A glycemic index diet is an eating plan based on how foods affect your blood sugar level.
The glycemic index is a system of assigning a number to carbohydrate-containing foods according to how much each food increases blood sugar.
The glycemic index itself is not a diet plan but one of various tools — such as calorie counting or carbohydrate counting — for guiding food choices.
The term “glycemic index diet” usually refers to a specific diet plan that uses the index as the primary or only guide for meal planning. Unlike some other plans, a glycemic index diet doesn’t necessarily specify portion sizes or the optimal number of calories, carbohydrates, or fats for weight loss or weight maintenance.
Many popular commercial diets, diet books and diet websites are based on the glycemic index, including the Zone Diet, Sugar Busters and the Slow-Carb Diet.
The purpose of a glycemic index (GI) diet is to eat carbohydrate-containing foods that are less likely to cause large increases in blood sugar levels. The diet is a means to lose weight and prevent chronic diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Why you might follow the GI diet
You might choose to follow the GI diet because you:
- Want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Need help planning and eating healthier meals
- Need help maintaining blood sugar levels as part of a diabetes treatment plan
The scientific evidence supporting the role of the GI diet in weight loss is mixed. You might be able to achieve the same health benefits by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough exercise.
Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, including diabetes.
The glycemic index
The GI principle was first developed as a strategy for guiding food choices for people with diabetes. An international GI database is maintained by Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Services in Sydney, Australia. The database contains the results of studies conducted there and at other research facilities around the world.
A basic overview of carbohydrates, blood sugar and GI values is helpful for understanding glycemic index diets.
The Manna Diet for healthy weight loss
The Manna Diet is more than just a Low GI diet. This diet also includes the dietary benefits of the Mediterranean diet for promoting heart health.
Choice of Diet
No matter what diet you choose, it has to comply with certain unwritten rules.
- First the diet has to be healthy
- The diet has to be versatile and balanced
- The diet need to include:
- Whole grains
- Vegetables (all kinds of vegetables, but try to limit starchy veggies like potatoes)
- Fruit (fruit supply valuable vitamins and minerals – eat whole fruit)
- Dairy ( good supply of calcium and protein – stick to low fat products)
- Protein ( Meat and Beans – provide protein and fiber)
- Oils (good fat is very important for any diet – include seafood and nuts as natural oils)