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diet
low gi foods
low gi diet
blood sugar levels
hunger pangs
weight loss diet
excess glucose
insulin resistance
diabetes and heart disease
insulin levels
Glycemic Index Diet
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Glycemic Index Diet

The Glycemic Index (GI) diet is a catch-all term for a weight-loss diet that focuses on blood sugar levels. The GI diet considers the GI of foods containing carbs in relation to their ability to change blood sugar levels (bsl).

The GI scores foods based on how they affect blood sugar levels. Foods are measured on a scale of 0 to 100. Only foods that are high in carbs are ranked, since they cause the largest changes to blood sugar. Foods such as meat, which are carb low and protein high are not ranked and are treated as low GI foods.

Sugar - in the form of glucose - is an energy source for the tissues and cells that form your body. The largest supply of glucose is the carbohydrate in food consumed. Your liver also holds a store of glucose. Carbohydrates are found in starch, sugar and fiber. After you have eaten carbs, you break them down through the process of catabolism, releasing glucose into your bloodstream.

Two pancreatic hormones hep to regulate your level of blood sugar - insulin and glucagon. Insulin works by moving glucose to your cells from your blood when your bsl is high. Excess glucose is stored in your liver in a form called glycogen. Glucagon works by releasing glycogen from your liver when your bsl is low. Working together, these hormones help maintain a balance in blood sugar.

Foods that have a high GI ranking are digested quickly. They are considered to disturb the natural bsl balance by causing spikes in your bsl. When blood sugar and/or insulin levels remain high, or occilate between high and low quickly, your body may struggle to cope. This might lead to a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked to many health issues, including stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Foods with lower GI rankings are digested more slowly, raising blood sugar in a more regulated and gradual way. Low GI foods remain in your digestive system longer and may help control appetite and delay hunger pangs. This can help with weight control.

Whilst a low GI diet is generally a good idea, you don’t need to look for specific low GI foods. Avoid the trap of thinking low GI foods are always good for you. Ice cream and potato chips have low GI scores, but aren’t recommended for those trying to lose weight.

There are two simple ways to help ensure your diet is naturally low GI. Eat higher GI foods with lean proteins and vegetables which have low GI scores. This will lower the overall GI rating of your meal. Also, eat more regularly, having smaller meals. Both methods will help maintain blood sugar at a regular level and form part of a healthy diet.


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