The low glycemic index diet has been proven to work both as a weight loss diet plan and as a diabetes management diet plan.
The low glycemic index diet is based on a very simple system of carbohydrates ranking, invented by Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto.
This ranking system for carbohydrates is based on the notion that some carbohydrates break down very slowly and thus release glucose gradually into the bloodstream; whereas other carbohydrates break down quickly in the body and flood the bloodstream with high amounts of glucose.
The Glycemic Index and Diabetes
Dr. Jenkins glycemic index system revolutionized the way health care professionals and diabetics manage diabetes by highlighting the role proper nutrition plays in helping diabetics live long and healthy lives.
The Glycemic Index System
|Low Glycemic Foods||GI = 55 or less|
|Medium Glycemic Foods||GI = 56-69|
|High Glycemic Foods||GI = 70+|
Health Benefits of The Low Glycemic Index Diet for Diabetics
The Inclusion of Carbohydrates
Often diabetics resort to extreme high protein diets in an effort to manage their blood glucose levels better. However, most health care professionals do not recommend high protein diets to diabetics because these diets can place a great deal of stress on the kidneys.
Even though diabetics must monitor their carbohydrate intake, since their bodies turn most carbohydrates into glucose, it is also important to note that an adult diet must include at least 130 grams of carbohydrates, a day. This is because carbohydrates work as fuel for the body.
Plus, most dietary sources of carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, are also good sources of minerals, vitamins and fiber. Therefore, their inclusion is vital in a healthy diet. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics, who do not have kidney disease, receive only around15-20% of their daily calories from protein sources.
And this is where the low glycemic index comes into play. By helping diabetics distinguish between fast-burning carbohydrates, that can lead to dangerous fluctuations in blood glucose levels, and slow-burning carbohydrates that help diabetics maintain their energy levels as well as an even blood glucose level, the low glycemic index helps diabetics safely consume the necessary amounts of carbohydrates.
A Long-Term Healthy Lifestyle Change
The low glycemic index diet is not a typical diet. It is a lifestyle change. Therefore, once you begin a low glycemic diet you need to maintain this diet on a long term basis in order to reap its full benefits.
Furthermore, the low glycemic index diet is unlike most fad diets in the sense that it does not exclude any foods. Instead it encourages you to eat healthy, and therefore lead a healthier lifestyle. Best of all, many of your favorite foods are likely to be included on the list of low glycemic foods so that you can enjoy the occasional treat.
The Prevention of Other Health Problems Through a Low Glycemic Diet
Research has shown that a low glycemic diet can also help prevent diseases other than diabetes. For example, individuals at risk for heart disease should look into starting a low glycemic diet to protect themselves against this deadly disease. That is because researchers have found that a low glycemic diet works better against preventing heart disease than a traditional low fat diet or those popular low carbohydrate fad diets.