Low GI foods are foods that are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a calculation that involves ranking carbs into “good carbs” and “bad carbs” (from a scale of 0 to 100). Bad carbs are ones your body breaks down very fast. While they deliver lots of energy, unless you’re super-duper athletic (or type 1 diabetic) you don’t really need these most of the time. Good carbs take time for your body to break down, which means they burn a lot more energy than bad carbs.
Low GI foods don’t raise your blood sugar quickly. The way this works is when carbs are broken down they turn to sugar which enters your blood stream. Because good carbs take so long to break down, they take longer to enter your blood. This delivers more consistent energy and convinces your body you’re still not hungry.
So, without further scientific explanation or ado, here are ten reasons to eat low GI foods even if you’re not diabetic.
1. Low Glycemic Is Low Carb
Yeah, super simple. Very straightforward. Low GI foods are mostly the majority of foods you see in ‘low carb’ diets. They make up a huge portion of the Mediterranean and Paleo diet.
2. Weight Loss
Eating a low glycemic/ low carb diet has been shown in studies to be effective for weight loss. Low carb diets can result in two to three times the amount of weight lost compared to low-fat diets, without actively restricting calories. This is because you get more protein, which is, as mentioned above, harder for your body to digest.
3. Reduced Appetite
Because of the slow release of sugar into your blood, your body doesn’t tell you it’s hungry. You don’t have a blood sugar crash. That slow release of sugars is the key here.
4. Reduced Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance or prediabetes, is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. This works like a drug addiction, your body has some, it wants more, it builds resistance, it wants more. Eventually you can’t get enough of the drug and things go terribly. Eventually, the pancreas cannot produce the necessary insulin, leading to greater risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health issues.
5. Less Belly Fat
Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is found deep within your abdomen, wrapping around your organs and putting you at risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke. A diet centered around low glycemic, low carb foods has been proven to reduce belly fat in a greater proportion than a low-fat diet
6. Lowered Blood Pressure
A low glycemic diet can help reduce blood pressure, which can reduce your risk for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, a low carb, low glycemic diet can be an effective way to reduce your blood pressure levels.
7. Improved Blood Sugar Levels
As mentioned, the purpose of low glycemic foods is to help keep your blood sugar levels stable, and reduce the chances of insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions related to blood sugar. The best way to lower blood sugar and insulin levels is to reduce carbohydrate consumption, and to eat low GI foods.
8. Lowered Triglycerides
Triglycerides are fat molecules in your bloodstream, which are a risk factor for heart disease. Eating a high carbohydrate diet, particularly one with a lot of fructose (a simple sugar), is the main driver for elevated triglycerides. Stay away from simple sugar.
9. Improved Cholesterol Levels
A low carbohydrate diet has been shown to improve HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
10. Easy To Stick With
The most effective diets are the ones that you can easily keep committed to. A low glycemic diet that focuses on low and no carb foods is easier to stick to than a diet that limits calories, or a low-fat diet.
By choosing low GI foods, you can help support stable blood sugar levels, lose weight, reduce your waistline, and improve your health in many important ways. So support your friends with diabetes, hop on the health train.
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