Low GI Diet

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The Low GI (Glycemic Index) Diet was invented in 1981 by Dr David Jenkins and is quite a respected diet by qualified nutritionists as it focuses on the intake of low to medium glycemic index carbohydrates (rather than restricting carbohydrates).

Dr Jenkins based his ideas on his observations into how different carbohydrate-rich foods affected blood sugar levels in diabetics. He found that some starchy foods increased blood sugar levels dramatically, while some foods rich in sugar has less effect. This was quite contrary to what medical and nutrition experts wisdom was at that time. Dr Jenkins work resulted in the Glycemic Index (GI), a scale that ranks foods on the effect they have on blood sugar levels after they have been consumed.

Low GI: 55 or lower
Medium / Moderate GI: 56 – 69
High GI: 70 or higher

The basics of the low GI diet are:

  • The diet should be followed for about 4-12 weeks, depending on a number of factors
  • Plenty of snacks allowed each day between meals
  • Eat seven or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day
  • Include low GI breads and baked produce (ones which are lower in fat)
  • Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans
  • Eat more nuts and seeds (30g or about a handful) each day
  • Ensure to eat more fish and shellfish – at least 3 times a week
  • Lean red meat, poultry and eggs should be eaten each week
  • Low fat dairy should be eaten for their high calcium content
  • Portion size needs to be considered in the diet
  • Glycemic load is also important for overall effect on blood sugar

 

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