Low-glycemic index weight loss plan: What’s behind the claims?


A low-glycemic index (low-GI) weight loss plan is an consuming plan based mostly on how meals have an effect on blood sugar stage, additionally referred to as blood glucose stage.

The glycemic index ranks meals on a scale from 0 to 100. The low finish of the size has meals which have little impact on blood sugar ranges. The excessive finish of the size has meals with an enormous impact on blood sugar ranges.

A low-GI weight loss plan makes use of the glycemic index as the principle information for meal planning. Individuals additionally could use the glycemic index as one among many instruments for making decisions about meals and meals.


The aim of a low-GI weight loss plan is to decide on meals much less prone to elevate blood sugar ranges.

Why you would possibly comply with a low-GI weight loss plan

You would possibly select to comply with a low-GI weight loss plan since you:

  • Need to drop some pounds or maintain a wholesome weight
  • Need assistance planning and consuming more healthy meals
  • Need assistance preserving blood sugar ranges from going too excessive or low as a part of a diabetes therapy plan
  • Need to decrease danger of diabetes or ailments of the center or blood vessels

The glycemic index

The glycemic index is designed to be a food-choice information for individuals residing with diabetes. A global database is run by the Sydney College Glycemic Index Analysis Service in Sydney, Australia. The database exhibits the outcomes of meals research from world wide.

A fundamental overview of carbohydrates and blood sugar is useful for understanding low-GI diets.


Carbohydrates, additionally referred to as carbs, are a sort of nutrient in meals. The three fundamental types are sugars, starches and fiber. Your physique breaks down the sugars and starches from carbs. They find yourself as a sort of sugar referred to as glucose. This sugar passes into the bloodstream and is the principle supply of vitality for cells in your physique. Fiber passes by means of your physique undigested.

Two essential hormones from the pancreas assist management glucose within the bloodstream. The hormone insulin strikes glucose from the blood into the cells. The hormone glucagon helps launch glucose saved within the liver when blood sugar ranges are low. This course of helps maintain the physique fueled and blood sugar in stability.

Many various issues about meals have an effect on how rapidly glucose enters the bloodstream.

Understanding GI numbers

The glycemic index ranks the impact meals has on blood sugar ranges. A low-GI weight loss plan suggests meals which have low GI values. The classes are:

  • Low GI: 1 to 55
  • Medium GI: 56 to 69
  • Excessive GI: 70 and better

With a purpose to assign a rank, additionally referred to as a GI worth, researchers often examine the impact of consuming a meals with the impact of consuming sugar on blood sugar ranges. Typically the comparability is made with consuming white bread. For instance, to check the GI worth of cantaloupe, 10 or extra wholesome individuals eat sufficient cantaloupe to digest 50 grams of whole carbohydrates. That’s about one medium cantaloupe for every individual. Over the subsequent two hours, their blood sugar ranges are examined a number of instances. On one other day, the identical 10 individuals eat or drink 50 grams (12 teaspoons) of sugar. Once more, their blood sugar ranges are examined a number of instances over two hours.

The researchers examine the outcomes of consuming sugar with consuming cantaloupe to rank the impact of consuming cantaloupe. The GI worth for cantaloupe is 65 to 70.

Limits of GI values

The glycemic index would not contemplate how a lot of a meals you’re prone to eat throughout a meal. For instance, you possible would not eat a complete medium-sized cantaloupe directly.

To concentrate on this downside, researchers developed the thought of glycemic load (GL). This quantity exhibits the impact on blood sugar ranges once you eat a typical portion of the meals. For instance, you would possibly eat one-third of a medium-sized cantaloupe throughout one meal. The GL worth for that a lot cantaloupe is round 11 or decrease.

Sydney College’s desk of GI values additionally contains GL values. The GL values are divided into:

  • Low GL: 1 to 10
  • Medium GL: 11 to 19
  • Excessive GL: 20 or extra

Different points

A GI worth tells you nothing about different dietary data. For instance, cantaloupe has a medium to excessive GI rating and a medium GL rating. However it’s a good supply of vitamin C, beta carotene and different necessary vitamins. Complete milk has a low GI worth and a low GL worth. But it surely’s excessive in fat and energy. So it could not a sensible choice for dropping or controlling weight.

The revealed GI database is just not a whole checklist of meals. As an alternative, it is a checklist of meals which were studied. Many nutritious meals with low GI values is probably not within the database. The checklist additionally contains extremely processed meals which can be much less nutritious than unprocessed meals. And a few meals with low GI values is probably not good sources of vitamins.

The GI worth of any meals merchandise will depend on many components. It issues how the meals is ready and the way it’s processed. Additionally, there generally is a vary in GI values for a similar meals. So the values is probably not dependable for all meals decisions.

Weight-reduction plan particulars

For those who comply with a low-GI weight loss plan, your meals with carbs are principally restricted to decisions with low values. You often will keep away from meals with excessive values. Examples of meals with low, center and excessive GI values are:

  • Low GI: Inexperienced greens, most fruits, uncooked carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.
  • Medium GI: Candy corn, bananas, uncooked pineapple, raisins, cherries, oat breakfast cereals, and multigrain, whole-grain wheat or rye bread
  • Excessive GI: White rice, white bread and potatoes

Industrial low-GI diets could seek advice from meals as having gradual carbs or quick carbs. It’s because meals with a low GI worth are digested and absorbed over an extended time. Meals with excessive values are absorbed over a shorter time.


Research of low-GI diets have proven different outcomes. Normally, they’ve proven a low-GI weight loss plan could also be useful for:

  • Shedding weight
  • Reducing blood stress
  • Reducing whole levels of cholesterol
  • Enhancing diabetes administration
  • Reducing the chance of diabetes and coronary heart and blood vessel ailments

Researchers have famous the advantage of the weight loss plan could also be linked to the nutrient-rich meals and high-fiber meals within the research. The general dietary high quality of the meals could also be extra necessary than the GI worth of every meals merchandise.

The underside line

Following a low-GI weight loss plan could enable you to drop some pounds or maintain a wholesome weight. It could enable you to handle a diabetes plan. It could decrease your danger of diabetes and coronary heart and blood vessel ailments.

The glycemic index additionally might be one software, slightly than the principle software, that can assist you make more healthy meals decisions. The Dietary Tips for People recommends a concentrate on wholesome dietary patterns and nutrient-rich meals.

A wholesome dietary sample means making persistently wholesome decisions over time. Meals that slot in that sample fluctuate. They embrace a wide range of vegatables and fruits that present nutritional vitamins, minerals and fiber. A wholesome dietary sample additionally contains whole-grain meals which can be excessive in fiber and different vitamins. Beans, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy and lean meats are additionally good decisions.


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