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The glycemic index is a system for classifying carbohydrate-containing foods according to how fast they raise blood-glucose levels inside the body. In simplest terms, foods with a low glycemic value generate small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels. This makes them much more beneficial than foods with a high glycemic value that raise the blood glucose and insulin levels faster.

The glycemic index method classifies carbohydrates according to their effect on blood-glucose instead of according to their chemical structure of either simple (Simple carbohydrates are sugars, like glucose, fructose and lactose.) carbohydrates or complex (Complex carbohydrates are starches and fiber; wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables.) carbohydrates.

BENEFITS OF A LOW GI DIET:

All carbohydrate foods are not created the same and can behave very differently in our bodies. The glycemic index (GI) illustrates this difference by categorizing them according to their effect on our blood glucose levels.

Choosing low GI carbohydrates, the ones that produce the smallest variation in our blood glucose and insulin levels, provide many benefits for your body. Some of those benefits are:

*helps maintain weight loss

*reduces risk of diabetes and heart disease

*reduces hunger and keeps energy level balanced

*reduces blood cholesterol levels

*maintains carbohydrate levels after exercise

*increases the body’s responsiveness to insulin

HOW TO FOLLOW A LOW GI DIET:

It is simple to switch from a high GI diet to a low GI diet. There are no difficult calculations to make or paying constant attention to counting calories. You simply need to substitute your high GI food with low GI foods. For instance:

* Instead of sugar-laden breakfast cereals, eat cereals made with whole grains like oats, barley and bran.

*Instead of white bread, eat whole wheat and whole grain breads.

*Instead of baked beans laden with sugar and fat, eat legumes (beans like kidney, garbanzo, pinto, black beans, etc.) and legume products (hummus, lentil soup, etc.)

*Instead of white potatoes, eat new potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams.

*Instead of white rice and highly refined flour pasta, eat brown rice and whole grain or stone-ground pastas.

* Instead of using sugar or artificial sweeteners, use honey, pure maple syrup or stevia to sweeten things up.

*Instead of ice cream, whole milk, and high fat cheese, use unsweetened yogurt, unsweetened milk, and soy beverages.

*Avoid snacks and desserts made with refined flour products.

*Avoid cakes, pies, candies, and soft drinks, including sweetened fruit drinks.

*Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day. (Eat foods in their natural form whenever possible.)

* Drink lots of water to keep your organs well hydrated.

Remember, it is not necessary to completely avoid high GI foods. However, they should be reduced as much as possible.

IS A GI DIET BETTER THAN A LOW-CARB DIET?

A GI diet and eating plan provides an excellent nutritional choice for people who want to lose weight. By eating a diet composed of carbohydrate-rich foods with a low GI-value and avoiding refined carbohydrates, a GI diet provides the best possible combination of better blood-glucose control and a highly nutritious eating plan. Because of the health advantages of a low GI diet plan, it has surpassed the low-carb diet as the most popular weight loss plan.

If you are trying to lose weight, don’t rush things. Make your changes slowly over a period of months. In this way, the changes will seem more natural and your body will be better able to deal with them. The more comfortable the changes in your diet are, the more likely you will be to follow them permanently.

Make sure you add a moderate amount of daily exercise to your routine, if possible. The combination of a nutritious diet and some form of physical activity every day will help your body burn fat faster and promote weight loss.