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The Truth About Low-Glycemic Diets

’Tis the season to be considering diet strategies — in fact, over 20 percent of Americans’ New Year’s resolutions are about weight loss. But if your plan is to adopt a low glycemic diet to achieve your goal, you may want to think twice.

While proponents insist the diet helps with shedding extra pounds and maintaining a healthy weight, Johns Hopkins researcher Lawrence Appel says the evidence doesn’t support these claims. “Glycemic index has conceptual appeal, but evidence is inconsistent and there are a lot of technical issues that make it problematic,” says Appel, director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

The Lowdown on Low Glycemic Diets

Enticed by the promise of being able to enjoy carbohydrates at every meal, devotees have created a lot of buzz around low glycemic diets. Unlike their no-carb counterparts, low glycemic eating plans do not restrict carbohydrate intake altogether.

Instead, followers abide by the glycemic index (GI), a ranking system that assigns a number from 0 to 100 to carbohydrates based on their effect on blood sugar levels. Foods with a number of 55 or lower, such as broccoli and apples, are considered low GI foods, and adherents of the diet can eat these at every meal. Medium GI carbs, such as rye bread and raisin bran cereal, score 56 to 69 and should be eaten less frequently.

Dieters should avoid high GI carbs, such as instant oatmeal and mashed potatoes, which rank 70 or above on the index.

Good Carbs Versus Bad Carbs

Appel recently co-chaired a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found strong evidence indicating that the glycemic ranking of carbohydrates does not affect insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, or blood pressure. He says the nomenclature associated with the diet itself is problematic.

“We need to figure out a better way to classify carbohydrates. We don’t have the perfect system for good and bad carbs, but we should cut down on foods high in sugar, like sugar-sweetened beverages,” he says.

So what are the keys to losing weight and promoting heart health in the New Year?

  • Cut down on salt and sugar.
  • Stick to a heart-healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Follow Appel’s advice: “Eat less. Eat right. Move more.”

Diabetes: Eating Low-Glycemic Foods | Michigan Medicine


Eating low-glycemic foods is one tool to help keep your diabetes under control. The glycemic index is a rating system for foods that contain carbohydrate. It helps you know how quickly a food with carbohydrate raises blood sugar, so you can focus on eating foods that raise blood sugar slowly.

  • Foods that raise blood sugar slowly have a low glycemic index. Most of the carbohydrate-rich foods that you eat with this plan should be low or medium on the glycemic index.
  • Eating low-glycemic foods is most helpful when used along with another eating plan for diabetes, such as carbohydrate counting or the plate format. Counting carbs helps you know how much carbohydrate you’re eating. The amount of carbohydrate you eat is more important than the glycemic index of foods in helping you control your blood sugar. The plate format helps you control portions and choose from a variety of foods.
  • The glycemic index of a food can change depending on the variety of the food (for example, red potato or white potato), its ripeness, how it is prepared (for example, juiced, mashed, or ground), how it is cooked, and how long it is stored.
  • People respond differently to the glycemic content of foods. And because many things affect the glycemic index, the only way to know for sure how a food affects your blood sugar is to check your blood sugar before and after you eat that food.
  • High-glycemic foods are rarely eaten by themselves, so the glycemic index might not be helpful unless you’re eating a food by itself. Eating foods together changes their glycemic index.
  • Look at the overall nutrition in foods—and not just their glycemic index—when you plan meals. Some low-glycemic foods, such as ice cream, are high in saturated fat and should be eaten only now and then. And some high-glycemic foods, such as potatoes, have nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
  • Eating low-glycemic foods along with high-glycemic foods also can help keep your blood sugar from rising quickly.

How do you follow a low-glycemic eating plan?

You don’t have to deny yourself certain food groups or favorite dishes when you follow a low-glycemic eating plan. You focus on eating measured amounts of low- or medium-glycemic foods and trying to eat a balanced diet.

Write down what you eat now

The first step is to look at the kinds of foods you’re eating now. Write down the carbohydrate-rich foods you eat over several days. Then find the glycemic index of these foods.

Foods in the index are given a number from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the higher the glycemic index. Foods are compared to glucose, which is sugar. It has a rank of 100.

  • Foods that raise blood sugar quickly are high. They are rated 70 or more.
  • Foods that raise blood sugar moderately are medium. They are rated 56 to 69.
  • Foods that raise blood sugar slowly are low. They are rated 55 or less.
Glycemic index of some common foodsfootnote 1, footnote 2


Glycemic index








Glycemic index

Potato, baked (such as russet)




Sweet potato


Dried and canned beans and legumes

Glycemic index

Kidney beans






Cereals and grains

Glycemic index

Rice (brown)


Instant oatmeal


Corn flakes



Glycemic index

Whole-grain bread


Hamburger bun (white)


White bread



Glycemic index

Spaghetti (whole wheat)


Spaghetti (white)




Under columns labeled low, medium, or high, list the different foods you eat, according to their glycemic index. You can see at a glance how many high-, medium-, and low-glycemic foods you eat. You may find that you already are eating many foods that are low or medium on the index. But you also may find many foods that are high-glycemic or on the high end of medium.

A dietitian or certified diabetes educator can help you pick foods that you like and that are low on the index. You can get more information from the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.

Swap some high-glycemic foods with low-glycemic choices

Look at your list for high-glycemic foods that you eat only now and then or that you wouldn’t mind removing from your diet.

Find some low-glycemic choices that you could eat in place of those high-glycemic foods. So, for example, if you like baked potatoes, try having a baked yam instead. If you often eat a plain bagel for breakfast, try a slice of multi-grain toast instead. Watermelon is a fine treat once in a while in the summer. But you could limit how much of it you eat. Or you could have strawberries or other low-glycemic berries instead.

Follow some tips to make low-glycemic choices

  • Eat unprocessed food as often as you can. Whole, unprocessed food usually (but not always) has a lower glycemic index than the same food when it’s processed. For example, white bread is more processed than whole wheat bread.
  • Don’t overcook pasta. Cooking pasta until well done raises its glycemic index. For a lower glycemic index, pull the pasta out of the water when it’s still a little firm—but not hard—when you bite it.
  • Choose high-fiber foods. Most food that is high in fiber takes longer to digest and raises blood sugar slowly.
  • Eat measured portions of high-glycemic foods. You can still eat food with a high glycemic index. Many of these foods have nutrients that you need. But try to eat small portions.
  • Eat a low-glycemic food along with a high-glycemic food. The low-glycemic food will help counter the effect of the high-glycemic food, so your blood sugar may rise more slowly. Adding a healthy fat to your meal also will slow the rise of your blood sugar. For example, add a small amount of olive oil when you roast potatoes. Although sticky rice has a high glycemic index, eating it with chicken and vegetables will lower its glycemic index.
  • Choose whole grains. Use whole-grain bread for your toast in the morning, and eat whole grains at lunch. Whole grains include barley, brown rice, and 100% whole-grain bread.
  • When eating out, choose dishes with non-starchy vegetables. Most non-starchy vegetables are low on the glycemic index.

Set goals and get support

  • Have your own reasons for wanting to try this eating plan.
  • Set a main goal. Then start with smaller goals that will help you reach your larger goal. For example, if your main goal is to eat only one high-glycemic food a day—and you now eat seven high-glycemic foods a day—you could make a smaller goal to remove one or two of those high-glycemic foods from your diet each week.
  • Think about what might get in your way. Know that you may have slip-ups, and prepare for how you’ll deal with them. Perhaps you went out to eat and had a meal with several high-glycemic foods. Instead of being upset with yourself, you could try to make a plan for the next time you go out to eat. You might be able to look at the menu online beforehand. That way, you can pick low- or medium-glycemic foods ahead of time.
  • Get support as you make a change in your diet. Ask friends or family to encourage you. They might even want to join you in eating more low-glycemic foods.



  1. Atkinson FS, et al. (2008). International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care, 31(12): 2281–2283.
  2. American Diabetes Association (2013). The Glycemic Index of Foods. Available online: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/the-glycemic-index-of-foods.html.

Other Works Consulted

  • American Diabetes Association (2013). Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 36(11): 3821–3842. DOI: 10.2337/dc13-2042. Accessed December 5, 2013.
  • American Diabetes Association (2013). The Glycemic Index of Foods. Available online: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/the-glycemic-index-of-foods.html.
  • Atkinson FS, et al. (2008). International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care, 31(12): 2281–2283.
  • Franz MJ (2012). Medical nutrition therapy for diabetes mellitus and hypoglycemia of nondiabetic origin. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed., pp. 675–710. St Louis: Saunders.


Current as of:
August 31, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Rhonda O’Brien MS, RD, CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O’Connor PhD, RD – Registered Dietitian

Current as of: August 31, 2020

Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & Rhonda O’Brien MS, RD, CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator & Colleen O’Connor PhD, RD – Registered Dietitian

Atkinson FS, et al. (2008). International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care, 31(12): 2281-2283.

American Diabetes Association (2013). The Glycemic Index of Foods. Available online: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/the-glycemic-index-of-foods.html.

Effect of low-glycemic load diet on changes in cardiovascular risk factors in poorly controlled diabetic patients

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov-Dec; 16(6): 991–995.

Ahmad Afaghi

Qazvin Research Center for Social Determinants of Health Science (QRC SDH), Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

Amir Ziaee

1Qazvin Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

Mahsa Afaghi

2Sydney University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Sydney, Australia

Qazvin Research Center for Social Determinants of Health Science (QRC SDH), Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

1Qazvin Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

2Sydney University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Sydney, Australia

Corresponding Author: Dr. Amir Ziaee, Qazvin Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran. E-mail: [email protected] : © Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.



One dietary strategy aimed at improving both diabetes control and control of cardiovascular risk factors is the use of low glycemic index diets. These diets have been reported to be beneficial in controlling diabetes, and also increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), lower serum triglyceride, and reduce glycated protein.


Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of a low glycemic index-low glycemic load (GL = 67–77) diet on lipids and blood glucose of poorly controlled diabetic patients.

Materials and Methods:

In an intervention study, 100 poorly controlled diabetic patients (age 52.8 ± 4.5 years) who were taking insulin or on oral medication underwent administration of low GL diet (GL = 67–77; energy = 1800–2200 kcal, total fat = 36%, fat derived from olive oil and nuts 15%, carbohydrate = 41%, protein = 22%) for 10 weeks. Patients were recommended to follow their regular lifestyle. Total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), HDL, triglyceride, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), weight, and body mass index (BMI) were measured before and 10 weeks after the intervention.


Before intervention, initial blood cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were 205.9 ± 21.6 and 181.5 ± 22.2, respectively, and were reduced to 182.6 ± 18.2 and 161.6 ± 16.7, respectively, after 10 weeks intervention (P < 0.001). LDL reduced and HDL increased significantly. The HbA1c percentage reduced by 12% (from 8.85 ± 0.22% to 7.81 ± 0.27%) (P < 0. 001), and also their weight significantly reduced from 74.0 ± 5 kg to 70.7 ± 4.6 kg (P < 0.001).


This study demonstrated that low GL diet having lower carbohydrate amount and higher fat content is an appropriate strategy in blood lipid and glucose response control of poorly controlled diabetic patients.

Keywords: Cardiovascular, glycated hemoglobin, glycemic index, glycemic load, poorly controlled diabetes


Diabetes, especially poorly controlled (glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c >8%)[1] one, is a metabolic disease associated with a variety of micro- and macrovascular complications. Elevation of postprandial plasma glucose and insulin stimulation following ingestion of high carbohydrate diet are suggested to increase severity of diabetes and to be independent indicators of risk for atherosclerotic diseases.[2,3] As such, interventions to alleviate postprandial plasma glucose and insulin secretion by diet and lifestyle changes are the essential therapeutic objectives for diabetics. [4]

One dietary strategy aimed at improving both diabetes control and control of cardiovascular risk factors is the use of low-glycemic index (GI) diets. These approaches include diets containing 50–60% calories from carbohydrates and administration of low-glycemic load (GL) diet (100 g) (glucose equivalents per day) without elevating fat intake.[5] Conventional high carbohydrate intake recommended in diabetes, results in suboptimal glycemic control and lipoprotein profile, gradually increasing insulin and/or oral hypoglycemic medication requirement and eventually weight gain.[6]

Some trials have produced supportive evidence of the benefits of substituting polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for saturated fatty acids (SFAs).[7] A meta-analysis of randomized control trials (RCTs) found a 10% reduction in chronic heart disease for each 5% of energy from SFAs substituted for PUFAs,[8] while no benefits have been found by substituting carbohydrates for SFAs.[8,9]

Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of low-GL diet (GL = 67–77, 36% energy as fat, and 42% as carbohydrate), with having higher percentage of fat and lower amount of carbohydrate than conventional diabetics diet on cardiovascular risk factors changes in poorly controlled type 2 diabetic patients.


Experimental procedure

The study was a prospective observational study conducted among Caucasian patients, without having control group. The patients’ biochemical data, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were compared before and after intervention. The inclusion criteria of the study were males and females of age 30–60 years with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and having HbA1c >8%. The exclusion criteria of the study were subjects with renal, heart, chronic, metabolic (except diabetes) disease, pregnant and nursing mothers. One hundred diabetes patients who were referred to endocrine clinic during 6 months and were receiving either insulin or oral medication were recruited for this study. Before commencement of the study, patients were asked to fill a consent form, and their 7-day food dietary records were collected to estimate their usual energy intake. Patients were recommended to follow their regular lifestyle and take their medications during intervention. The procedures were followed in accordance with the ethical standards of the international guideline for human study, and the study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Qazvin University of Medical Sciences.

Dietary plane

The energy intake varied between 1800 and 2200 kcal according to the patients’ needs, which was calculated based on the “food dairy record.” The GI of each food was extracted from “international table of glycemic index and glycemic load”[10] and glycemic index of Iranian foods.[11] The GL of foods was estimated using carbohydrate content (grams) of each food multiplied by GI of that food.[10] The GL of subjects’ daily diet was the sum of GL of foods consumed during the day.

At baseline, patients were on high carbohydrate low fat (55-60% carbohydrate and 20% fat) conventional diabetes diet. A 10-week experimental diet consisted of ordinary food item having GI ≤55, and each main meal had GL ≤20 with overall daily GL = 67–77 (42% carbohydrate, total fat 36%, fat derived from olive oil and nuts 15%, 22% protein) []. This was accomplished by providing a list to each individual of the recommended daily intake of commonly used foods and a substitution list allowing exchanges within food groups. The compliance with diet program and GL of consumed meals was assessed by regular fortnightly visit of a dietitian.

Table 1

Composition of low-glycemic load diet with 1800 kcal administered to diabetic patients

Laboratory methods

At baseline and 2 weeks after the diet intervention, blood samples were drawn after an overnight fast for determination of plasma glucose, HbA1c, triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Plasma glucose concentrations were determined by the glucose oxidase method[12] (using a Hitachi 917 analyzer, Roche Diagnostics, Biomedical Lab. Center, Florida, USA). HbA1c was determined using nephelometry (Nicocard, USA). The LDL level was measured by a homogeneous enzymatic assay (Genzyme Corp. , Cambridge, MA, USA),[13] and HDL, triglycerides, and cholesterol concentrations were measured using a Hitachi 911 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN, USA).

Statistical analysis

Using G-Power EXE software, the sample size was calculated based on effect sizes and mean obtained for fasting blood glucose in similar studies powered at 90% and an alpha of 5%. We estimated that a sample size of 96 were enough to meet the considered powerfor our study. Data were analyzed for normality of distribution before use of parametric statistics with SPSS version 16 (SPSS Inc., Cary, NC, USA). Data were reported as mean ± SD and were analyzed by using paired Student’s t-test and Pearson correlation to compare weight, BMI, fasting blood sugar (FBS), HbA1c, and lipid profile of patients before and after intervention.


One hundred subjects (55 M, 45 F), aged 52.8 ± 4.5 years, of weight 74.0 ± 5 kg and BMI = 27.2 ± 1.9 kg/m2, who were under treatment for a period of 11. 25 ± 3 years were recruited for this study. The mean values for the data collected are shown in . FBS concentration, HbA1c percentage, weight, and BMI were significantly different between the values before and after intervention (P < 0.001), which reduced as follows: Fasting blood glucose by 28.1 ± 12.5 mg/dl (16.6%), HbA1c by 1.1 ± 0.3%, weight by 3.3 ± 1 kg, and BMI by 1.2 ± 0.4 kg/m2 (P < 0.001). Cholesterol and TG concentrations were 205.9 ± 21.6 mg/ dl and 181.5 ± 22.2 mg/dl and reduced to 182.6 ± 18.2 and 161.6 ± 16.7, respectively (P < 0.001). Both LDL and HDL showed significant changes. LDL increased, while HDL decreased.

Table 2

Lipid and blood glucose profi le of diabetic patients before and after diet intervention


This study showed a significant effect of low-GL diet on cardiovascular risk factors including total cholesterol, TG, LDL, HDL, FBS, and HbA1c. In our study, as we hypothesized, the administered low-GL diet suppressed the HbA1c of the patients to 7. 8 ± 0.3%, which is not considered as poorly controlled level[1] and was our target in the present study.

While there is widespread concern about increasing diabetes and obesity and related health care costs, development of an appropriate diet for cardiovascular risk factor reduction and weight management is a public health issue. The reduction in cardiovascular risk factors in poorly controlled diabetic patients in our study was due to weight loss and also low GL of diet.

Although the poorly controlled diabetes patients had similar isocaloric diet before and during intervention, the low-GI, low-GL diet caused significant weight reduction after 10 weeks of intervention. Several studies have examined the effect of GI on human appetite, and most of them demonstrated increased satiety, delayed return of hunger, or decreased ad libitum food intake after consumption of low compared to high-GI foods.[14] In contrast, hyperinsulinemia resulting from high-GI food intake may cause weight gain by directing nutrients away from oxidation in muscle and toward storage in fat. In animal study it was shown that hyperinsulinemia elevates glucose utilization in fatty tissue, but decreases utilization in muscles, a process that results in increased food intake and weight gain.[14] In epidemiological studies, it has been reported that Pima Indian children with increased fasting insulin levels gain more weight than those children having normal insulin concentration.[15] Energy-restricted diet based on low-GI foods produced greater weight loss than did an equivalent diet based on high-GI foods, and among healthy pregnant women, high-GI diet resulted in greater weight gain at term than isocaloric low-GI diet.[16] The weight changes found in adult rats fed isoenergic, nutrient-balanced diets based on high-GI or low-GI diet for 32 weeks were significantly different. The low-GI group had reduced weight, while the high-GI group demonstrated increased weight.[16] These diets have been reported to be beneficial as they control diabetes, increase HDL-C, lower serum TG,[17] and reduce glycated proteins. [18] In contrast, consuming high-GI diet and consequently high-GL diet was 4 times greater among women with a higher BMI,[19] which may lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Also, the epidemiological studies such as the Nurses Health Study and Health Professional Follow-Up Study,[20] and also Framingham Offspring Study[21] have demonstrated the association between GL and type 2 diabetes, CVD, and metabolic syndrome.

All the above studies confirm weight reduction in diabetes subjects of our study, following low-GL diet. The present study also gains support from a study in which consumption of an ad libitum low-GL diet by obese adults during 6 months resulted in significant body weight reduction which was comparable with conventional restricted energy (250–500 kcal/day deficit) diet group (–7.8% and –8.4% weight reduction, respectively).[22] In our study, diabetes subjects with low GL and sufficient energy intake had 4.4% weight reduction during 10 weeks intervention. The low-GL diet in our study may have increased oxidation of nutrients in muscles rather than storing them in white tissue. In addition, the low-GL diet may have elevated satiety and reduced the intake of foods.

In epidemiologic studies, both GI and the GL of the overall diet were associated with a greater risk of type 2 diabetes in whole adult population and low-GI diet had significant effect on reducing glycosylated proteins.[19] The low-GI and low-GL diets independent of weight loss have significant effect on improving cardiovascular risk factors. In a study, ad libitum intake of the low-GI diet resulted in a 10% decrease in LDL-C compared with isocaloric high-GI diet after 10 weeks intervention,[23] and also ad libitum intake of low-GI diet showed a significantly greater mean decline in plasma triacylglycerols than did the conventional restricted diet.[22] In our present study, the LDL-C reduced by 4%, while the HDL-C increased by 8%. Beneficial effect of low-GI diet in the management of diabetes is well documented. A meta-analysis showed that after average duration of 10 weeks, subjects with type 1 and 2 diabetes who were consuming low-GI diets had HBA1c concentration of 0.4% points lower than those who were following a high-GI diet.[18] Comparing low-GI versus high-GI diet, the low-GI diet significantly improved fasting blood glucose and HbA1c of type 2 diabetes. The patients who followed low-GI diet demonstrated a reduced HbA1c level and it was 0.39% points lower than the HbA1c level of those who followed high-GI diet.[4] In our study, after 10 weeks intervention, the fasting blood glucose reduced by 28.1 ± 12.5 mg/dl (16.6%), and HbA1c by 1.1 ± 0.3%.

The mechanism underlying improvement of fasting blood glucose and HbA1c in the present study probably is the elevated whole-body glucose disposal.[4] The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, which causes postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, has a significantly less favorable effect on circulating triacylglycerol and PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1; a marker of fibrinolytic capacity) concentration than does low-GL diet. [24] In turn, these episodes may enhance hepatic triacylglycerol production or reduce peripheral clearance.[24,25] Higher concentrations of triacylglycerol and PAI-1 have direct association with cardiovascular events.[26]

In our study, the moderate carbohydrate diet with GL = 67–77 g/day, including 42% carbohydrate as energy intake, and 15% of fat derived from olive oil and nuts sources was almost similar to ADA’s recommendation which is more appropriate and compelling for glycemic control for long period. The GL <80 g/day is considered low-GL diet.[27] The higher the GL, the greater the glycemic effect[28] and insulinogenic effect.[10] The GL of diet in our study was even lower than maximum g/day recommendation for low-GL diet.


The meal plan provided by us for glycemic control and control of cardiovascular risk factors of poorly controlled diabetes subjects is appropriate. The mechanism of low GL diet for weight loss is due to its effect on oxidation elevation of nutrients in muscles rather than storing them in white adipose tissue, a process that increases satiety, delayed return of hunger, or decreased ad libitum food intake and weight loss.


Source of Support: This study was funded by Qazvin Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences

Conflict of Interest: None declared


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What Is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index, simply put, is a measure of how quickly a food causes our blood sugar levels to rise.

The measure ranks food on a scale of zero to 100. Foods with a high glycemic index, or GI, are quickly digested and absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. These foods that rank high on the GI scale are often — but not always — high in processed carbohydrates and sugars. Pretzels, for example, have a glycemic index of 83.

Meanwhile, foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed at a slower rate, and subsequently, cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels. These are typically rich in fiber, protein and/or fat. Examples of these include apples with a glycemic index of 28, Greek-style yogurt at 11 and peanuts at seven. Keep in mind that a low GI doesn’t mean a food is high in nutrients. You still need to choose healthy foods from all five food groups.

Glycemic Index: An Imperfect System, but Useful Tool

A food’s GI ranking only applies when a food is consumed on an empty stomach without any other type of food. As anyone who’s ever eaten food knows, this isn’t always how we eat.

Pair a high GI food with a lean steak or a piece of salmon, a side of broccoli and a salad with vinaigrette, and the protein, fiber and fat all will serve to lower the glycemic index of the meal.

In addition, the glycemic index doesn’t take into account how much we’re actually consuming. The GI value of a food is determined by giving people a serving of the food that contains 50 grams of carbohydrate minus the fiber, then measuring the effect on their blood glucose levels over the next two hours.

A serving of 50 grams of carbohydrate in one sitting may be reasonable for a food such as rice, which has 53 grams of carbs per cup. But for beets, a GI ranking of 64 is a little misleading since beets have just 13 grams of carbs per cup; we would need to consume nearly 4 cups of beets in order to cause that spike in blood sugar levels.

An Alternative to Glycemic Index

Glycemic load, or GL, is a formula that corrects for potentially misleading GI by combining portion size and GI into one number. The carbohydrate content of the actual serving is multiplied by the food’s GI, then that number is divided by 100. So for a cup of beets, the GL would be: 13 times 64 = 832 divided by 100 = a GL of 8.3.

As a frame of reference, a GL higher than 20 is considered high, between 11 and 19 is considered moderate, and 10 or less is considered low.

The bottom line: Even though the glycemic index isn’t a perfect system, it can be a useful tool to identify lower-glycemic foods that often are more nutrient-dense, as well as what foods are higher in refined carbohydrates.

Low Glycemic Foods and the Low Glycemic Index

Glycemic index, or GI, is a ranking of carbohydrate containing foods on a scale of zero to 100 according to how quickly these foods raise your blood sugar level after consumption. When your body digests food, the food is converted into glucose that is released into your blood stream. Based on the glycemic index of the food, this blood sugar is released slowly or hastily. Low Glycemic diets are thought to prevent health complications caused by unstable blood sugar such as obesity, diabetes, and potentially other health issues. In basic terms, the low glycemic index refers to the way your body breaks down carbohydrates. With higher glycemic foods, the body tends to break those down into more sugar faster, which is then released to quickly raise your blood sugar.  If your blood stream receives too much glucose too quickly, then the glucose is stored as fat. Low glycemic foods are broken down much slower, and your blood sugar rises slowly and steadily. Because the body takes longer to break down foods with a low glycemic index, they are usually converted into energy for muscles that is used immediately rather than being stored as fat. Low glycemic foods will help you avoid blood sugar spikes and the health consequences that come with it. One simple switch from foods with a high glycemic index to foods with a low glycemic index can make all of the difference in your life.

See full recipe here

So what types of foods are in the high glycemic food group? Many of the foods people love to eat are here: instant white rice, plain white bread, refined grains and high glucose fruits, such as watermelon. In a low glycemic diet, these foods should be avoided. In contrast, low glycemic foods includes many vegetables, some grains, nuts, and beans. Some fruits could also be considered low glycemic, but not all. Contrary to popular belief, fat storage doesn’t necessarily happen when you over consume calories. However, it can happen when you eat foods with a high glycemic index.

Advantages of a Low Glycemic Foods Diet
One of the major benefits of a low glycemic foods diet is that your body uses the carbohydrates you consume for energy rather than storing it. Some food is thought to disrupt the natural balance by creating large spikes in your blood sugar level. When your blood sugar and insulin levels stay high, or go up and down quickly, your body has trouble responding. Over time this could contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with many health problems. A diet which includes low glycemic foods will prevent the risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol, and help prevent blood sugar spikes that are associated with heart disease and obesity. Many also claim that a diet comprised of low glycemic foods also results in less hunger cravings throughout the day, feeling fuller for longer.  This diet is for you if you want to build a strong metabolism that aids in fat burning.

Low glycemic foods include protein and fat sources such as chicken and fish as these do not affect your body’s glycemic intake. Legumes, fruit, and non-starch vegetables have a very low glycemic index and will not quickly spike your glucose levels. Whole grains, whole wheats and starchy vegetables have a medium glycemic index (around 50).

Breads with a Low Glycemic Index
When it comes to breads, in order to stick to a low glycemic diet, you must avoid white bread at all costs and eat only healthy whole grain breads, especially those that contain sprouted grains. Here are our top tips for finding low glycemic bread.

  1. Watch for Whole Grains – whole grains have a lower glycemic index and are associated with lower risks of heart disease and diabetes. Make sure you look diligently for whole grains on the ingredient label.
  2. Find the Fiber – foods that are high in fiber are also associated with a low glycemic index. When choosing bread, look for bread with lots of grams of fiber per serving (5 grams or more).
  3. Get the Grains – two grains that have a low glycemic number are rye and buckwheat. If you see any of these grains on the label, chances are this is low GI bread.
  4. Stay Away from Starch – Starch converts into glucose that is released very quickly into the blood stream. Double check the bread label to make sure starch is not included.

Low Glycemic Foods Available from Food for Life
Food for Life has many low glycemic foods available. Some of the most popular Low Glycemic foods include the Ezekiel 4:9 bread, which has a Glycemic Index of 36. Containing sprouted whole grains, legumes, and high fiber content, Ezekiel 4:9 bread is the best-made bread on the market for a low glycemic diet.

The varieties of Ezekiel 4:9 bread include:

Other products available from Food for Life include cereals, pasta, tortillas, pocket breads and waffles.

Only the freshest sprouted certified organic whole grains and seeds are used in Food for Life products, which helps your body digest more of the nutrients found in grains. No flour is used in Food for Life products. In addition, no preservatives or shortenings, no refined sugars or genetically modified organisms are used in any Food for Life products.

The low glycemic foods from Food for Life have been awarded the Diabetic Friendly Seal by the International Government Accredited Organization, The Glycemic Research Institute. All the Food for Life low glycemic products provide lower blood sugar levels, the opportunity to reduce weight, reduced risk of heart disease, and control of Type I and Type II Diabetes and hypoglycemia.

Beyond the health benefits of low glycemic food and a low glycemic diet, Food for Life takes extra care in the preparation of all low glycemic products, ensuring the best tasting and most nutritious products for your healthy lifestyle.

Find a store near you that has Food For Life’s low glycemic food.

Glycemic Index: Determining High vs. Low Glycemic Foods

Did you know that according to the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study, women eating the highest glycemic load diets were much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes or heart disease compared to women of the same age with the lowest glycemic load diets? This is a pretty startling statistic, especially considering the rapid rise in foods high on the glycemic index — such as table sugar, juices and refined grains — in the average diet recently.

Today, you can’t open the newspaper, flip through a magazine or even surf the web without seeing nutrition advice or promotions for a specific diet. We often hear about the exponential increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes among adults of all ages.

In other words, most of us are aware of growing health problems in industrialized nations related to increasing rates of weight gain/obesity, declining quality and quantity of nutrients in the diet, and other problems like environmental toxicity.

Bombarded with scary statistics about weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease, it can seem overwhelming to start revamping your diet — or even worse, very hard to find reliable dietary advice. If you feel frozen into inaction due to all the conflicting dietary theories out there, try simply starting with the basics: understanding the glycemic index scale and glycemic loads of different common foods, and then learning about how these both impact everything from your cravings and energy levels to weight and concentration.

What Is the Glycemic Index?

When it comes to how quickly we metabolize different carbohydrates, it all begins with the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic loads of different foods. The glycemic index definition is “a measure of the blood glucose-raising potential of the carbohydrate content of a food compared to a reference food (generally pure glucose, or sugar).”

In very simple terms, a food’s GI measure (or GI score) tells you how quickly the food is converted into sugar once you eat it. Every time you eat a food containing carbs, you experience a change in blood sugar. However, responses to eating certain carbohydrates can be very different from eating others, depending on factors like how much sugar they contain, how processed they are, their fiber content and what other types of foods you pair them with.

There’s a glycemic index number for virtually every food out there. Things like meat, oils and fats have a GI of zero, since they contain no carbs. Carbohydrate-containing foods fall into different GI categories based on scientific measurements of glucose in the blood before, and then after, consuming each food.

Generally speaking, when you eat foods high on the glycemic index scale, you experience a faster, more significant increase in your blood glucose levels. When you eat foods lower on the GI, the increase in blood sugar is slower and more sustained. This process has an effect on how you feel after eating the food, including how satisfied or full you are, how quickly you get hungry again and how much of a lift in energy the food tends to provide.

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

So how does the glycemic index vs load of foods compare? Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly certain foods are broken down into sugar in the bloodstream. However, the glycemic index of foods doesn’t take into account other factors that can affect blood sugar levels in the body.

Glycemic load, on the other hand, is a measure of how much certain foods can impact blood sugar levels, using both the glycemic index and the amount of carbs in a typical serving. Unlike the glycemic index, the glycemic load considers both the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates you’re consuming to give a more accurate estimate of how foods influence blood sugar control.

Can GI Be Misleading?

According to experts at Harvard Medical School, the glycemic index of a food only tells part of the story, which is why the glycemic load is also important. Even when it comes to eating only complex carbs or only simple carbs, blood sugar changes due to eating one type can be quite different than when eating another type. The glycemic index also doesn’t take the amount of carbs consumed into account, which can also impact blood sugar levels. This is where the glycemic load comes into play.

Many of the fruits and vegetables that are high on the GI scale come in low on the GL scale. This shows why GL is a more accurate representation of which carbohydrates are healthy for blood sugar levels and which are not.

On the other hand, most processed, fake foods come in high on the GI and high on the GL — a good indication you want to avoid them. You should avoid processed foods for numerous reasons, and this is just one more to add to the list.

Meaning Behind the “Glycemic Load” of Different Foods

The glycemic load (GL) takes into account the GI score of a particular carbohydrate but also considers how the carbs in the food affect blood sugar levels when eaten in average portions (plus the scores change when eaten with other foods as part of a complete meal).

In other words, in real-world situations when we usually eat moderate serving sizes and more than one food at a time, understanding the glycemic load of a meal gives you a clearer and more thorough picture of what particular foods will do to your blood sugar. Just like with GI scores, the higher a food’s glycemic load ranking, the more dramatic the blood glucose increase is and therefore more insulin is needed.

The opposite is also true: The lower the food or meal is on the GL scale, the slower the blood glucose increase is and less insulin is needed by the body to return blood sugar to stable levels.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Chart

So what are high glycemic foods and what foods are low GI? To determine a where a food falls on the glycemic index chart, portions of the food containing 50–100 grams of available carbohydrates are fed to healthy people (without insulin resistance) after an overnight fast. All foods containing glucose, fructose or sucrose (various forms of carbohydrates or sugars) can be classified as high GI, moderate GI or low GI. The glycemic index ranges from 0–100:

  • High GI = 70 to 100
  • Medium GI = 50 to 70
  • Low GI = below 50

Meanwhile, GL is determined by how much carbohydrate is in an individual serving of a food. The glycemic load is determined by multiplying the grams of a carbohydrate in a serving by the glycemic index number, then dividing the total by 100. The end result is a glycemic load score that’s a better predictor of whether or not a food eaten in moderate amounts is healthy or not.

  • High GL = 20 +
  • Medium GL = 11 to 19
  • Low GL = 10 or less

GI Food Chart of 100 Foods

Courtesy of research published by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Oregon State University and the University of Sydney, below is a list of examples of common carbohydrate foods along with their glycemic load values (per average serving). This is only a short list of foods and their GI, however for a comprehensive list of more than 2,480 foods you can refer to the Mendosa website here.

Remember that foods are ranked in descending order of their glycemic index values based on average servings, with high-GI foods at the top and foods with low glycemic index toward the bottom of the table. The reason the numbers listed are not in order is because these represent the glycemic loads of foods (taking into account how they actually affect your blood sugar).

So what are the best low glycemic fruits? And what is the brown rice glycemic index, sweet potato glycemic index and banana glycemic index? Check out this comprehensive glycemic index food list for the GI values of 100 common foods that may be in your kitchen.

  • White wheat bread: 75
  • White rice: 73
  • Whole wheat bread: 72
  • Brown rice: 68
  • Couscous: 65
  • Corn tortilla: 52
  • White spaghetti: 50
  • White quinoa: 50
  • Wholemeal spaghetti: 42
  • Wheat tortilla: 30
  • Watermelon: 76
  • Pineapple: 66
  • Mango: 51
  • Banana: 50
  • Nectarine: 43
  • Strawberries: 40
  • Orange: 40
  • Apple: 34
  • Pear: 33
  • Peach: 28
  • Red potatoes, boiled: 89
  • Mashed potato: 83
  • Sweet potato: 77
  • Taro, boiled: 56
  • Sweet corn: 55
  • Parsnips, boiled: 52
  • Butternut pumpkin, boiled: 51
  • Plantain, boiled: 39
  • Yam, boiled: 35
  • Carrots, boiled: 33
Dairy Products
  • Ice cream: 51
  • Yoghurt, fruit-flavored: 42
  • Natural yogurt, low-fat: 35
  • Milk, full-fat: 34
  • Milk, skim: 32
  • Baked beans: 40
  • Pinto beans: 39
  • Butter beans: 36
  • Lima beans: 32
  • Lentils: 32
  • Navy beans: 31
  • Mung beans: 31
  • Black beans: 30
  • Kidney beans: 29
  • Chickpeas: 28
  • Cornflakes: 74
  • Cheerios: 74
  • Muesli: 64
  • Rolled oats, uncooked: 59
  • Bran cereal: 43
  • Gatorade: 78
  • Fruit punch: 67
  • Coca Cola: 63
  • Coconut water: 55
  • Orange juice: 50
  • Vegetable juice: 43
  • Prune juice: 43
  • Apple juice: 41
  • Tomato juice: 33
  • Fruit smoothie: 32
Baked Goods
  • Scones: 92
  • Waffles: 76
  • Doughnut: 75
  • Oatmeal muffin: 69
  • Crumpet: 69
  • Angel food cake: 67
  • Pancakes: 66
  • Flan cake: 65
  • Chocolate chip muffin: 52
  • Blueberry muffin: 50
  • Banana cake: 47
  • Sponge cake: 46
  • Butter croissant: 46
  • Vanilla cake with frosting: 42
  • Pound cake: 38
  • Jelly beans: 80
  • Licorice: 78
  • Skittles: 70
  • Milk Way: 62
  • Chocolate: 49
  • Twix: 44
  • Peanut M&Ms: 33
  • Dark chocolate: 23
  • Fruit and nut mix: 15
  • Candied ginger: 10
Snack Foods
  • Rice cracker: 91
  • Pretzels: 83
  • Puffed rice cakes: 82
  • Corn chips: 74
  • Graham wafers: 74
  • Pop Tarts: 70
  • Potato chips: 60
  • Popcorn: 55
  • Granola bars: 50
  • Chickpea chips: 44
  • Maltose: 105
  • Golden syrup: 63
  • Honey: 58
  • Maple syrup: 54
  • Agave nectar: 11

4 Benefits of Eating Low-Glycemic Foods

1. Helps Normalize Blood Sugar Levels

There are many reasons why you should be concerned about living with consistently high blood sugar levels. The first is increased insulin production. When glucose levels in the bloodstream rise, the hormone insulin is produced and secreted. Insulin has the role of bringing glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells in order to be used for energy.

The higher the level of glucose in your blood, the more insulin is released in order to bring things back to balance. Therefore, a high amount of insulin being released leads to a sudden and sharp drop in blood glucose levels.

This is referred to as hypoglycemia, which can follow high blood sugar spikes, causing symptoms like low energy dips, trouble concentrating, mood swings and sudden hunger. Eating foods lower on the glycemic index helps prevent this from happening, as it results in less amounts of insulin needed by the body in order to maintain homeostasis.

2. Lowers Risk for Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

It’s now believed that high glucose levels and excessive insulin production (which go hand in hand with high glucose levels) are precursors to developing dangerous side effects of insulin resistance, including type-2 diabetes. It’s vital to watch what you eat if you want to stay healthy into older age, live a pain- and disease-free life, and reduce your risk for chronic diseases.

In particular, those who already have prediabetes or are at risk for diabetes need to pay extra attention to how their diets impacts their blood glucose levels.

3. Keeps Energy Levels and Appetite Stable

The University of Sydney states, “Low glycemic index foods have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger.” When it comes to how different carbs make you feel, glycemic loads can make a real difference too.

It’s possible to experience symptoms of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia when blood sugar levels aren’t properly managed. Over time, these come with complications and tend to cause many uncomfortable symptoms — including fatigue, sugar cravings, changes in blood pressure, weight loss or gain, nerve damage, and jitteriness or nervousness.

You might notice that when you only eat simple carbs (such as sugary cereal for breakfast) and don’t get enough fiber, you’re quickly tired and hungry afterward. On the other hand, eating balanced meals — such as those that include a healthy complex carb, a source of protein and some healthy fat — helps keep you more satisfied, energized and focused throughout the day.

4. Reduces Your Risk for Diseases Through Lowering Intake of Processed Foods

Processed foods made with lots of added sugar and flour are usually the highest on the glycemic index. Therefore, if you’re looking to lower the GL of your diet, you’ll automatically cut out lots of empty calories as well.

The World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization now recommend basing your diet on low-GI foods in order to prevent the most common diseases affecting those in industrialized nations — including coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesityTo reduce the glycemic load of your diet, experts recommend making some of the following changes:

  • Consume unprocessed or ancient whole grains, but lower intake of flour and white refined grains.
  • Eat more beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, especially in place of processed grains.
  • Eat smaller amounts of potatoes, rice, or other grains and bread. Instead consume more veggies to feel just as satisfied.
  • Reduce or avoid sugary foods like soda, cookies, cakes, candy, other desserts and sweetened drinks.

Low-GI Foods vs. High-GI Foods

Low-GI Foods:
  • All non-starchy vegetables, such as lettuce and leafy greens, broccoli, spinach, onion, green beans, etc.
  • Most fruits, including stone fruits, apples, berries, cherries, and citrus fruits
  • Nuts, beans, seeds and legumes
  • Plain, unsweetened yogurt and cheeses (choose organic and raw when possible)
  • Minimally processed whole grains, such as steel-cut oats, brown rice, wild rice, sprouted grain breads, granola and muesli, and whole-wheat pasta
High-GI Foods:
  • Refined grains, flours and grain products like most bread, processed breakfast cereals, cookies, cakes, etc.
  • Sweetened beverages, such as soda and bottled juices
  • Table sugar, honey, molasses, etc. A small amount of real, raw honey can be a good option, but in this case less is usually more.
  • Dried fruits, such as raisins, craisins and dates (OK in small amounts, just watch your portion sizes!)
  • Starchy root vegetables, such as white potatoes, winter squash, etc. These are actually healthy options, but portion control and pairing them with lower-GI foods is key.
  • Empty calories, including packaged goods that are highly processed and salty
  • Lots of added sugar in condiments, sauces, etc.
  • Fast food and fried foods

Keep in mind that in addition to considering the glycemic index score of the individual foods you eat, how you combine different foods is very important. Foods to pair together that can be helpful for managing blood sugar levels, energy and hunger include:

  • High-fiber foods: Common  examples include artichokes, green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, flaxseeds, beans, apples, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and sweet potatoes are good choices.
  • Moderate serving of healthy complex carbs (about 1/2 cup at a time): Carbohydrates are the main dietary source of glucose, but not all carbs are created equal. Good choices include brown or wild rice, sweet potatoes, sprouted ancient grains and legumes.
  • Vegetables and whole pieces of fruit: Fresh fruit is a better choice over fruit juices.
  • Healthy fats: Sources include virgin coconut oil, MCT oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds (like almonds, chia, hemp and flax), and avocado.
  • Quality protein: Wild fish, such as salmon, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef or lamb, raw dairy products (including yogurt, kefir or raw cheeses), and pasture-raised poultry are some of the best protein foods.
  • Certain acids: Acidic foods seem to help to lower the GI of certain foods. Experts recommend trying vinegar-based dressings on salads, apple cider vinegar taken with a smoothie or water, fermented yogurt with cereal, and lemon juice on vegetables.

Precautions Regarding a Low-Glycemic Diet

Keep in mind that we need some carbohydrates, specifically unprocessed types, for things like energy and strength. We all know the infamous saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Despite the glycemic index of fruits like apples, peaches, strawberries and other whole foods that have sugar or carbs in them, these are, in fact, healthy foods offering an abundance of nutrients the body needs. So to avoid all simple carbs as a strict rule would mean eliminating these and other healthy simple carbs from your diet.

This is where the glycemic index and the glycemic load may become complicated, but they don’t have to be. Dietitians, doctors, scientists and researchers realized that there are simple carbs that are good for you and complex carbs that can cause unhealthy responses in the body.

When it comes to deciding which foods are best, keep things simple by using common sense and choosing those that are the least processed. Fruits, ancient whole grains, sweet potatoes and other foods high on the glycemic index list don’t need to be removed from your diet — it’s all about balance and eating real foods as part of a well-rounded, low-glycemic diet.

There are many charts, scales, measurements and glycemic index calculator tools when it comes to foods we should eat and ones we should avoid. If you follow these recommendations to eat plenty (and a variety of) real foods and avoid processed foods, then you won’t have to pay too much attention every time a new scale or chart makes the news. You’ll be eating from nature, just the way your body was intended to!

Final Thoughts

  • What does high glycemic mean? A food’s glycemic index score tells you how quickly the food is converted into sugar once you eat it. Many of the fruits and vegetables that are high on the glycemic index scale come in low on the glycemic load scale. GL represents the actual impact one average serving size of a carbohydrate food has on your blood sugar, so GL is a more accurate representation compared to GI in most cases when it comes to determining which carbohydrates are healthy.
  • A low-glycemic index diet can help normalize blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance, and keep you full and energized for longer.
  • What are high glycemic foods? Refined grains, sweetened beverages, dried fruits and processed foods typically have a higher glycemic index than foods like whole grains, veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • To reduce the glycemic load of your diet, experts recommend making some of the following changes: Consume unprocessed grains, but lower intake of flour and white refined grains; eat more beans, legumes, nuts and seeds; eat smaller amounts of starchy foods like potatoes, rice and bread; reduce or avoid sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy and soft drinks; and pair foods with a high glycemic index with proteins and healthy fats to make the meal more satisfying.

Read Next: Keto Diet for Weight Loss: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and 4 Steps to Take

A powerful new program for losing weight and reversing insulin resistance: Thompson, Rob: 8601405176349: Amazon.com: Books

Rob Thompson, M.D., is a board-certified cardiologist in private practice who has counseled patients with high blood cholesterol and heart disease for more than twenty-five years. He is on staff at Swedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle and is the author of The New Low-Carb Way of Life.

It’s not about willpower–it’s about your body chemistry

You’ve tried dieting, and, after some initial success, you always seem to put the weight back on. Stop blaming yourself! The problem isn’t with you; it’s with the diets themselves.

Many are based on the glycemic index, which doesn’t make a distinction between good carbohydrates, such as carrots, from bad ones like starches–potatoes, white pasta, sugar, etc. Nor do they take into account real-life serving sizes; the GI numbers are based on lab-controlled portions. The good news is that nutritional scientists have developed the glycemic load, a powerful new tool for controlling weight that’s based on what people actually eat and allows for more of a variety of foods.

In The Glycemic-Load Diet, cardiologist Dr. Rob Thompson unveils a revolutionary eating and exercise plan that helps you reverse insulin resistance, allowing you to:

  • Eat more of the foods you like
  • Eliminate cravings for starchy foods
  • Eat chocolate and still lose weight!
  • Speed up your metabolism with regular, non-strenuous exercise
  • Keep the weight off without “dieting”

About the Author

Rob Thompson, M.D., is a board-certified cardiologist in private practice who has counseled patients with high blood cholesterol and heart disease for more than twenty-five years. He is on staff at Swedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle and is the author of The New Low-Carb Way of Life.

Food glycemic load: table, rate per day

Product Glycemic load
sugar (sucrose) 58, 8
potato starch. corn 54, 6
melon 5, 8
wheat flour 46, 5
donuts 28, 5
Coca-Cola. fanta. sprite 28, 4
croissant 26, 4
boiled potatoes 22, 6
rice flour 68
Dried dates 65
honey 62
French buns 59
fresh dates 59
instant rice porridge 59
corn flakes 56
white rice.steamed 56
White bread toast 55
rusks, ground for breading 55
crackers 53
jam 53
popcorn 52
unsweetened waffles 51
potato chips 49
twix 48
shortbread cookies 48
oatmeal cookies 48
instant mashed potatoes 48
marmalade.jam with sugar 48
couscous 47
millet 46
oatmeal. instant 46
milk chocolate 46
fruit salad with cream. whipped with sugar 45
muesli with nuts and raisins 45
semolina 44
hamburger buns 43
sorbet 43
white bread 42
raisins 42
butter biscuits 42
wheat bagel 42
biscuit 40
potatoes.boiled “in uniform” 29
spaghetti. pasta 29
rye grains. germinated 29
dried apricots 28
canned apricots 28
wheat grains. germinated 27
grain wheat bread. rye bread 27
bread. buckwheat pancakes 26
macaroni and cheese 26
black bread 26
loose buckwheat 25
dumplings.ravioli 25
whole milk 25
white loose rice 25
wheat flour pancakes 25
bananas 25
boiled carrots 25
sugar-free berry fruit jelly. sugar-free jam 23
mashed potatoes 23
dark chocolate (60% cocoa) 23
wholemeal spaghetti 23
mars.snickers (bars) 23
tortellini with cheese 22
boiled wild rice 22
pizza with tomatoes and cheese 22
bran 22
baked potatoes 21
ice cream sundae 21
fructose 20
hominy (cornmeal porridge) 9
white beans 9
orange juice.finished 8
boiled colored beans 8
canned pears 8
boiled corn 7
pineapple 7
sweet potatoes (yam) 6
freshly squeezed orange juice. sugar-free 6
pineapple juice. sugar-free 6
oatmeal milk 6
grape juice.sugar-free 6
beet 6
canned corn 6
watermelon 6
mango 5
papaya 5
pearl barley 5
green peas. fresh 5
bran bread 5
grapes 5
fig 5
grapefruit juice.sugar-free 5
beer 2.8% alcohol 5
zucchini 5
apple juice. sugar-free 5
sweet yogurt 4
pumpkin 4
pears 4
green peas. canned 4
fresh apricots 3
walnuts 3
peaches 3
oranges 3
dry sunflower seeds 3
cherry 3
raw carrots 3
grapefruit 2
skim milk 2
milk 2.5% 2
apples 2
plum 2
natural yoghurt 4.2% fat 2
fat-free yogurt 2
peanuts 2
strawberry 2
kiwi 2
onions 1
soy milk 1
eggplant 1
green pepper 1
white cabbage 1
garlic 1
tomato 0
broccoli 0
mushrooms 0
lettuce 0
lettuce 0
sausages 0

All about the glycemic index (GI) and load (GL) + tables

I have already written many times that in matters of nutrition and building your diet, you need to take into account not only the number of calories from which it consists, but also the qualitative composition of dishes and products, i.e.e. the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

But there is one more factor that you can focus on, or at least keep in mind 🙂 This is the concept of the glycemic index.

The emergence, or discovery, of the glycemic index of carbohydrates is associated with studies of foods for their ability to increase blood sugar levels. These studies were conducted in connection with the need to improve the diet for diabetics. If you do not dive deep into the bowels of chemical processes, then the glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood rises after consuming the product.To determine this rate, the level of the glycemic index of the foods is compared with the reference. Two samples were used as standards: glucose and white bread. The most common orientation is glucose, so later in this article, when talking about the level of the glycemic index, I will give the data in comparison with glucose (sugar).

So, glucose is very quickly absorbed by the body, so its GI is considered equal to 100. Accordingly, the GI of other foods is measured on a scale from 0 to 100.The lower the glycemic index, the slower blood sugar rises after consumption. Conversely, foods with a high glycemic index do it quickly, literally, forming sugar jumps.

But what is the significance of blood sugar for people without diabetes, and should you focus on the glycemic index for weight loss? To answer this question, you need to remember about the hormone insulin.

How the glycemic index affects weight loss

Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that affects metabolic processes in almost all tissues.Regarding our topic, you need to know that insulin is a “transport” that delivers glucose from carbohydrates obtained from food to the cells of our body. Insulin begins to be produced in response to the appearance of glucose in the blood.

But insulin works in two ways. On the one hand, it contributes to the accumulation of glucose in the form of energy (this can be either in the form of glycogen or in the form of fat). On the other hand, inulin prevents the breakdown of glycogen and fat into glucose.That is, the hormone insulin in every possible way contributes to the preservation of all three types of fats in your body.

What happens when we eat a low or high GI product? As I wrote earlier, a product’s low glycemic index indicates that it slowly raises blood sugar levels. This means that insulin production is slow, glucose is rather slowly spread into cells, glycogen in muscles and liver is also formed slowly and therefore is used as energy to cover the current energy consumption of the body for a long time.

In turn, a high glycemic index of a food quickly raises blood sugar levels. This means that insulin is produced quickly and in large quantities. In a short period of time, a large amount of glycogen is synthesized in the muscles and liver, which can give you a lot of strength and energy right now. Those. if you ate, for example, several dates with a high GI and started training, then you will get a lot of energy for the exercise. But if, after eating, you just go to watch TV, then so much energy will not be useful, it is much more than you need in this period.Therefore, excess energy will begin to be converted and stored as fat.

Let me summarize. If you need to get a quick boost in energy right now, then high GI foods are the best option. But if this is not the case, then it is better to eat foods with a low GI and supply the body with energy slowly, without provoking surges in insulin and, as a result, the accumulation of fat. Accordingly, if your goal is to get rid of fat, then the diet should be dominated by foods with a low and medium GI.

How to determine the glycemic index of foods

You cannot do it yourself.To determine the GI, there are huge tables that show values ​​for individual foods and whole meals. According to the GI value, it is customary to divide foods into 3 groups: foods with low GI, medium and high. The exact ranges of values ​​can be seen in the chart.

In order to somehow navigate these groups on an intuitive level, we can conditionally assume that the carbohydrates that we are used to calling slow, complex or “correct” correspond to carbohydrates with a low GI. And fast, simple and “wrong” – these are carbohydrates with a high GI.

You may have noticed that everywhere I talked about carbohydrate foods. This makes sense because glucose (sugar) is a fast carbohydrate. Accordingly, if the product does not contain carbohydrates (or there are very few of them), then the sugar level practically does not rise. This is why food glycemic index tables very rarely show values ​​for meat and fish. They are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. But this is the case if we are talking about “clean” meat. Of course, if, for example, cutlets were prepared from it and an egg, bread, herbs were added there, rolled in breadcrumbs, and then fried in oil, then the GI of such a product, naturally, will be much higher than that of ordinary meat.

However, all these data are very relative and serve, rather, as a comparative characteristic of products with each other. The fact is that the GI of products is influenced by many factors (I will write about them below). And to indicate in the tables the glycemic index of ready meals, in my opinion, does not make sense at all. After all, even oatmeal can be cooked in different ways. It can be in water or milk (fat or not), with or without butter, with or without sugar, etc. Not to mention, all of these ingredients can be present in completely different proportions.

You should also not think that the glycemic index and calorie content are synonymous terms. In fact, a low GI food can be high in calories, just as a low calorie food can have a high GI. Let’s take salmon as an example. Its GI is 0, but 100 grams of salmon steak contains 142 kcal. This is due to the fact that this fish contains a lot of “good” fats.

And here’s a reverse example – a watermelon. The GI of watermelon is 75. And the calorie content is about 38 kcal per 100 g.Those. it turns out that due to the high glycemic index, this product should be avoided? Seems strange, right? Taking into account the fact that watermelon is almost entirely composed of water. This situation is associated with the peculiarities of the GI calculation.

What does glycemic load mean

Speaking about the glycemic index, they usually forget to clarify a very important thing – the authors of this concept calculated the GI for 50 g of digestible carbohydrates obtained from this product. But, as we know, in all foods, the carbohydrate content will be different.So, to get 50 g of carbohydrates from cottage cheese of 5% fat, you need to eat about 2 kg of 80 g. And milk chocolate will be enough 95 g. That is why the GI of watermelon is so high. In order for it to reach the table value of 75, you need to immediately eat 570 g of watermelon. But in real life, hardly anyone observes a constant serving of 50 grams of carbohydrates. The portions are different. That is why a new criterion for assessing carbohydrates has appeared – the glycemic load.

Glycemic load (GL) is an indicator that takes into account not only the source of carbohydrates, but also their amount.Those. GBV gives us the opportunity to understand how quickly blood sugar rises, how much and for how long it can hold out at this level.

Taking into account the glycemic load when losing weight is much more important than GI, because it makes it possible to understand which foods will keep sugar at a high level for as long as possible and to exclude foods with a high glycemic load from the diet.

Returning to watermelon … GN of watermelon – 6.6 per 100 g. low. That is why he is not so “dangerous” 🙂

Three groups of GN and GI of food products

There is a simple formula for calculating GN:

However, there is no need to calculate the glycemic load yourself.As well as for GI, there are product tables with ready-made values.

How to lower the glycemic index of foods

There are a number of factors that can influence the GI of foods:

  • Fiber content – the more fiber a food contains, the slower it is absorbed and the lower its GI. That is why it is recommended to eat carbohydrates in combination with fresh vegetables.
  • degree of maturity – this applies mainly to fruits, berries and fruits.The more ripe the fruit, the more sugar it contains, the higher its GI.
  • Heat Treatment Level – The more heat a product is exposed to, the more its GI increases. This is because all the “connections” in the structure of the product break down and it enters the body in an already easily assimilated form. For cereals, this is due to the varying degrees of breakdown of starch structures. The more “boiled” porridge you get, the more its GI.
  • Adding fat – Eating fat slows down the absorption of foods, thus lowering the GI.That is why one often hears the following recommendation: “If you want to lower the GI of foods, add fat to them. For example, eat potatoes with butter. ” From the point of view of the diet according to the glycemic index, this is quite justified. But eating animal fats dramatically increases the insulin index. Therefore, you should prefer vegetable fats – olive, sunflower and other types of oils.
  • acidic foods – lower the GI. For example, adding lemon juice or vinegar will lower the glycemic index of the dish.
  • salt – increases the rate of glucose absorption and, accordingly, a “salted” dish or salty foods will have a higher GI.
  • sugar is glucose, the more glucose, the Higher the glycemic index.

Should I follow a glycemic index diet

I would like to remind you that nutrition based on the glycemic index is primarily designed for people with diabetes and those who, for whatever reason, have to control their blood sugar levels.This is not a fancy weight loss diet, but a nutritional system designed for a specific medical purpose. Of course, many of its conclusions can be taken “on a note” for those who monitor their diet and strive to get rid of excess weight, but in this case, I advise you to focus on not only on the glycemic index of products, but also read the glycemic load from and don’t forget about the insulin index. And also remember about the factors that can increase or decrease GI.

Tables of the glycemic index and glycemic load

Below you will find tables with the values ​​of GI and GN , the most common, in my opinion, food products present in a “healthy” diet.It also contains information about the calorie content and BJU of these products. I do not publish information about sweets, sausages, etc. These products a priori do not have any useful properties, all their indicators go beyond what is desirable to eat, and even calling it “food” can be a stretch.

All data are given for raw products and without taking into account ripeness (for fruits). As I wrote above, cooking will significantly increase the GI of foods. Those. boiled carrots will have a much higher GI than fresh carrots.It’s the same with cereals: their GI is much higher than raw cereals. But what exactly it will be depends on the degree of boiling of the product and on how it was prepared and what ingredients were additionally added. In general, all these data serve rather for orientation and the ability to compare products with each other.

[table class = “table-default”]

Product (100 g) GI GN Proteins (g) Fat (g) Carbohydrates (g) Kcal
oat groats 24 16 11 6 65 303
peas 25 5 45 4 20 298
pearl barley 30 20 9 1 67 315
lentils 30 6 52 3 19 295
chickpea 35 16 20 4 46 309
bulgur 48 34 13 2 71 347
buckwheat 50 31 13 3 62 313
millet groats 50 35 12 3 69 348
Quinoa 53 30 14 6 57 368
brown rice 60 44 7 2 73 377
semolina 65 47 10 1 73 328
couscous 65 47 13 1 72 376
oatmeal 69 41 12 8 60 360
white rice 70 55 7 1 79 344
corn grits 70 53 8 1 75 337

[/ table]

[table class = “table-default”]

Product (100 g) GI GN Proteins (g) Fat (g) Carbohydrates (g) Kcal
hard cheese 0 0 26 28 4 356
chicken egg 0 0 13 12 1 157
quail egg 0 0 13 11 0 158
kefir 3.2% 25 1 3 3 4 59
cow’s milk 3.2% 30 2 3 3 5 58
curd 4% 30 1 15 4 2 104
sour cream 15% 30 1 3 15 3 161
natural yoghurt5% 35 1 5 3 3 68
butter 51 1 1 82 1 748

[/ table]

[table class = “table-default”]

Product (100 g) GI GN Proteins (g) Fat (g) Carbohydrates (g) Kcal
avocado 10 1 2 24 7 223
kiwi 20 2 1 1 8 47
cherry 22 2 1 1 11 52
grapefruit 25 2 1 0 7 29
mandarin 30 2 1 0 8 38
strawberry 32 2 1 0 7 30
orange 35 3 1 0 8 37
apricot 35 4 1 0 11 41
nectarine 35 5 2 2 13 54
pear 38 4 0 0 10 43
apple 39 4 1 1 11 55
peach 42 5 1 0 11 39
blueberry 43 5 0 1 12 51
grapes 45 8 1 0 17 65
mango 55 7 1 0 12 67
persimmon 55 9 1 0 17 53
banana 62 13 2 0 21 96
pineapple 66 7 0 0 11 49
melon 66 5 1 0 7 33
watermelon 75 5 1 0 6 38

[/ table]

[table class = “table-default”]

Product (100 g) GI GN Proteins (g) Fat (g) Carbohydrates (g) Kcal
tomato 10 0 1 0 4 23
broccoli 10 0 3 0 4 33
lettuce 10 0 2 0 2 14
cucumber 15 0 1 1 4 20
red pepper 15 1 1 0 5 27
radish 15 1 1 0 4 21
Brussels sprouts 15 1 4 0 4 41
cauliflower 15 1 3 0 5 34
celery 15 1 1 0 4 26
courgette 15 1 1 0 6 27
spinach 15 0 3 0 2 20
eggplant 20 1 1 0 6 25
beet 30 3 2 0 11 50
carrot 35 2 1 0 7 34
potatoes 60 11 2 0 18 80
pumpkin 75 5 1 0 6 27

[/ table]

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What is glycemic load? – Sportfito – site about sports and healthy lifestyle

When considering the main metabolic processes associated with the processing of the body’s main source of energy – sugar, one cannot fail to mention such an important factor as the glycemic index. But it is not the only determinant in nutrition, and not nearly as important as the glycemic load.We will try to figure out what it is, and how it affects metabolic processes in the athletic achievements of athletes of different levels of training.


The glycemic index categorizes carbohydrates based on how much they increase glucose saturation in human transport mitochondria. The higher the glycemic index, the faster the jump in glucose saturation of the transport mitochondria occurs. The glycemic index is 0-100 points (0 has no effect on glucose saturation of transport mitochondria, 100 of which are the most).

However, the glycemic index does not tell the whole story. If a food is high in carbohydrate content, it will still produce a high glucose saturation of the transport mitochondria, even if it has a low glycemic index rating. This is where the glycemic load comes in. Gl takes into account the amount and rating of carbohydrates in the glycemic index to provide a more complete picture of the effect of transport mitochondria on glucose saturation.

What does this mean in simple words? In fact, the glycemic load is the percentage of the amount of net carbohydrate in the blood in relation to the glycemic index.And, if viewed from a practical point of view, the glycemic load and not the glycemic index at all determines the fact whether the sugar obtained from the product will be digested into glycogen, whether it will be used as pure energy, or will be converted into adipose tissue molecules.

An interesting fact: unlike the glycemic index, the level of the glycemic load does not depend on the method of cooking, since almost always the amount of carbohydrates, even with a change in calorie content, remains unchanged.

How does it work?

The higher the total glycemic load on any given day, the more insulin will be secreted in response to those carbohydrates. It works as follows:

  • Insulin is released in response to carbohydrates in the diet.
  • More specifically, more insulin is secreted faster to higher glycemic carbohydrates.
  • Insulin transports glucose to fat cells, which will be burned for fuel.
  • Alpha Glycerol Phosphate is derived from glucose when it is burned for fuel
  • Glycerin (from Alpha Glycerol Phosphate) binds fatty acids and stores them in fat cells as triglycerides, meaning you get fatter.
  • In addition, glucose that is not used up in energy will be converted by the liver and stored as triglycerides in adipose tissue (again, you get fatter).

Therefore, if we can eat carbohydrates that break down slowly and produce a more gradual, less pronounced rise in insulin, we can maximize the increase in muscle mass while minimizing the increase in fat.

Glycemic load in sports

How can all this knowledge be used in sports disciplines such as CrossFit? At first glance, the glycemic load has almost no effect on athletic performance and does not change the diet plan in any way.It only shortens the list of foods that can be eaten for weight loss, or for gaining high-quality functional muscle mass for the athlete. But in reality, everything is much more complicated.

So, for example, taking the classic situation with the closure of the carbohydrate window. Traditionally, many foods with a high glycemic index and low glycemic load are used to close the carbohydrate window. This includes:

  • Protein mixed in juice.
  • Gainer on the water.
  • Juices.
  • Bananas.
  • Other fruits.

But is it correct? Despite the high glycemic index, the gastrointestinal tract spends more time digesting large foods . This means that the opposite approach will be a better option. Fast carbohydrate with maximum glycemic load, slightly diluted with water. Why is it so? With a higher glycemic load with a corresponding glycemic index, you will need less of the target product to close the window, therefore, the digestion process will still go faster, which means that the replenishment of glycogen levels will begin in 5-7 minutes, and not in 20-30 minutes.On the other hand, foods with a lower glycemic load, albeit taken in greater quantities, reduce the risk of adipose tissue deposition, but reduce the growth of glycogen and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

The next situation would be to consider the glycemic load on an extreme drying diet. Very often, a carbohydrate-free diet is used for drying. Or a more difficult option is carbohydrate alternation. In the first case, we completely deplete our own glycogen stores, and with a sufficiently large intake of protein, we reduce catabolic processes, transferring the body to a fat regime.But still, despite all this, the absence of sugar in the blood has an extremely negative effect on performance, well-being and mood.

Milder diets usually do not give such overwhelming results, and the body has time to adapt to a calorie deficit, which leads to a slowdown in weight loss. But there is also a third way. This is the pursuit of a tight calorie restriction, no carbohydrate restriction. The only thing that will need to be considered is the GI and the GB.

If you add to your extreme diet, foods with the lowest possible GI and GL, you can level the lack of carbohydrates, while not replenishing glycogen stores.The body will be deceived by receiving a certain amount of easily digestible carbohydrates, it will think that there is no hunger strike, which means that there is absolutely no need to optimize the body’s internal resources for new needs. At the same time, low levels of GN and GI (the optimal solution would be foods rich in fiber, i.e. green vegetables that have minimal indicators of both load and index), does not allow calories to be digested to the level of glycogen. On the contrary, all the energy will be spent, and the body in all seriousness will flush adipose tissue, waiting for the next intake of carbohydrates.But the most important thing is the psychological moment associated with the lack of hunger, which occurs in everyone who begins to limit the main energy carrier in their diet – carbohydrates.

Well, and the classic is the connection of the glycemic load with a set of muscle meat. At first glance, these indicators are not related in any way. But for a successful set of large amounts of muscle meat, you need to not only observe an excess of protein and calories, but also maintain a high rate of metabolic processes. In fact, regardless of whether you are an ectomorph, or an endomorph, or even a gifted mesomorph, you still have to eat 5 to 9 times a day.And it is clear that with the classic proper nutrition, as indicated by the trainer, without the use of gainers or protein, such a result simply cannot be achieved. Why? Because it is physically difficult for the body to digest such an amount of food, it has not yet finished with the previous energy, as it has already been given the next one.

But this process can be spurred – by eating 200 grams of foods with a high glycemic index and an extremely low glycemic load, you induce an insulin reaction, which not only straightens out high blood sugar, but also helps to seal the energy obtained as a result of the last meal into glycogen …This will allow you to maintain the required calorie content without the use of sports nutrition, maintain the correct balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and most importantly, with a clear calculation of calories, achieve optimal beach form without special dietary efforts.

What is there?

If you are seriously calculating your nutrition not only by calories and carbohydrates that make up it, but also by more subtle parameters that allow you to quickly achieve the desired results, then you need to understand all the connections from the table.

  1. Glycemic index level. A basic factor that determines the rate at which a food is digested in your body.
  2. Total calories. The basic factor that allows you to correctly build a nutrition plan, depending on the type of monosaccharide included in the product.
  3. Carbohydrates. The total amount of pure polysaccharides in the product. Basic factor.

And only the glycemic load is a secondary factor, which determines only the ratio of the glycemic index and the presence of carbohydrates to the total weight of the product.You don’t have to go far for an example.

Pure glucose (i.e. sugar), has a high glycemic index (equivalent to 100), and has almost 100 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of pure product. Accordingly, her glycemic load is equal to 100 points per 100 grams. At the same time, the juice has a lower glycemic load at the same absorption rate. That is, pure sugar in 100 grams of juice is only 3.7 grams. And, therefore, in order to achieve the specified level of glycemic load, which is indicated in the diets, you need to consume more than 100 grams of juice, and with the same glycemic index with pure sugar, the juice is more likely to turn into glycogen, or will be used as the main energy fuel. while sugar consumed in the same amount is more likely to get its final form as triglycerides.


9 9008 8.8



9000 Fried eggplants, caviar

Product Load Index Caloric value Carbohydrates
Sorrel, Boiled lentils 7 30 117 30
Boiled cauliflower without salt 0.7 15 38 5
Cauliflower 0.5 10 35 5
Cooked beans 8 50 137 30
Beans 5 50 70 10
Dill 0.5 10 31 5.1
Baked pumpkin 3.3 75 33 5.5
Pumpkin 3.1 75 35 5.3
Green beans 0.55 15 35 3.7
Asparagus 0.7 15 30 3.8
Soy 3.7 15 380 18
Sunflower seeds 0.3 10 573 5
Stewed beets, caviar 7.8 75 107 13.3
Boiled beets 5.7 75 58
Beetroot 3.7 30 53 8.8
Leaf salad 0.3 10 15 3.8
Radish 1 15 35 7.5
Radish 0.5 15 17 3.5
Vegetable stew 3.8 55 88 7.1
Raw tomatoes 0.5 10 18 3.8
Parsley 0.8 10 58 8
Pickled cucumbers 0.3 30 13 1.7
Fresh cucumbers 0.7 30 17 3.7
Raw carrots 3.5 35 51 10
Boiled carrots 5.3 85 35 5
Olives 0.8 15 175 7
Onion 0.8 10 50 8
Green onion (feather) 1 15 33 7
Red pepper 3.5 15 75 15.8
Raw potatoes 10.5 75 70 17
Potatoes cooked in their skins without salt 13.3 77 83 17
Raw cabbage 0 . 10 35 7
Sauerkraut 0.33 10 18 3.3
White cabbage 1.5 15 75 8.7 9003

Marrow, zucchini 0.5 15 17 3.1
Marrow caviar 7.1 75 83 8.1
Fried marrow 5.8 75 83 7.7
Boiled marrow 3.3 75 15 3
Green pepper 0.57 30 5.7
Fresh green peas 5.8 50 73 15.5
Fried cauliflower 0.15 35 130 0.5
Fried mushrooms 0.7 31 73 3.8
Mushroom soup 0.3 30 37 1.3
Broccoli boiled without salt 0.7 15 35 5
Broccoli 0.7 10 35 7
Beans 3.3 35 70 8.5
Stewed eggplants 0.7 15 35 5.5
Baked eggplants 1.37 30 78 7.8 9003
1.8 30 85 8.8
Eggplant 0.7 10 35 7
Eggplant caviar 3.1 50 157 5.1
Avocado 1.35 15 170 8

Is it necessary to control the load level?

Is it necessary to look for foods with a low glycemic load and does the glycemic load seriously affect a person who does not clearly control the entire calorie intake? Not really. Even in the case of CrossFit, glycemic load is deeply secondary to dietetics, and is perceived solely as a supplement for those looking at the glycemic index.These two concepts are inextricably linked, and if you consume a huge amount of food with a low glycemic load, but a high glycemic index, it will actually be equivalent to the case when the person ate fewer foods with a low glycemic load, but a high load.

Usually, the glycemic load is only a means of controlling the net carbohydrate (or fructose) intake, and, accordingly, helps to regulate the insulin response in the body.Not speed, but intensity.

Unless you have diabetes or other disorders that require tight control of sugar levels in blood, urine and other organs, you do not need to monitor your glycemic load. However, understanding the function of this parameter and its relationship with the results in progression in achieving athletic goals helps to more accurately adjust the diet, and focus not only on the calorie content of carbohydrates, and not only divide them into fast and slow ones, but also divide them into those that load your liver or not.

In summary

The glycemic load of foods is a complex indicator that helps many people to correctly calculate their nutrition. Despite all the obvious benefits, sometimes it is the calculation of the glycemic load in conjunction with the index that allows people with diabetes to live much longer.

In very simple terms, the level of glycemic load is important in cases when the carbohydrate window is closed, when it is necessary to accurately calculate the amount of carbohydrates consumed to replenish the level of glycogen, with the leveling of the fat-synthesizing factor. And most importantly, it is not the factors of the glycemic index and load that affect its benefits. So a product with very low levels – fructose, despite the apparent obviousness, is more harmful, since it is broken down without the use of insulin and is almost always transformed into pure fats. So the fact that fruit is healthy is another myth of newcomers to dietetics. In large quantities, fruits are even more dangerous to the dietary athlete than sugar and Coca-Cola.

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I go in for sports professionally and make up a nutritional menu for proper weight loss. I decided to blog on the Internet to share the rules for losing weight for everyone. Let’s lose weight together!

Low Glycemic Load Diet Menu – Telegraph


Low Glycemic Load Diet Menu
Although the glycemic index of foods is very helpful, the problem still exists.Look at the list again and compare carrots to chocolate or watermelon to fries. You’re probably wondering why they have similar glycemic indexes: aren’t carrots healthier? You are absolutely right. In addition to vitamins and other important nutrients, carrots or a wedge of watermelon are relatively low in carbohydrates. You would have to eat 2 large carrots to get the same amount of carbs and for them to have the same effect on your weight as 4 pieces of chocolate. But in life, you will most likely eat a lot more chocolate and less carrots.This kind of discrepancy explains why knowing only the glycemic index can be confusing.
And this is where the Glycemic Load Index comes into play – it tells you how the food you eat will affect your blood sugar and how many kilograms you will gain if you eat it. Glycemic load is very easy to calculate, just know how many carbohydrates in your food (quantity) and its glycemic index (quality).
In order to find the glycemic load, you need to multiply the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbohydrates it contains (you will find the formula in Appendix 3).The result shows what a given serving of food does to your blood sugar, so this indicator will come in handy when you plan your diet. But you don’t have to calculate it yourself, because I’ve already calculated the glycemic load of literally hundreds of foods. For foods with a specified glycemic load, see Appendix 4.
To illustrate more clearly what a glycemic load is, the table below lists low and high glycemic load foods.The glycemic load of each serving is 10 units – so you can see that two baskets of strawberries (weighing 600 g) have the same glycemic load as two dates.
Common foods with a glycemic load of 10 units
The golden rule of my low glycemic load diet is that the glycemic load of your food during the day should not exceed 40 units when you first start my diet, and it is quite obvious that By choosing foods with a high glycemic load, you will no longer be able to eat much.As a result, you may lose weight, but this is not what I want from you [106].
You will get more pleasure from low glycemic load carbs. You can eat more, feel free to experiment with recipes and enjoy your meal (remember that feeling?)! Let me make it your reality by demonstrating the benefits of an anti-diabetic diet over a regular diet. GN is listed for each product.
Take a close look at the products in the column to the left.Imagine eating this breakfast and not the one on the right. He’s definitely more satisfying, isn’t he? But it’s not just that: eating a breakfast like this will lower your blood sugar level by a third! The beauty of a low glycemic load diet is that you can actually eat more food and lose more weight without feeling hungry! And besides, all this is very tasty.
Holford’s Low Glycemic Load Diet Compared to the Normal Diet
Let’s see what this means in practice.All of the foods below have the same glycemic load and have the same effect on your blood sugar.
Peanut Butter Oat Cakes
Trout with Lentils Puy and Tomatoes
Fajitas with Chicken and Salsa and Salad
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? And this is just an example. I will give you many mouth-watering recipes, ranging from simple dishes to the most sophisticated ones. In addition to the recipes in this book, you can use my three recipe books: the already mentioned “Low Glycemic Load Diet”, The Low-GL Diet Cookbook.and The Low-GL Diet Cookbook for recipes from around the world designed with a low glycemic load in mind. The table in Appendix 4, which lists the GL of the most common foods, will help you create your own recipes.
As I said before, fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, so it helps reduce the glycemic load of foods. Both the amount and type of fiber matter, and in Secret 3, I’ll show you how to increase the amount of fiber in your food (for example, adding 1 tsp.l. oat bran into porridge) and reduce its glycemic load.
Another important factor is the amount of protein you consume with each meal.
As I explained, combining protein-rich foods with low-glycemic-load carbs helps to normalize and stabilize blood sugar levels by reducing insulin requirements and also burning fat. Remember that high insulin levels are bad? There is another hormone, glucagon, which raises rather than lowers blood sugar levels.This is good when it comes to burning fat, as it helps convert fat back to glucose when your blood sugar is too low.
Protein foods tend to stimulate a small and even production of insulin and glucagon. Carbohydrates, especially fast-digesting carbohydrates such as cakes and sweets, stimulate excessive insulin production, but hardly increase glucagon levels. Eating fat has little effect on insulin or glucagon levels. Eating protein with low glycemic load carbs stimulates insulin and glucagon production to a lesser extent.In the long term, this is the most ideal option. I’ll talk about healthy fats in the Secret 4 chapter. The relative effect of each combination is shown in the table. Foods with the most + have the greatest impact on your insulin and glucagon levels, while foods with the least + have a better effect on blood sugar and therefore your health and weight loss.
Effects of Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats on Insulin and Glucagon
From this study, it appears that the top three combinations are either protein alone, protein and fat alone, or low glycemic load carbohydrates and low protein.Unfortunately, diets high in protein and fat are bad for health. You can stick to this diet for a couple of months, but in the long run it is not a substitute for a healthy diet. Moreover, this diet is very strict. That is why the best diet for consistent weight loss and normalization of blood sugar levels is considered to be a diet with a low glycemic load and a small amount of protein. Like a high protein diet, this diet is good for your health and helps you reduce overall weight, but it burns excess fat much more effectively, which is what we need in the long run.
Diets high in protein have proven effective in reducing obesity, in part because they negatively affect the body’s ability to convert food into fat, and also because you eat them in small amounts. The greatest weight loss is water loss. To some extent, this is because when the body lacks glucose, it opens up its reserves, the so-called glycogen, which is stored along with water. Another reason is that when you eat too much protein without enough carbohydrates, compounds called “ketones” start to be produced in the body.They are very toxic and the body tries to excrete them in the urine, which in turn increases fluid loss as you lose weight. However, all liters of lost fluid will return to your body.
The daily protein intake is about 40 g, and if you consume more than 80 g per day for a long time, you have an increased risk of osteoporosis. Since protein has acidic properties, its use in large doses leads to the leaching of calcium from the bones, because the body tries to maintain the acid-base balance at any cost.Also, excessive protein intake has a negative effect on the kidneys. If your protein source is red meat or dairy products, this can increase your risk of breast or prostate cancer. In addition, if a person chooses meat as their main source of protein, then their diet will significantly increase the amount of incoming saturated fats, which, as I will explain in chapter “Secret 4”, are not very good for health. This does not mean that red meat should be completely abandoned.It’s just that wild animals tend to look slender and thin, their fat is about 5% of their body weight, while most of the animals we eat are fat, like ourselves, and they have fat. makes up about 20% of body weight. Even if you cut off all the fat, the so-called “lean”, lean meat will still contain a lot of fat.
The combination of protein with carbohydrates is really very effective, because the protein, which is made up of amino acids, makes the digestive environment more acidic, and this slows down the digestion of carbohydrates.Proteins need an acidic environment, and carbohydrates need an alkaline environment. In this case, food stays in the stomach longer, as a result, we feel full for longer. If you increase the acidity by adding lemon juice (citric acid) or vinegar (acetic acid), you will achieve the same effect. A study in people with type I diabetes demonstrated that supplementation with 2 tbsp. l. vinegar in food reduces its glycemic load by 20% (as shown by the results of the dynamics of changes in blood sugar levels) [107].Vinegar helps prevent spikes in blood sugar. Another study in people with type II diabetes looked at the effect of adding vinegar to foods with a high glycemic load and foods with a low glycemic load. Again, the addition of vinegar significantly reduced the glycemic load of the food, and insulin levels decreased slightly in those who ate the high-glycemic load (but not in those who ate the low-glycemic load) [108]. There is probably a limit to how many additional benefits you can get from adding vinegar.And if you suddenly decide to eat chips that I don’t recommend, at least make sure you have enough vinegar! Legends can be made about the healing powers of vinegar. In practical terms, this means that salad is best seasoned with vinegar dressing, or simply sip of vinegar and water with a meal, or adding balsamic vinegar to food for flavor. Adding lemon juice or vinegar also reduces the formation of glycation end products in prepared foods [109].
In the short term, such as 30 days to 3 months, increasing protein intake from 60 g to 75 g per day with a focus on fish, chicken and vegetarian sources of protein will help normalize blood sugar [110] and speed up fat burning.For this reason, an antidiabetic diet has more calories for protein than a regular diet — 25–30%, compared to the 17% needed to normalize blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance. After 30 days (or once you’ve reached your goal), all that remains is to maintain your weight and blood sugar balance in the long run, so the ideal amount of protein would be 20-25% of your calories.
Luckily, you don’t have to mess around with counting calories because that’s not the type of diet.I’ll talk about how my diet works in Part 3. Until then, look at the chart that shows the ideal balance of protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
Since we all need to eat some protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, the best option is to eat low-glycemic, high-protein carbohydrate foods such as beans and lentils. People who live in countries where the diet is high in beans and lentils, look slimmer and healthier, have a very low risk of developing diabetes.
The easiest way to achieve the ideal balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates is to take 60 g of protein (this is the mass of protein, not the whole food) and 120 g of carbohydrates with low glycemic load per day and divide this amount evenly between all meals, i.e. That is, 20 g of protein and about 40 g of carbohydrates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (25 g of meat or fish contains 7 g of protein; 175 g of canned tuna contains 40 g of protein; 1 large egg contains 6 g of protein.) You don’t have to count anything, the recipes have everything counted.(For more information on the quantity and quality of fat, see Chapter “Secret 4.”) About two-thirds of your carbohydrates should come from low-glycemic-loaded fruits and vegetables and one third from foods such as grains and more starchy vegetables.
During your main meal, for lunch or dinner, you should eat any of the protein-rich foods below with a serving of any carbohydrate foods in the same amount plus 2 servings of vegetables.
If you have diabetes, you may need to increase the amount of protein to one-third on your plate, by reducing the carbohydrate portion, until your blood sugar returns to normal.
Food Ratio for Main Meal
You should eat more protein-rich foods than carbohydrate-rich foods you are accustomed to, and more fresh fruits and vegetables. The amount of carbohydrates or protein that you get from non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, kale, kale, peas, spinach, carrots, etc.) is very small, so they can be consumed with almost no restrictions during an anti-diabetic diet. Also, try to eat two low-glycemic-load fruits a day.Here are some examples of food combinations:
Food combinations that burn fat
(You can make your own combinations using the food list in Appendix 4.)
Antidiabetic snacks are also a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Eating several almonds or pumpkin seeds, which are rich in essential fats and proteins, along with a low glycemic load fruit slows down the absorption of fruit sugar and maintains blood sugar balance.And remember: Fruits such as apples and strawberries have a low glycemic load, so choose them over other fruits (see Appendix 4 for a complete list of foods).
For breakfast, you can balance protein and low-glycemic carbs, such as eating a bowl of oatmeal with seeds and berries with skim milk or soy milk.
You don’t have to calculate anything – you will learn everything about my diet in part 3, and you will find menus and recipes in part 4.
Another sign that shows that your body has fallen victim to modern nutrition is the loss of appetite control.This is partly a natural reaction to changes in blood sugar. One of the hottest areas of research to date is related to leptin, as the appetite hormone is called. The purpose of leptin is to suppress your appetite when you’re full. Paradoxically, overweight people tend to have more circulating leptin than non-overweight people, and as a result, they become increasingly “leptin resistant” and no longer respond to the hormone’s attempt to curb appetite, so the body begins to produce more leptin.It is as if the appetite center is broken, so they continue to eat. Do you have a similar situation?
Leptin resistance is very similar to insulin resistance. In fact, leptin resistance and insulin resistance are closely related, indicating a metabolic disorder. This pattern is often accompanied by adrenaline resistance, which makes you constantly tired and in need of stimulants. An important question is why leptin resistance develops, which stimulates the desire to constantly eat.So how do you restore leptin sensitivity?
Leptin is produced in fat cells called white adipose tissue, and it is this fatty tissue that accumulates around your waist. The more fat you form, the more leptin you produce, and if it works properly, then you control your appetite. What’s more, studies have shown that high leptin levels increase alcohol cravings, which can further exacerbate the problem as not only do you lose control of your appetite, but you also put on inches at your waist.
High levels of stress contribute to the development of leptin resistance, as does lack of exercise, studies have shown [111]. There is growing evidence that high-glycemic, high-carbohydrate, grain-based diets may be a major contributor to the development of leptin resistance. Research has also shown that excessive consumption of fructose increases leptin resistance [112].
My Low Glycemic Load Diet is designed to reduce leptin resistance as well as insulin resistance.Daily exercise will dramatically improve your health as it not only reduces insulin resistance [113] but also helps relieve stress [114].
You may remember I already talked about Adrian, a cook from South Africa. He was diagnosed with diabetes when his blood glucose level was 19.8 (normal level 5.0)! He just couldn’t stop eating, but after 2 months on my diet, he felt full and was even able to leave food on his plate because he was full.His health also improved.
“I no longer have gout — even when I eat foods that I previously avoided. I have lost 38 kg in 6 months and my waist has decreased by 25 cm. I have to take metformin every day, but I usually forget about it. After a month on the diet, my blood sugar level became normal, stabilized – and no longer rose above 6.0. ”
Sugar is addictive. It stimulates the same areas of the brain that are responsible for nicotine and other types of addiction.Addiction expert Dr. Simon Thornley, Registrar at Auckland Regional Health Service, notes: “Addicts are forced to increase their chemical intake, have a hard time stopping, continue to do so despite the negative effects, and feel bad if not doped. The same thing happens with people who cannot give up refined carbohydrates ”[115]. Animal tests have shown that drinking water with 10% of the calories in sugar is enough to make animals feel sugar cravings.This amount is significantly less than what many people consume.
A recent study found that overweight people who need to eat something sweet on a daily basis behave like drug addicts. “The assumption that carbohydrates can be addictive is old as the world, but until recently this topic was not popular,” said lead researcher Bonnie Spring, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “But the evidence was based on the fact that high blood sugar affects the areas of the brain responsible for drug addiction” [116].
In a study, Professor Spring gave a group of overweight women two drinks that were the same in appearance and taste, but one contained only sugary carbohydrates such as dextrose and rice syrup, and the other contained some protein. They were then asked to think about something sad for some time long enough to be upset and asked to have drinks again. When asked which drink they liked best, most responded that a pure carbohydrate drink is much better because it invigorates.Similar experiments are regularly conducted to find out if the drug is addictive. Professor Spring says: “The way the participants reacted to the pure carbohydrate drink was similar to the behavior of drug addicts … Addicts get used to the drug, so they need more, we saw the same in the behavior of women. How big a role drug addiction plays in obesity is not yet clear. ”
If you think you are sugar addicted, if you often crave sweets, especially when you are in a bad mood, then you will be pleased to hear that the combination of my low glycemic load diet and dietary supplements, which I will discuss in Part 3, quickly relieve you of sugar cravings.You will defeat this weakness within the first 5 days. You don’t need all your willpower to fight your desires. Your sweet tooth will quickly evaporate.
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Low glycemic load is a key principle of a healthy diet

There is currently no definitive, most beneficial diet for all people. However, there are proven principles of nutrition that have a positive effect on health, and in scientific research they have prolonged the life of animals and reduced mortality in humans.

The main such principle is a low glycemic load of the diet.

Glycemic load is an indicator that makes it possible to understand how quickly blood sugar rises after a meal, how much and for how long it can hold out at this level. A diet with a low glycemic load means a diet in which blood glucose rises only slightly after a meal.

To reduce the glycemic load of the diet, it is necessary to take into account the source of carbohydrates in the diet, as well as their amount.First of all, you need to minimize the consumption of flour products, foods containing sugar, refined grains and sugary drinks. These products contribute to a strong and long-term increase in blood glucose, and then insulin.

Increased insulin release contributes to a decrease in the sensitivity of cells to insulin and triggers growth mechanisms that lead to damage to cell function and accelerated aging. Animal studies show that the lower the level of insulin in the blood and the higher the sensitivity to it, the longer they live, the slower they age, and have better health indicators.

In humans, decreased insulin sensitivity worsens health and increases the risk of all-cause mortality, even at normal weight. [1]

Also, with a strong increase in blood glucose, glycation of proteins occurs (the reaction of interaction of sugars with amino acids). This process promotes the formation of crosslinks in collagen and elastin. As a result, the elasticity of the heart, blood vessels, skin and other organs decreases, which leads to accelerated aging. [2]

A review of 15 studies with a total of 438,073 participants showed that a high dietary glycemic load is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.[3]

To avoid these negative effects, it is important to build a diet on high-quality sources of carbohydrates that have a slow absorption rate and do not significantly raise blood glucose. The more fiber a food contains, the slower it is absorbed and the less its glycemic load will be. The main focus of your diet should be on slow carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, raw vegetables, and moderate amounts of fruits and berries.

A 10-year study of the Greek population, as well as a study of 3583 people with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, showed that a low glycemic load in the diet reduces the risk of overall mortality and adds about 5-6 years to life.[4]

Existing evidence suggests that special attention should be paid to the glycemic load of the diet to better control blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and other diseases. The diet must be structured so that glucose rises very slightly after meals, which is recognized as a beneficial physiological effect. This is achieved primarily through the consumption of whole, unprocessed foods.

Research references:

[1] Ausk KJ, Boyko EJ, Ioannou GN.Insulin resistance predicts mortality in nondiabetic individuals in the U.S. Diabetes Care. 2010

Templeman NM, Flibotte S, Chik JHL, et al. Reduced Circulating Insulin Enhances Insulin Sensitivity in Old Mice and Extends Lifespan. Cell Rep. 2017

White MF. IRS2 integrates insulin / IGF1 signaling with metabolism, neurodegeneration and longevity. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014

[2] Gkogkolou P, Böhm M. Advanced glycation end products: Key players in skin aging ?. Dermatoendocrinol.2012

Aragno M, Mastrocola R. Dietary Sugars and Endogenous Formation of Advanced Glycation Endproducts: Emerging Mechanisms of Disease. Nutrients. 2017

[3] Fan J, Song Y, Wang Y, Hui R, Zhang W. Dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and stroke mortality: a systematic review with meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2012

[4] Turati F, Dilis V, Rossi M, et al. Glycemic load and coronary heart disease in a Mediterranean population: the EPIC Greek cohort study.Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015

Castro-Quezada I, Sánchez-Villegas A, Estruch R, et al. A high dietary glycemic index increases total mortality in a Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. PLoS One. 2014

Augustin LS et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load and glycemic response: An International Scientific Consensus Summit from the International Carbohydrate Quality Consortium (ICQC). 2015

Why a low glycemic diet is most likely ineffective for fat burning

Written by Tom Venuto


Have you ever told you to choose foods with a low glycemic index or even a low glycemic load for weight loss? Have you heard that foods with a high glycemic index are more likely to be deposited as fat? A possible reason for such judgments is the insulin spike caused by their consumption. The truth is that the glycemic index and glycemic load alone have no effect on fat burning.This has been confirmed by the results of already 5-6 studies.

Healthy people (non-diabetic) do not need to think about the glycemic index of a particular food. It could even be said that for healthy people (not diabetic or high blood sugar), glycemic index and glycemic load are more of a distraction that makes food choices difficult. Later in the article I will explain why this happens, but first, I will briefly explain what the glycemic index is.

What is the glycemic index?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a parameter that was coined to help people determine the degree to which a food affects sugar levels. The GI scale (from 1 to 100) shows how quickly the body digests carbohydrates, absorbs them, and metabolizes them into sugar. Glucose was taken as a unit of reference, its glycemic index was set equal to 100. If the consumption of any product would lead to an even greater increase in sugar level than the consumption of pure glucose, then the GI of this product could be higher than 100.

Foods with a high GI (above 70) lead to a sharp jump in blood sugar, foods with an average GI (56-69) – to an average, foods with a low GI (55 and below) – to a slow one. An example would be potatoes, which have a GI of around 80, depending on the variety and cooking method. This high GI is one of the reasons people are afraid to consume it. (And in vain, as you will see below.)

Theoretically, the choice of foods based on GI can not be called a “diet”, but many position this approach as a fashionable diet, without arguing it from a scientific point of view.You can easily find books whose titles have the words “glycemic index” or “glycemic load” in the same context as the word “diet”.

Disadvantages of this approach

At first glance, it may seem that GI is valuable and necessary information for those who have diabetes or are predisposed to it. To maintain their health, diabetics need to monitor how their diet affects their blood sugar levels and avoid foods that cause sugar spikes.However, some time after this approach gained popularity, it turned out that it has many disadvantages, even though it is valuable for people who have to control sugar levels.

Everything you need to know about the glycemic index diet

Those who have not read the literature broadly covering the subject of diabetes are unlikely to be able to explain exactly what the scientific term “glycemic index” means.But, most likely, many of us have heard about it at least once in our lives, even seen it on food labels and wondered if it was worth paying attention to. SPLETNIK.RU spoke with experts and found out how effective the diet is in terms of the glycemic index.

University of Toronto professor David Jenkins has studied for many years how carbohydrate foods affect the blood glucose (sugar) levels of diabetics. It turned out that this level is increased not only by sweet, but also starchy foods (pasta, white bread, pies, potatoes, rice).In 1981, Jenkins published the glycemic index values ​​of foods, which marked the beginning of further research on this topic.

In order to determine which diet is more favorable for people with diabetes, he measured the concentration of glucose in the blood after consuming a serving of food containing 50 grams of carbohydrates. As a result of scientific research, the glycemic indices of foods were calculated in points. These tables can be viewed on the Internet.

Traditionally, the glycemic index has been important primarily for people with diabetes.But most people who don’t have the condition think they can follow the same nutritional guidelines, says Colleen Tewkesbury, M.D., president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

What is the glycemic index?

Nutritionist-nutritionist of the Center for Healthy Lifestyle Irina Pisareva:

Everyone who at least once seriously took up weight loss has come across this concept.Basically, apart from minerals, vitamins and other trace elements, all our food contains three main components – proteins, fats and carbohydrates. All of them are equally needed by the body to ensure the correct functioning of all systems. So, the glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the increase in blood sugar after eating a certain food.

Whenever we eat carbohydrates, our body starts to work, converting them into its favorite fuel – sugar, which increases the concentration of glucose in the blood.Our body has an organ called the pancreas, and when we eat carbohydrates, it releases the hormone insulin, which helps glucose molecules out of the bloodstream and into the cells of the body so that they can be used as energy.

How quickly carbohydrates break down into these glucose molecules depends on the type of carbohydrates and what other nutrients we consume with them. High GI foods release energy quickly, while low GI foods contain fiber and are absorbed slowly.For example, glucose in sweet fruit juice is absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantly, raising your overall blood sugar. More complex carbohydrates, such as an apple or a slice of whole grain bread, contain starch (also a carbohydrate). But the body needs more effort to break it down into glucose.

Why do we need to know this?

Blood glucose levels directly affect human health. The body simply stops making the hormone insulin, which can cause diabetes.

The GI value of foods for people with type I and II diabetes is of vital importance. A sharp and strong jump in glucose can cause complications, coma, or even death of a person, regardless of the type of diabetes. In any case, the correct diet helps to lose weight and avoid atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack, – says Irina Pisareva.

The introduction of such a concept as the “glycemic index” of a product was an attempt to indicate how dangerous a particular food is (or vice versa) in terms of overloading our body with sugar.For example, the GI (glycemic index) of 50 grams of white bread is 100. And the GI of breakfast cereals (cereals) is even more, about 135!

– explains Elena Molokova – endocrinologist, anti-age specialist of the Astramed innovation laboratory.

Thus, all food products were divided into groups:

· Low GI: 55 and below
· Medium GI: 56-69
· High GI: 70+

Glycemic Index Diet

According to the expert, the glycemic index diet offers the following strategy:

· The first stage is active fat burning, when only foods with a GI of up to 39 are consumed;
· The second stage – a gradual weight loss to the desired result, it is allowed to increase the GI to 55;
· The third stage is consolidation, the basis of the diet should be foods with a GI of up to 69, and a small amount of high-glycemic food can also be added.

Unlike the Montignac diet, where the emphasis is mainly on protein, and plant foods are almost completely excluded in the first stages, with this approach, plants can be consumed, the main thing is that their glycemic index is low, – says Elena Molokova.

The diet of such a diet consists of protein (meat, fish, seafood, eggs), non-starchy vegetables, a small amount of whole grain bread, and natural cereals.You will have to give up rich baked goods, sweets (including sweet fruits), boiled starchy vegetables (beets, carrots), honey, and jam.

How do you know which carbohydrates are “good” and which are not?

Those carbohydrates that contain more sugar in 100 grams of a product are more likely to raise our blood glucose levels, which means they have a higher glycemic index. And there can be a lot of paradoxes. Sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes have 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product.Almost a cake! And raw potatoes contain only 1.3 grams.

If you still decide to stick to such a diet, then the main guideline should be the tables with the glycemic index of foods. The lower the better, – says Elena Molokova.

To keep the GI normal, you must follow some nutritional rules:

• Low GIs include green leafy vegetables and unsweetened fruits, legumes, green beans, mushrooms, whole grains, and some cereals.
• The diet includes the use of low-fat dairy products, meat and fish, vegetable oils. No more than 2-3 times a week.
• Vegetables and fruits are eaten five times a day. Limit or exclude sweet fruits.
• Frequent small meals (three main meals and two intermediate meals).
• Avoid high GI foods: confectionery, chips, cornflakes, sweet pastries, sugary drinks, sweet fruits, honey, spaghetti, cereals, popcorn, sugar, candy, white bread, beer, potatoes and starch, boiled carrots and beets.
• Drinking enough fluids.
• Dinner an hour and a half before bedtime.

Diet is not for everyone

However, according to the expert, such food can not be recommended for everyone. For example, people with so-called “adrenal fatigue”, patients with hypothyroidism (the most common thyroid dysfunction), patients with type 1 diabetes (they have their own dietary patterns) and pregnant and lactating women, such a diet is contraindicated.

In general, this approach is good because we do not just eat everything, but consciously approach our diet.