GI diet plan is mainly focused on carb rich foods. It raises blood sugar steadily. Along with this, the fiber content of this diet makes you feel full for longer period. Therefore, you remain satisfied without having too much food. This property of Low GI foods is utilized for losing belly fat.
Many of you may have heard the word Low GI diet for the first time. So it is necessary to say few words about it. Glycemic index or GI rates the carb foods because of their influencing ability on the blood sugar level. The lower the value the slower it raises the blood sugar level.
How low GI foods help to reduce belly fat
You have already known about low GI foods. Foods that are high GI rating are quickly broken down. So your blood sugar suddenly goes up, on the other side your system produces insulin to take blood sugar level normal condition. When your body understands that you are low on sugar then you feel hungry. When you choose to eat low GI foods, it needs more time to digest so you feel full for long period.
What can be eaten?
Normally in Glycemic, index foods are ranked on a scale of 0-100. The rank is normally given based on raising blood sugar level.
High GI foods: High GI foods are supposed to rank 70 or higher. These foods include rice, white bread, baked potatoes, crackers, sugar sweetened beverages.
Medium GI foods: The foods that rank between 56-69 are medium GI foods. Bananas, ice cream, corn, grapes, spaghetti are Medium GI foods.
Low GI foods: low GI foods refer those which rank 55 or under 55. These foods include oatmeal, peanuts, carrots, fruits, kidney beans etc.
Here I am describing a low GI three times meal diet plan.
In breakfast porridge with oatmeal, skimmed milk, little honey, an orange is just perfect. You can also have a chopped apple, two chopped apricots, few grams of bran, little honey with low fat yoghurt. There are few more breakfast ideas you can follow.
- Low fat natural yoghurt with a tbls honey and sprinkle of 2 teaspoon of sunflower seed.
- Porridge with oatmeal, skimmed milk, little honey and a grapefruit
- Two eggs with a spoon of semi skimmed milk.
Lunch can be more diversified with wholemeal pitta filled combination of a piece of cooked chicken, a tablespoon of mild mayonnaise and ¼ of teaspoon of Dijon mustard. You can add a bowl of green salad. Some other low GI lunch diet plans are
- Some lentil soup with a slice of wholemeal bread with 2 medium size plums.
- Mix a piece of tuna with some butter beans, a tomato, a half chopped onion and chopped parsley.
- Veggie soup with pumpernickel and an apple.
If you are a food-loving person then you can enjoy your dinner more impressively.
- Vapor a large cod fillet and décor it with a tablespoon of salsa, some boiled potatoes and garden peas.
- Slice up a chicken breast and fry it with half a pack of stir-fry vegetables in 1 teaspoon of oil. You can use whatever spices you prefer and Serve it with cooked brown rice.
- Bake a piece of haddock fillet, serve it with cooked lentils and baby spinach.
Here I tried to make complete guideline for you to lose weight with low GI diet plan. If you follow this, I am sure it will make some difference for you.
Why are Low GI Foods good for You?
Foods that are with low score on the glycemic index (GI) can help maintain steady blood sugar level. They can even help your body metabolize fat more efficiently. Originally, the glycemic index was designed for people who have diabetes and need help keep their blood sugar levels under control. In making food choices or planning healthy meals, the GI is a very useful tool regardless of whether we are diabetic or not.
Every cell in the body requires glucose, which is the primary source of energy. The GI ranks carbohydrate foods based on how fast they get broken down into glucose. When glucose level goes up in the blood, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin, which expedites the take up of glucose by the cells and consequently brings blood sugar levels back to level that is more manageable.
How GI Works
The GI involves measuring the speed at which the body converts the carbs in our food to energy, in the form of glucose. The GI measures how fast the digestion of a food occurs and the amount of glucose are risen. The measure is reflected by a score on the GI scale. For all foods, glucose is the reference point and carries a score of 100. Foods that have low GI ratings secrete their energy slowly and help prevent sugar highs.
It is the proportion of a type of starch, amylopectin and amylose that makes a food low rather than high GI. Foods such as lentils with greater proportion of amylose have lower GIs than foods such as potatoes with more amylopectin, which have a high GI.
High-GI foods are the ones with a GI of 70 or more. They cause rapid increase in blood sugar. Medium-GI foods are the ones with a GI of 55-69. They cause moderate increase in blood sugar. Low-GI foods are the ones with a GI of below 55. They have minor impact on blood sugar.
Merits of low-GI Foods
Low-GI foods facilitates Fat Burning
A sharp rise in glucose in the blood causes the pancreas to secrete a rush of the hormone insulin, which reduces excess glucose in the blood. On top of removing surplus glucose from the blood, insulin slows down the speed of burning fat. A dramatic rise in insulin due to consumption of high-GI foods can start reactions in the body that can make you feel hungry, lethargic and crave more sugar.
Consumption of low-GI carbohydrate foods causes a steady rise in the level of glucose in the blood, which in turn results in gentle and small rise in insulin. Small increase in insulin can keep you feel energized and full hours after eating and also encourages the body to burn fat.
Results of studies conducted on thousands of men and women suggest that diets with high GI foods are linked with weight gain. Other studies suggest that a low GI diet may enhance weight loss and help maintain weight loss.
Blood Glucose Control
People with diabetes may be able to control blood glucose levels with the help of low-GI diet, as pointed out in some clinical studies. The observed effects may also be attributed to the high-fiber and low-calorie content of the diets.
Studies suggest that low-GI diets may help lower total cholesterol level and low-density lipoproteins or the bad cholesterol. This the case especially when an increase in dietary fiber is combined with low-GI food. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are usually low to moderate-GI foods and good sources of fiber.
A low-GI food can keep you feel fuller for longer. There is a belief that a low-GI diet is good for appetite control. Nonetheless, clinical investigations have demonstrated mixed results.
How GI Scores Vary
It is important to keep in mind that a food’s GI is variable. It can vary depending on the way the food has been prepared, whether the food has been cooked, how hydrated it is and how ripe it is in case of fresh produce like fruit. An average serving of raw carrot has a GI of 16, but the score can rise to 49 once the carrot has been peeled, diced and boiled. The GI of a food can also vary due to the type of food that we eat with it.
Make it Low GI
Following tips can help keep meals and snacks low GI:
Choose brown versions of wholegrain foods like pasta, bread, rice, etc. Combine protein like chicken, fish and dairy foods with carbs like potatoes, bread and pasta. Eat new potatoes instead of old and boil potatoes in their skins rather than baking, mashing or chipping. Thicken sauces with nut butter or little tahini rather than high GI cornflower. Instead of having white rice, choose amylose-rich basmati rice. Avoid ‘easy cook’ or ‘instant’ foods, which are usually highly processed. Instead of snacking on biscuits and sweet treats, try unsalted nuts, oatcakes, seeds, etc.
Low-GI foods delivers natural and slowly released energy. Foods with low-GI values can help reduce calorie intake, which is helpful in creating a calorie deficit, losing weight, and reducing risks of obesity related diseases. A low-GI food has positive impacts on mood, energy and concentration level. Even though low-GI foods have positive effects, experts recommend that the GI should not be used in isolation. In making food choices, other nutritional factors such as fat, vitamins, fiber and other nutrients should also be considered.
What are Low Glycemic Fruits?
The glycemic index (GI) reveals how quickly and how much a carbohydrate-containing food causes your blood sugar level to rise. Foods that have a GI score of 55 or below are rated as low-GI foods. Foods that have a GI score of 56 to 69 are rated as medium-GI foods. Foods that have a GI score of 70 or above are rated as high-GI foods.
Low-GI foods cause blood sugar level to rise slowly, which keeps the post-meal changes easy to deal with for the body. Most whole fruits are low or medium GI foods. Many fruits also contain vitamin A, C and fiber.
The glycemic load (GL) is a more specific and useful assessment of the food-blood sugar effect. The GL takes into account the GI as well as the amount of carbohydrates per serving of the food. The GL value of 0 to 10 is considered low-GL. The GL value of 11 to 19 is considered moderate-GL. The GL value of 20 or above is considered high-GL.
It is useful to know low-GI foods. They can help keep blood sugar level low and reduce risks of different diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Below are some low-GI fruits.
GI and GL scores of cherries are 20 and 6 respectively. Cherries are high in antioxidants and potassium, which can boost your immune system. It can be hard to get fresh cherries as they have a short growing season. Canned tart cherries can be a good substitute if they are not packed in sugar. GI and GL score of canned cherries are 41 and 6 respectively.
GI and GL scores of grapefruit are 25 and 3 respectively. Grapefruit is packed with vitamin C. It is useful to keep in mind that grapefruit can affect effects of numerous prescription drugs. It is good to consult your doctor about eating grapefruit in case you are taking prescription drugs.
GI and GL scores of apricot are 32 and 9. It can be hard to find the best fresh apricots as apricots bruise easily. Apricots do not ripen well off the tree. When eaten in small amount, dried apricots are a great alternative. Dried apricots provide higher amount of carbohydrate than fresh apricots do. They have vitamin A, E and copper.
GI and GL scores of pears are 38 and 4. You can enjoy fresh or gently baked pears. It is best to have them with the peel on. They can provide about 20 percent of recommended daily fiber intake.
GI and GL scores of apples are 39 and 5 respectively. It is good to have apple fresh rather than processed. According to the American Diabetic Association, processed foods usually have higher GI scores. In some cases though, dried or canned fruits can be a good choice. With the peel on, a sweet-tart apple can provide twenty percent of your daily fiber need. Apples also help feed healthy gut bacteria.
GI and GL scores of oranges are 40 and 5 respectively. Oranges are packed with vitamin C. Oranges also contain plenty of healthy fiber.
GI and GL scores of plums are 40 and 2 respectively. It is easy to bruise plums, which makes it hard to get them to market. Plums remain nutritionally beneficial when they are in dried state or as prunes. It is then necessary to watch portion size. Dried fruits have higher amount of carbohydrates. GL score of prunes is nine.
GI and GL scores of strawberries are 41 and 3 respectively. Strawberries provide vitamin C, fiber and antioxidant. A cup of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange. You can grow many varieties of strawberry yourself in the warmer months. It is good to eat them raw for a healthy serving. Other berries like blackberries, blueberries and raspberries also have a low GL.
GI and GL scores of peaches are 42 and 5 respectively. A peach contains around 68 calories. It is filled with different vitamins including A and C. They can make smoothies great.
GI and GL scores of grapes are 53 and 5 respectively. Grapes with the skin on provide healthy fiber. Grapes also contain vitamin B-6, which is good for mood hormones and brain function.
Pears are almost as beneficial as apples. GI score of pears is 38. They are high in fiber and low in sugar.
Kiwi fruit is another low GI fruit with a score of 53.
Bananas are low GI fruit with a score of 54. They are packed with different vitamins and fiber.
GI value of dates is between 31 and 50. The variation in types of dates and how they get packed can cause change in the GI value. This fruit is a good source of magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6.
GI value of nectarines is 43. It is a mutant of the peach. It is a good source of magnesium and potassium.
GI value of mandarins is 47. It is similar to oranges. It is rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin A, B1 and B6.
It is good to keep in mind the GI and GL scores provide general guideline regarding food choices. Checking blood sugar level with a glucometer individually after meals and snacks is an even better way to find out effects of certain food on blood sugar and health. Low-GI fruits are usually good for blood sugar and health, as long as they are consumed in relation to portion size.
What is the GI Diet?
A glycemic index (GI) diet is about eating plan in relation to how foods affect your blood sugar level. The GI is a system that assigns a number or score to carbohydrate-containing foods in accordance with how each food increases your blood sugar. The GI itself is not a diet plan. It is one of the tools like carbohydrate or calorie counting that guide in making food choices.
The GI diet is about a specific diet plan that uses the index as the only or primary guide for meal planning. Many popular commercial diet websites and diet books are based on the GI, including the Sugar Busters, Zone Diet and the Slow-Carb Diet.
The purpose of the GI diet is to recognize and eat carbohydrate-containing foods that do not cause a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. The GI diet can be a means to lose weight or belly fat and prevent obesity related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Why you might follow the GI diet? Want to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. Following are the reasons why you might choose to follow the GI diet.
Need help plan and Eat Healthier
Need help maintain blood sugar level that is consistent with diabetes treatment plan. According to studies, a GI diet can help achieve these goals. Nonetheless, you may be able to achieve the same health benefits by doing enough exercise, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s important to consult a doctor before starting any weight-loss diet, particularly when you have a heath condition such as diabetes.
The Glycemic Index
Originally, the GI principles were developed as a guide for people with diabetes. In Australia, the Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service maintains an international GI database. The database has the results of relevant studies conducted at different research facilities around the world.
A brief overview of GI value, carbohydrate and blood sugar can help understand glycemic index diets.
Carbohydrates are one of the types of nutrients in foods. The three basic forms of carbohydrates are fiber, sugars and starches. When you drink or eat something with carbs, the sugars and starches get broken down into a type of sugar called glucose, which is the main source of energy for cells in your body. Fiber remains undigested as it passes through the body.
Two hormones from pancreas help regulate glucose in the bloodstream. One of them is insulin. Insulin transports glucose from bloodstream to cells in the body. The other hormone glucagon helps secretion of glucose stored in liver when your blood sugar is low. Both of the processes help keep your body fueled and strike a natural balance in blood glucose level.
There are different types of carbohydrates with different properties that differently affect how fast your body digest the foods and how quickly or how much glucose level rises in the bloodstream.
Understanding GI values
There are numerous research methods for assigning a GI value to food. Generally, the number or score is based on how much a food item raises blood glucose level. The GI values are divided into three categories. Foods with GI score of 55 or below 55 belong to low-GI category. Foods with GI score of 56 to 69 belong to medium-GI category. Foods with GI score of 70 or higher belong to high-GI category.
The GI values help make healthier food choices. Typically, the lower the GI value, the healthier the food is considered to be.
Limitations of GI values
The GI values do not deal with the likely quantity of food you eat. The following example can help understand the limitation. Watermelon has a GI score of 80. It belongs to high-GI food, which is to be avoided. But, in a typical serving, watermelon has relatively few digestible carbohydrates. In other words, blood glucose level will not rise significantly unless a lot of watermelon is consumed.
In order to address such limitation, researchers have come up with the idea of glycemic load (GL). The GL is a numerical value that indicates the change in blood glucose levels in relation to consumption of a typical serving of a food item. For instance, a ¾-cup or 120-gram serving of watermelon has GL value of five. This is to be identified as a healthy food choice. A 2/3- cup or 80 gram serving of raw carrots has GL value of two.
GI values of Sydney University also incorporates GL values. The GL values are also divided into three groups. GL value of 1 to 10 is considered low-GL. GL value of 11-19 is considered medium-GL. GL value of 20 or more is considered high GL.
The GI value does not provide nutritional information. For instance, GI value of whole milk is 31 for 1 cup or 250-mililiter serving. Even though the GI value is low, whole milk is not the best choice for weight control or weight loss due its high fat content.
The GI database does not have an exhaustive list of foods. It has a list of foods that have been studied. Many healthy foods are not in the database.
A number of factors can affect the GI value of any food item. How a food item is processed or prepared and what other foods are on the dish can affect the GI value of the food.
There can also be a range in GI values for the same foods. Consequently, some argues that the GI value is not a reliable guide to determine food choices.
A GI diet recommends meals primarily of foods that have low values. Following are examples of foods with low, middle and high GI values.
Low GI foods include most fruits, green vegetables, raw carrots, lentils, bran breakfast cereals, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.
Medium GI foods include banana, sweet corn, raisins, raw pineapple, oat breakfast cereal, multigrain, oat bran or rye bread, etc.
High GI foods include white potatoes, white bread and white rice.
The GI diets are linked with appetite control, cholesterol control, blood glucose control, weight loss, etc. Actually, studies on benefits of GI diets in relation to health goals have produced mixed results. The researchers who sustains the GI database recommends that the GI values should not be used in isolation. Other nutritional factors are also to be taken into account in making food choices.
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Last update: October 22, 2017 05:05:21 pm