Are you losing weight but finding it hard to keep it off? In a world surrounded by ambiguous diet plans and products, losing weight can be hard. According to a research finding published by Harvard Health Review in 2004, it is the high sugary foods which make one gain weight rather than high-fat foods. Watching the ‘Glycemic index’ or ‘Sugar Scale’ of food consumed is key to not only losing weight but to also to leading a healthier lifestyle altogether.
What is the ‘Glycemic Index’?
Glycemic index (GI) indicates how fast or slow food can raise the blood sugar levels after intake. The GI of the foods consumed makes a big difference when it comes to stabilising blood sugar levels in diabetics. It’s also useful for anyone who wants to manage weight, suppress hunger and prevent disease.
How can the Glycemic Index help one with weight loss?
When the blood sugar level is unstable, the person experiences sugar craving and frequent hunger which leads to overeating. An insulin spike also occurs when too much glucose is in the blood which results to the sugar being stored as fat.
How should one use this scale?
Look for fibre. High-fibre foods have a low glycemic index. All non-starchy vegetables (e.g asparagus) and fruits (e.g.cherries ) are very healthy food choices.
Combine complex carbohydrates with protein-rich foods. This helps to lower the rate of carb digestion. Adding protein helps to slow digestion, curb hunger pangs and keep you full for longer. IT’s no wonder protein plays a role in weight loss.
Choose healthy fats. Healthy fats from coconut and avocado have little or no carbs which brings down the GI value of the food.
Stay away from refined carbs, white flour and processed foods. These have high GI values. Instead, eat whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. Some examples include nuts, seeds, almond flour and coconut flour.
How does a low glycemic diet compare to a low-carb diet?
A low glycemic diet can also be called a “slow carb diet.” There are many low-carb foods that also qualify as low glycemic foods because of their ability to prevent a strong release of insulin and blood sugar fluctuations after eating.
Low-carb foods like fish, meat, oils and fats have a GI score of zero since they contain no sugar/starch/carbs, and therefore in general they don’t significantly impact blood glucose of insulin levels.
Precautions when Eating a Low Glycemic Diet
If a low glycemic diet seems overwhelming or restrictive, you should remember that your diet doesn’t have to be complicated to be healthy. Keep things simple by using common sense and choosing sources of carbs that are the least processed and contain the fewest added ingredients. Sources of carbohydrates like fruits, ancient whole grains, sweet potatoes and beans don’t need to be removed from your diet. It’s all about balance and eating real foods.
LOW – GI FOODS
All non-starchy vegetables especially all types of lettuce and leafy greens, broccoli, spinach, onion, green beans, artichokes, peppers and others.
Nuts, beans, and seeds especially chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and walnuts, which are some of the best choices.
Yoghurt and other fermented dairy like plain, unsweetened yoghurt, raw whole milk and traditionally made cheeses which are the best.
100% whole/ancient grains like brown rice, wild rice, sprouted grain breads, granola and muesli, and whole-wheat past.
Most fruits including stone fruits, apples, berries, cherries and citrus fruits. Fresh fruit is a btetter choice over fruit juices.
Quality protein such as salmon, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef or lamb, raw dairy products (including yoghurt, kefir or raw cheeses), cage-free eggs, and pasture-raised poultry.
Refined grains, flours and grain products like most bread, processed breakfast cereals, cookies, cakes.
Sweetened beverages such as soda and bottled juices.
Dried fruits such as raisins and dates.
Starchy root vegetables such as white potatoes and winter squash.
Fast food and fried food.
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Daniel Petre