The Totally Fit Life uses the Glycemic Index of food is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Carbohydrate foods that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. Their blood sugar response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes.
What is the significance of Glycemic Index?
- Low GI means a smaller rise in blood sugar and can help control established diabetes
- Low GI diets can help people lose weight and lower blood lipids
- Low GI diets can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin
- High GI foods can help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
How to switch to a low GI diet?
- Breakfast cereals based on wheat bran, barley and oats
- “Grainy” breads made with whole seeds
- Pasta and rice in place of potatoes
- Vinegar and lemon juice dressings
In short, the goal should be to build a good plan including the low Glycemic Index foods. This way, hunger is minimized, and there is less tendency to “cheat” or overeat. Consequently, you can continue to lose body fat or maintain your weight – once the excess pounds have been lost.
Some points to ponder:
- Foods that stimulate insulin surges can cause people to eat 60 – 70% more calories at the following meal.
- People who consume foods relatively high in glucose (such as white bread, most commercial whole wheat bread, and raisins) eat an average of 200 calories more at the next meal than those who eat fructose (a sugar found in fruits).
- Low glycemic index foods can be mixed with modest quantities of high glycemic foods without losing their hunger reducing effect.
The purpose of the chart is not to have you eliminate those nutritious choices from your diet. Instead, balance the foods that are “less desirable” by eating them with foods that are “desirable.”
A low glycemic food plan can be beneficial to:
- persons with insulin resistance or Syndrome X
- High glycemic foods:
- elevate insulin and blood glucose
- stimulate fat-storage
- exacerbate hyperactivity
- reduce sports performance.
- low glycemic foods do not.
- A low glycemic food plan is beneficial for:
- helping balance blood glucose and insulin levels
- reducing excess body fat levels
- increasing sports performance.
Low glycemic food plans are not based on starvation or deprivation. Eating is a part of our lives and we should not have to sacrifice tasty foods in order to stay healthy.
Low glycemic food plans focus on reducing ingestion of foods that elevate insulin and stimulate fat-storage. We can’t totally eliminate high glycemic foods from our diet, but we can be aware of the glycemic reaction that foods have so we can make better choice.
Low glycemic food plans have been proven to reduce incidence of Type II diabetes and to help control Type I and II diabetes, hypoglycemia and hypertension. Low glycemic foods do not stimulate food-craving hormones like Neuropeptide Y and Lipoprotein Lipase. Stimulation of these hormones can cause chemically-triggered cravings for food and uncontrolled eating binges.
The Low Glycemic Food Plan for Women in the “Low Glycemic Food Plans and Recipes 2000” book includes specific daily caloric recommendations based on caloric requirements of the average adult woman. Adult men may follow the plan by increasing the calories to a minimum of 1,650 per day. The selection of your total daily required calories is the responsibility of the reader and his/her health care professional (see the Daily Caloric Intake page). Caloric requirements vary greatly according to the needs and medical history of the individual. With some body types, switching from high glycemic foods to low glycemic foods can result in a significant loss of body fat without changing caloric intake.
It would be ideal for everyone to cook balanced meals at home, but the reality is that most families are too busy to make home cooked meals every day. The Low Glycemic Food Plan for Women is a sample of realistic food planning, which is why fast-foods are included. Though the Food Plan contains fast-foods, the daily fat calories still meet the heart healthy guidelines of the American Heart Association, Harvard University, the American Cancer Society, and the UDG (Unified Dietary Guidelines)
Obviously, low glycemic food plans can be followed for more than 7 days. You can create your own low glycemic food plan with many variations. Be sure to ingest enough calories per day to meet the needs of your own body.
For optimum health, select a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods daily. This helps assure an adequate intake of Phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.