The GI Diet: What’s It All About?
The GI Diet plan, which traces its roots to Canada but recently gained amazing momentum in England, is now taking America by storm.
It seems that no matter where you turn some A-List Hollywood star is touting the GI Diet as the reason he or she remains so slim and full of energy.
According to a London Sunday Times article, celebrities who swear by the GI Diet include stunning singer Kylie Minogue, Sex and the City vixen Kim Cattrall, glowing supermodel Naomi Campbell, and former First Couple Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The experts agree that of all the celebrity diets on the market, the GI Diet seems to have the best science behind it. In fact, some studies indicate the GI diet can even lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
And now for just a few bucks a week you too can experience the wonders of this dieting approach. Yes, it’s your turn to master the GI Diet and enjoy a wealth of advice and support from the caring experts here at eDiets. We’ve got what you need to succeed – when you want it, 24/7.
The GI Diet theory, in a nutshell:
Foods with a low Glycemic Index value (the 0-100 index ranks foods based on the effect they had on blood sugar levels) slowly release sugar into the blood, providing you with a steady supply of energy, and leaving you feeling satisfied longer so that you’re less likely to snack. Foods with a high GI value cause a rapid, short-lived rise in blood sugar. This leaves you tired and hungry within a short time. The result: you end up reaching for a snack. If this pattern is repeated often, you’re likely to gain weight by constantly overeating.
Diets based on GI index encourage you to eat foods with a low GI value and avoid those with a high GI value. This helps to prevent swings in blood sugar, helping you feel fuller longer. Most GI diets also recommend cutting down on fat, especially saturated fats. This means many of the foods which have a low GI value but are high in fat are still limited.
Susan Burke, eDiets chief nutritionist, has tasted the science behind this super-popular eating plan. She says the eDiets version of the GI Diet helps your body slow digestion and absorption, sustain energy throughout the day and avoid blood sugar swings and carbohydrate cravings.
“eDiets has synthesized the most current expert diet recommendations to present the Glycemic Impact (GI) Diet, a plan that incorporates the best of the glycemic index and glycemic load information,” she says.
Susan says the glycemic index (GI) concept was first developed in 1981 by Dr. David Jenkins of University of Toronto (Canada). The premise: by identifying the impact of food on blood sugar levels, people with diabetes could be helped to choose the best foods to keep their blood sugar stable.
However, the glycemic index alone doesnâ€™t tell you how many grams of total carbohydrates are in a serving of food. This produces inconsistency and is confusing.
For example, soda has a glycemic index of 90 which seems to make it a healthier choice than cranberry juice which has a glycemic index of 105. Similarly, carrots have a comparatively high glycemic index of 131 while chocolate cake has a much lower glycemic index of 38. There is no doubt that for people who are trying to lose and maintain weight, carrots are a better option than chocolate cake.
“The glycemic index is not the best indicator of healthy food choices,” Susan admits. “Thatâ€™s where Glycemic Load (GL) comes into play. It takes into consideration a foodâ€™s glycemic index as well as the amount of carbohydrates per serving.”
Susan gives special acknowledgment to Dr. Walter Willet, professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She says Willet established the glycemic load concept to help consumers make healthy choices.
“Foods with the lowest glycemic load have the lowest glycemic impact,” Susan says.
The eDiets Glycemic Impact Diet
With this exciting new eDiets plan, highly processed, high glycemic index/load foods, including white bread and pasta, sugary cereals, mashed potatoes and white rice, are replaced with vegetables and fruits, legumes, unprocessed grains including oatmeal and long-grain brown rice. The plan also includes low and nonfat dairy, lean meats and healthy fats including monounsaturated fat from olives and avocado, plus omega-3 fatty acids from fish, nuts and seeds.
“These low glycemic impact foods sustain energy and allow you to develop your body into a stronger, slimmer one,” Susan says.
The Glycemic Impact program achieves stable blood sugars and energy by:
Providing approximately 40 percent of calories from unrefined, complex
carbohydrates, including whole grains and whole grain breads and cereals, and whole pieces of fruit instead of juice.
Balancing carbohydrates with 30 percent of calories from lean protein (fish, chicken and the occasional beef and pork) with vegetarian options that include soy protein, tofu and textured vegetable protein.
Designating about 30 percent of calories from healthy fats, including nuts, fatty fish, avocado and olive oil.
“This is the ultimate in healthy eating – excluding refined carbs, simple sugars, and saturated and trans fats,” Susan explains. "Some meals may be slightly higher in fat or protein, or lower in carbs, but at the end of the day, your nutritional balance is as designed.
“Our GI Plan promotes stable blood sugars because youâ€™re eating balanced meals and snacks every four to five hours. You get either two or three snacks daily, depending on personal calorie requirements.”
Susan says the GI way of eating features familiar and easy-to-obtain foods, and is a natural fit for your healthy new lifestyle.
“This is a way of eating that you can easily adopt and continue after you reach your goal weight,” notes the registered dietitian who is also a diabetes expert.
“Our GI plan is great for people who prefer to not spend time cooking. Members who choose the Convenience option enjoy healthy frozen entrees for dinner, and other low glycemic index/load foods that achieve balance without the bother of cooking every evening. This increases the flexibility and convenience of the GI plan.”
Susan says you can join the GI plan and still enjoy dining out. Simply choose baked, broiled or grilled lean meats, chicken or fish. Avoid fatty sauces in favor of tomato-based sauces and enjoy steamed vegetables and salads with olive oil and vinegar.
“Nuts are great snacks so feel free to sprinkle them on salads and entrees,” Susan suggests. "Avoid large portions of pasta and rice and instead enjoy starchy vegetables that contain beneficial fiber, such as lima beans or a small baked potato.
“Portion size is important, so pay attention to your personalized eDiets meal plan, and choose similar portion sizes when you are dining out.”