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Glycemic Index Diet

Manage blood sugar with a low glycemic diet

Eating can be a tricky thing, especially when you're trying to lose weight and get on the road to a healthier and better lifestyle. Any food you eat has a glycemic index, which states how rapidly that food causes your blood sugar to rise. While a glycemic diet can be followed safely, it's a good idea to check with your physician before beginning any program that may bring drastic changes to your eating habits.

What is a Glycemic Index Diet?

The glycemic index diet asks you to look at the impact your food has on your blood sugar. The highest number is 100, and it goes down from there. The lower the number, the longer it stays in your body to prevent the sugar high and subsequent crash. However, even with the glycemic index, you still need to use some common sense. A candy bar has a low glycemic index but carrots have a high one. It's pretty easy to realize carrots are the better choice for a quick snack.

The low glycemic index diet is a more of a focused diet than a set of guidelines. This diet shows you what the lower glycemic foods are, and asks that you eat only those types. If you were on this diet, you may not be able to eat carrots. This diet can be fairly restrictive, so please check with your doctor to be sure you are getting the proper nutrition.

The glycemic impact diet takes the glycemic index diet a step further. It looks at the whole food picture. Take the carrots, for example. In other diets, you could not eat them because they were too high on the glycemic index. This diet says it takes more carrots than a typical person would consume in a setting to raise insulin levels significantly, so in this diet, they are permitted.

The glycemic load diet is a more sophisticated and well-rounded diet that looks at the overall glycemic index, not just individual foods. The focus is on a reduction of white rice, bread or pastas and an increase in whole grains, fruits and veggies.

Low-glycemic foods that are good choices for a healthy diet include veggies, fruits, whole grain pastas, low-fat ice cream and, occasionally, some candy bars. Eating low glycemic index foods is the basis for many popular diets, but you can come up with a plan that is realistic, safe, healthy and meets all your energy and nutritional needs.