Glycemic Index Diet or GI diet is a diet meant for people suffering from diabetes. Also known as a low glycemic diet, the index is valued as the ranking of various carbohydrates that measure the rate of increase of the blood sugar level with the ingestion each food type. The diet was first introduced by Dr. David J. Jenkins, a professor at the Toronto University. It was published in a book form later on by Rick Gallop , the erstwhile president of the “Heart and Stroke Foundation”, Ontario.
The diet measures all food items against the GI of glucose which is set at 100. Contrary to the popular belief, sugars are attributed with a medium Glycemic index making professionals argue in favor of incorporating sugars as a part of the diabetes diet.
The diet does not work instantaneously. On the contrary, it takes a long time with the body weight and blood sugar levels being controlled and maintained for a longer period.
Glycemic Index Diet: Characteristics
Food that is digested slowly is considered to be good and has a low GI. High GI food stuffs are not considered to be healthy with starch and carbohydrates being rated higher than sugar by this particular diet. However, it has also been found out that adding a little vinegar or fresh fruit juice to any food item lowers its glycemic index considerably.
The principle of the diet is that a person eating low GI foods is not bound to feel hungry in between meals.
Wholegrain breads, oatmeal, fresh vegetables and fruits are all low GI making them ideal for a diabetic. Legumes, kidney beans, dairy products, buckwheat and new potatoes are also low in glycemic index making them acceptable to the patients with high blood glucose levels.
GI Diet Restrictions
Any food item having a GI that exceeds 55 is considered to be harmful for diabetics. Some of the food items that need to be avoided while on a glycemic index diet include:-
- White breads and Bagels along with the French Baguette.
- Breakfast cereals like cornflakes, bran flakes, Rice Crispies and Coco pops.
- Pumpkin and parsnips along watermelon and dates are considered to have a high GI and hence forbidden for a person on GI diet.
- Rice and potatoes particularly when served in the form of French fries are extremely high on GI value making them non acceptable for a diabetic.
Low Glycemic Index Diet Plan
- Breakfast- A couple of eggs, whole grain toasts with butter or agave syrup. Green tea or plain water is recommended as the acceptable fluids with low GI value.
- Lunch- Chicken sandwiches or lean cuts of meat along with a deli roll with cottage cheese and green salad is ideal for a person following the diet. A soup rich in protein is recommended to be served as a starter.
- Dinner- Cornbread that is high in fiber along with steamed vegetables and grilled fish or poultry can be labeled as a low GI meal. Fresh fruit and cottage cheese for dessert is usually a healthy alternative to baked items.
GI Diet: Trivia
Surprisingly, ice-cream is not considered to be unhealthy by the proponents of the Low Glycemic Index Diet.