You might have tried several dietary trends without acknowledging the glycemic index (GI) of the food you consume. Wondering what a GI is? It is a figure that determines the ability of a carbohydrate food to increase sugar levels in your blood. And a low glycemic diet helps you keep your blood sugar levels in check as well as helps you lose those extra pounds.
The three reasons why one should follow a low GI diet are – to lose weight, to eat healthier meals and to keep sugar levels in check. So if your goal is to lose weight, then you must go for this diet plan. Before you start, you should have an idea about GI values and how a low GI diet keeps you feeling full for a longer time and reduces hunger pangs. There are three GI values:
1) High GI – Higher than 70 (Foods you should avoid)
Baked Potato (85)
Potato or Rice chips (83)
French fries [30 fries] (75)
Popcorn cooked in microwave [1 ½ cups] (72)
White rice (87)
Cereal, Cornflakes (92)
Doughnuts and cakes (76)
2) Medium GI – 55 to 70 (Foods you should have in moderation)
Croissant [1 medium] (67)
Oatmeal cookies [4 small] (55)
Cheese [1slice] (60)
Long Grain Basmati Rice [1 cup] (61)
Taco shells [2 shells] (68)
Raisins [1/2 cup] (64)
Homemade dosas [2, 4-inch cakes] (67)
3) Low GI – Lower than 55 (Foods you should enjoy)
Apple [1 medium] (38)
Celery [2 stalks] (0)
Salted Cashew [100 gm] (22)
Fresh Cherries (22)
Rajma or Kidney Beans [2/3 cup cooked] (42)
Raw Cucumber [3/4 cup] (0)
Vanilla Ice-Cream [1/2 cup] (50)
Lentils or Daal [3/4 cup cooked] (29)
Orange [medium] (42)
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Foods with low GI balances the sugar levels in your body and makes you feel fuller for longer, thereby helping you cut down on calorie intake. Including foods with carbohydrates, fiber and low GI is the right way to go about this diet plan. However, there are many foods with low GI that might be high in carbohydrates or fats. You need to pick your foods carefully to be able to do justice to a low GI diet. So, what can you eat or substitute while following this diet? Let’s find out.
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- Swap your stir-fried vegetables and white rice with stir-fried chicken or tofu and vegetables. Just like instant oatmeal, white rice tends to get digested quickly, which will make you feel hungry quicker. When you substitute rice with proteins like tofu or chicken it helps slow digestion.
- Consume low-fat yoghurt with some freshly chopped strawberries instead of homemade custard or rice pudding. Strawberries will add fiber and acid to your body that will enhance slow digestion.
- Choose home-style oatmeal over instant oatmeal. The large oat granules are more complex to break down thereby enabling a slower digestive process, which is good for your health.
- Replace your whole wheat sandwiches and baked chips with a cup of tomato soup, or eat 100% ground whole wheat flour mixed with tomato, lettuce and avocado.
If you eat the right amount of food with a low GI value it will definitely help you lose weight with time. You can consult with a dietician before going ahead with a low glycemic diet. It is one of the most effective diet plans that have gained much popularity in recent times.