Glycemic-Index Diet

What is Glycemic-Index Diet?

The glycemic index is a measure of a carb’s effect on blood sugar. So-called “good” carbs – from bran cereal to many fruits and veggies – are lower on the glycemic index, and are central to this dietary approach to lose weight, and improve blood-sugar control and heart health. Good carbs are digested slowly, so you feel fuller longer, and your blood sugar and metabolism don’t go out of whack. By contrast, “bad” carbs, such as white bread and instant mashed potatoes, are quickly digested and released into the bloodstream, spiking blood sugar and making you hungry sooner.

Pros & Cons

  • You shape your diet
  • You won’t be hungry
  • No guidance on foods other than carbs
  • Got to do homework

How does Glycemic-Index Diet work?

It looks simple – all you need to know is where different carbs fall on the 0 to 100 glycemic index.

  • You fill up on low-GI carbs (55 and under)
  • Eat smaller amounts of medium-GI carbs (56 to 69)
  • And mostly nibble on high-GI carbs (70 and up)

Lists of carbs in each category are available online, or you can mine a database from the University of Sydney, which operates a GI-testing laboratory. Besides referring to these lists as needed, there’s no fussy weighing or measuring. But you’ll have to devise your menus yourself. The GI only ranks foods containing carbs, so meat, fish and poultry, for instance, don’t have GI numbers. You’re on your own in deciding how much your diet should include. At breakfast, go for cereals made with oats, barley or bran; at lunch, eat your sandwich on whole-grain bread; and at dinner, toss up a salad instead of baking a potato.

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