Stay Fit And Healthy With A Low Glycemic Diet

At the core of the low-glycemic diet is the dieter’s best friend, the Glycemic Index. “The glycemic index, or glycemic index, (GI) provides a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels (i.e. levels of glucose in the blood) rise after eating a particular type of food.”

Different foods have varying effects on the body’s blood sugar level. In terms of the glycemic index, foods are evaluated with a high, medium or low level. The index measures the amount of available carbohydrates, which is calculated by considering the total carbohydrate value and deducting the fiber.


Scientists have long known that carbohydrates increase sugar levels in the blood. Sugar in the blood is called glucose, an important source of energy.

Weight Watchers say that, “A practical limitation of the glycemic index is that it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate actually consumed. A related measure, the glycemic load, factors this in by multiplying the glycemic index of the food in question by the carbohydrate content of the actual serving.”

The glycemic diet is not a traditional weight loss diet because subscribers can eat just about anything as long as the meals are balanced in terms of glycemic content. Thus, the importance of the index and knowing the glycemic ratings of foods that the individual consumes.

Once the dieter understands the glycemic values of food, the next step is to develop solid meal planning skills. Meals should contain protein, vegetables and starch.

Popular sources of protein are:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Lean red meats
  • Soy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

There are a numbers of leafy green vegetables that are popular:

  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Many others

Popular starches are:

  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread

For maximum benefit, meals can be accompanied by fruits and a glass of milk. It is important to know that the glycemic index only evaluates the glycemic ratings of the carbohydrates that are digested. This means that only starches, vegetables, milk and fruits have glycemic values. These are the foods that affect the blood sugar reading.

In terms of the glycemic index, there are three measures:

  • Low glycemic index – a reading of 55 or less.
  • Medium glycemic index – a reading between 56 and 69
  • High glycemic index – a reading of more than 70

The glycemic index has a total range of 0 to 100. High glycemic foods are not necessarily unhealthy. Likewise, low glycemic foods can be unhealthy. The important thing with the glycemic diet is understanding the values of the carbohydrates you consume.

Please observe the glycemic values of these popular foods.

Food Glycemic Index #Measurement

  • Peanut M&M’s – 33 – Low
  • Snickers bar – 43 – Low
  • Brown rice – 48 – Low
  • Whole-wheat bread – 52 – Low
  • Basmati white rice – 57 – Medium
  • Spaghetti – 58 – Medium
  • Plain bagel – 69 – Medium
  • Watermelon – 72 – High
  • Jasmine rice – 89 – High
  • Baked potato – 98 – High

Surprised to see watermelon and baked potato with the same rating? This highlights the need to know the values of the carbohydrates used in your regular diet. Baked potatoes and watermelons both contain numerous vitamins, minerals and a good deal of fiber.

Complying with a low glycemic diet mandates a pretty good understanding of proper portions. Given that the goal is a balanced approach, dieters must be careful with portion sizes. Eating large portions generally increases the glycemic load.

The dieter’s caloric intake for a specific day can be reliably determined by the size of the portions. If the meal contains a low glycemic value, it will not be affected appreciable if you consume more than planned. However, medium glycemic loads can rise appreciably by eating larger portions. The same is true for high glycemic portions.

The beauty of this diet is that the dieter controls their consumption and can quantifiably relate to a healthy portion and meal. Before committing to the glycemic diet, you should do a few test days to become accustomed to proper portions and preparation.

Jeff Mcneil

Jeff Mcneil is fitness blogger and loves sharing his insights in health and fitness on popular blogs like

5 thoughts on “Stay Fit And Healthy With A Low Glycemic Diet

  • January 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

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  • January 26, 2013 at 5:54 am

    While this article provides a good sample for eating a low GI diet, it does not provide an explanation as to how it will benefit weight loss. It only talks about slow release of sugar/carbohydrate release into the blood stream, but doesn’t explain the science behind weight loss.

  • January 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    This article completely confused me. I thought we wanted the sugar from foods to move slowly into the body. The low to high chart seems to condradict the rest of the article. So lost.

    • July 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      A Low GI Diet, is one were you focus on foods which cause a slow increase in blood sugars, say Peanut M&M’s, so if you were doing a clean pure Low GI Diet you would focus on only foods which score less than 55. I am not a massive fan of the Pure Low GI Approach, as recommended in this article seems to recommend I perfer a more natural normal approach, seeing as even High GI foods have value, it just seems like some people put too much emphasis on GI, and less on balance.


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