Diet and nutrition is a subject that is constantly evolving and changing with new information, new trends and fads, and new studies. The latest buzz word that it has yielded is a term known very simply as GI, or Glycemic Index. It has hit the public consciousness like a storm, and has earned itself all the attention of people looking to lose weight fast.
What is GI?
Essentially GI is an index that identifies the effect that different food items have on blood sugar levels. Foods with high GI levels are those in which the carbohydrates are broken down rapidly during digestion, leading to quick glucose release into the bloodstream. Alternatively, low-GI foods have carbohydrates that take a long time to break down, and the glucose is only released gradually into the bloodstream. The standard of measurement of GI is pure glucose, which has a GI of 100.
GI and Weight Loss
High-GI foods generally lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid downfall. This means that one experiences a quick boost and a subsequent crash in energy levels. This can spell disaster for diabetes patients. Furthermore, the quick rise and drop in energy levels could leave you feeling tired and hungry very soon after a high-GI meal, and you will be tempted to pick up another snack and eat all over again. On the other hand, low-GI foods take longer to break down and with their consistent and gradual release of glucose, they offer sustained energy for a longer period of time. The result is that they will leave you feeling satisfied for longer. Naturally, people who have weight loss goals have begun to gravitate towards low-GI foods.
Is GI a Perfect Indicator?
While the GI index is a good measure of foods that will tempt you to overeat and those that will leave you feeling satisfied for longer, it is not a perfect indicator for fast weight loss. In other words, if you are interested in slimming down, you cannot simply rely on the GI index. Some sugar-intensive foods like ice-cream and chocolate have a low GI, because of the high levels of fat and protein that they contain. However, they are not healthy foods for people who want to lose weight quickly. In fact, even adding oils or butter or excessive salt to a meal can reduce its GI, but these are not healthy eating habits either.
If you are really serious about your weight loss diet, what is important is to choose those low GI foods that also have a high nutritive value. Besides, your diet should be varied, so that you are not missing out on any essential nutrients. An over-concentration of any one healthy, low-GI food is not healthy.
The Healthy Low-GI Foods
Some of the healthy low-GI foods that will help you lose weight fast are chicken and fish, eggs, legumes and pulses, whole grains, most fruits and vegetables, brown rice, oats, muesli, pasta and bran. What you need is a concentration of these low-GI foods in your diet. However, don’t make the mistake of completely giving up on medium or high-GI foods in your bid to lose weight. Some of these, like skimmed milk, carrots and watermelons, carry significant health benefits.
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