Monday, 4 October 2010

What is a Low GI diet anyway?

GI stands for Glycaemic (or Glycemic if you're American) Index. It is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar level rises after you eat certain foods. So foods that are low GI, lead to a slow, modest rise in your blood sugar level, whereas high GI foods lead to a rapid rise, followed by a rapid decline in your blood sugar level. The glycaemic index of a food is a calculated measure, we can't work it out ourselves. It's easy to lean what are low GI foods though, and what aren't.

Low GI < 55

Medium GI 56-69

High GI >70

Low GI diets are an essential component of the management of diabetes, but it's not only diabetics who can benefit from low GI eating- everyone can, because a low GI diet basically promotes a balanced, healthy diet, chock full of the many essential nutrients our bodies need to get through each and every day. A low GI diet means lots of fruit and vegetables, modest amounts of protein and low GI carbohydrates. Low GI diets make an intrinsic sense to me as opposed to the ketogenic high protein diets that are widely popular. Choosing to put yourself into a ketotic state doesn't seem to make any sense to me. And who wants to pick a diet that will make them constipated?

There are stacks of websites with detailed information about what a low GI diet is, and which foods are preferred, so I don't need to go into too much detail here. Much of the ground breaking work in this area was done at my old stomping ground Sydney Uni by Jennie Brand-Miller. The official Glycemic Index website (and I note now that they are using American spelling) has a ton of information. They send out a helpful and interesting monthly newsletter. There are heaps of books available too, with tables of foods relevant to your local area.

I've used the low GI diet before and did lose quite a bit of weight with it, and felt much better. It's time to do it all again with renewed vigor, so join me as I embark on this process once more, and while I search out interesting low GI foods (noone wants to be miserable just to be healthy!), recipes and products. Happily some of the foods I already eat and meals I already cook are low GI, some may need a bit of tweaking, and at other times I will be launching myself headlong into the unknown in search of new low GI wonders.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I have found your blog after googling "low gi blog" as I refused to believe that I was the only one documenting a low gi journey. So thank you for coming up in my search - I am reading my way through your journey with interest (and from many miles away as I am UK based). Some of your food is already on my list to try, so I very much intend to keep reading! Amelia.