8 basic principles of the low glycemic index diet

8 basic principles of the low glycemic index diet

The low glycemic index diet is a system that is based on the impact that carbohydrate-rich foods have on blood sugar levels. It is a popular method to fight diabetes, obesity and lose weight

The low glycemic index diet as its name implies it is a comprehensive eating plan that is based on the consumption of foods that stand out for their low levels of the glycemic index (GI). It turns out a fundamental and key concept in the state of health generates, which is related to great benefits to lower and control body weight, significantly reduces blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of heart conditions, and type 2 diabetes.

This type of feeding is particularly important in those people who have pre-diabetes Or any type of diabetes confirmed, also related to benefits for reducing the risk of cancer, obesity, and hypertension.

What is the glycemic index?

Before we get into the basic principles of this type of diet, it is important to understand the role that glycemic index (GI) in the diet. The carbohydrates are nutrients naturally found in foods like bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, they are an essential part of a healthy diet. By eating carbohydrates the digestive system breaks them down into simple sugars that enter the bloodstream, However, not all carbohydrates are the same and according to their type, they will have unique effects on blood sugar.

The glycemic index is a measurement system that classifies food according to its effect on blood sugar levels, which is a concept that was created in 1980 by a Canadian professor named David Jenkins. This trend is based on rates of different foods and his ability to increase blood sugar levels and is classified compared to the absorption of 50 grams of pure glucose. Pure glucose is used as reference food and has a GI value of 100For this reason, three classifications were created to measure the GI of the main foods:

  • Low: 55 or less
  • Medium: 56–69
  • Tall: 70 or more
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Food with a lower glycemic index are those selected as the main basis of this type of feeding, the reason is simple are digested and absorbed more slowly what causes a small, gradual increase in blood sugar levels. At the same time, there is the rule of limit food that is characterized by having a high glycemic index, since they are responsible for violently increase glucose levels.

The foods that enter the glycemic index measurement obligatorily must contain carbohydrates in its composition, that is why products that do not contain them will not appear in any list; as is the case of the beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and spices.

exist various factors involved in the measurement of the glycemic index of food between the main concepts it’s found: the type of sugar it contains, the structure of the starch, how refined is the carbohydrate, its nutritional composition, cooking techniques, and the level of maturity in products such as fruits.

The 8 basic principles of a low glycemic index diet:

  1. Abundant consumption in non-starchy vegetables, beans, and fruits: This is one of the basic principles, you must select low starch foods like apples, pears, peaches, and berries. Even tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papaya tend to have a lower glycemic index than any typical dessert.
  2. It is vitally important to consume whole grains: The consumption of grains with the least possible processing is essential, that is to say, cereals that have not been broken should be consumed, as with products such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole barley, millet and wheat berries; or traditionally processed, such as artisan breadcrumbs, oats and breakfast cereals such as muesli or natural granola.
  3. Consumption of white potatoes and refined grain products is limited: Special caution should be taken and better still avoid the consumption of white bread and white pasta, same with potatoes. The recommendation is to limit your consumption to special occasions and in very small portions, never exceed or make them part of the daily diet.
  4. Consumption of concentrated sugars is limited: Foods made with sugar concentrates are a great enemy of the glycemic index, especially those characterized by their high-calorie content as is the case of rolls, desserts, sweets, and ice cream. The same thing happens with sugary drinksYes, they should be completely eliminated from the diet. In the case of consuming fruit juice, it must be natural and no more than half a cup a day.
  5. Integrate the consumption of healthy proteins: Proteins are an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the body, it is important to integrate healthy variants that are of plant and animal origin, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, meats such as fish or skinless chicken.
  6. Foods rich in healthy fats are a staple: Fats are important for the body, as long as we select the variants that are beneficial for health, rich in antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids and with anti-inflammatory powers As is the case with olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts) and avocados, they should be part of the daily diet in moderate amounts.
  7. Products that are better to avoid: Those who are distinguished for containing Saturated fats as is the case of dairy and other animal products like sausages and processed meats. At the same time, completely eliminate the consumption of partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats), which are mostly found in processed products and fast foods.
  8. General recommendations: It is important to consider the three main meals of the day and the intake of 1-2 snacks per day. It is not recommended to skip breakfast. Eating slowly is essential and in small amounts, not reaching the extreme point of satiety.
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