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The Glycemic Index Diet Review

by George Pierce
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What is the Glycemic Index Diet?

The Glycemic Index Diet, also called the G.I. Diet is a diet that originally was designed to help people with diabetes.  The diet is based  primarily on carbs.  The idea is that some foods such as bread, cookies, and potatoes make your blood sugar rise.   The GI Diet focuses on carbs that create a steadier rise in blood sugar levels.  These carbs also contain more fiber, enabling you to feel fuller longer.  The idea is that you are not as hungry and and eat less.  What helps you control your blood sugar levels should help you to lose weight.

How Does It Work?

The glycemic index diet is a program based on the way that foods affect your blood sugar levels

The glycemic index is a system in which a number is assigned to a carb-containing food according to how much it increases blood sugar. The glycemic index is not a really diet plan, rather it is a diet tool.  Think of it as similar to a calorie counting or carbohydrate counting guide.

Glycemic index diet refers to any number of diets that are based on the glycemic index. Unlike some other plans, a glycemic index diet doesn't necessarily specify portion sizes or the optimal number of calories, carbohydrates, or fats for weight loss or weight maintenance.

Some of the diets, diet books and diet websites that are based on the glycemic index, include the Zone Diet, Nutrisystem, Sugar Busters and the Slow-Carb Diet.

By eating foods that are less likely to cause big changes in your blood sugar, you may be able to lose weight.  You will also help prevent illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Why should you consider the G.I. Diet?

Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Need a plan to eat healthy.
Need help controlling blood sugar levels
Need help treating diabetes.

salad with chicken

About Carbs (carbohydrates)

Carbs are nutrients found in foods such as sugar, starches, and fiber.  Your body ingests the carbs and turns them into glucose, a source of energy for the cells in your body.  Different types of  carbs are absorbed at different rates, which affects how rapidly glucose enters your bloodstream.  

Researchers have put a G.I. value on these carbs based on how they raise blood glucose levels.

Low G.I.: 1 to 55
Medium G.I.: 56 to 69
High G.I.: 70 and higher

What can you eat?

Foods on the GI Index range from 0 to 100.  

High GI foods, foods with a 70 or higher rating include white rice, white bread, pretzels, white bagels, white baked potatoes, crackers, sugar-sweetened beverages

Medium GI foods, foods with a GI rating of 56-69 includes bananas, grapes, spaghetti, ice cream, raisins, corn on the cob

Low-GI foods, foods with a GI rating of 55 and below: oatmeal, peanuts, peas, carrots, kidney beans, hummus, skim milk, most fruits (except those foods listed above and except for watermelon)


GI ratings can be misleading.  Watermelon has a G.I. rating of 72 which is high, however, watermelon has few carbs in a typical serving.  

As an answer to this problem, researchers have developed a GL rating, which is a Glycemic Load rating.  
A GL rating is a number that indicates the blood level change that food will have on your body.  

Low GL: 1 to 10
Medium GL: 11 to 19
High GL: 20 or more

An important consideration that can affect GI and GL value is how it is prepared.  

child eating watermelon
Watermelon has a high GI of 72, yet a low GL of 7.21.

Does It Work?

It should work, simply because you are eliminating most junk food and eating healthier.  One study showed that one group of people who ate a low glycemic diet with the same calories as another group with a high glycemic diet lost more fat.   There is no conclusive scientific proof, trials, or studies that shows that the G. I. Diet works.  In 2010, a federal advisory committee concluded that the G.I. diet did no better that other diets at helping you lose weight or at keeping the weight off.  In a 2013 review of 20 studies, the conclusion was that a low carb diet or a Mediterranean diet were better at losing weight than the G. I. Diet.

Cost:  Your food cost should stay about the same.
Alcohol:  One drink per day for women and two per day for men.
Exercise is not included.  Most experts agree that about 1/2 hour of exercise per day or more is recommended.  Walking is one of the top rated exercise choices.  
Vegan or Vegetarian?  Yes.  You can make the appropriate substitutions.
Gluten Free?  Yes.  You have lots of gluten free choices that you can use for substitution.

Positives:

Eat healthier
You should lose weight
You will reduce your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Prepackaged foods are available (Nutrisystems is an example)
Plenty of meal plan and recipes are available
A low GI Diet helps lower uric acid which can help with gout.

The 2 Week Diet

Negatives:

Difficulty is about medium
No Meetings although general online support is available.  Click here for our list of 22 online Weight Loss Forums and Communities.
Confusing.  The GI rating can be misleading.
Non carb foods are not covered.

Conclusion:

The G.I Diet is healthy and should help you to lose weight.  I, therefore, give it a thumbs up, BUT, I do not recommend it for most people.  If diabetes is an issue or a concern, then the G.I. Diet may be for you.  If diabetes is not an issue, then other diets may suit you better.  For example, the Atkins 40 Diet is a low carb diet that may be worth considering or the Mediterranean Diet, considered to be the #2 best over all diet by US. News and World Report.

Thank you for reading, my friends.  I wish you success on your weight loss journey.

Kind regards,
George Pierce
Founder Win At Losing Weight

free daibetes with lg coke McDonalds sign

The 2 Week Diet
--- Diabetes Concerns?

If you are reading about the Glycemic Index Diet, you may be concerned about diabetes.  If so, please visit our diabetes section for more help and information.  

You will find numerous resources  such as a forums and communities list, a free diabetes risk test, and more.
Click here to visit the Diabetes Section.

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The 2 Week Diet