Low Glycemic Index Foods: 3 Reasons to Love ‘Em?

Because foods that are low on the glycemic index cause you to feel full longer and help control energy levels, they've become a popular choice for people looking to lose weight or improve general health.

You’ve probably heard a thing or two about the “glycemic index” in the last year or two. Diets rich in foods that score low on the glycemic index (GI) have become increasingly popular – and there is some mounting (but mixed) evidence to support their effectiveness.

According the the Mayo Clinic:

The glycemic index classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to raise your blood sugar level. Foods are scored on a scale of 0 to 100.

According to supporters, eating low GI foods has three benefits:

  1. Increased energy. Since low GI foods don’t cause a sharp rise in your blood sugar levels, they result in steady energy levels over a longer period of time. You won’t crash in the same way that you might after eating candy or drinking soda.
  2. Feel full longer. For people looking to lose weight, low GI foods have the advantage of causing you to feel full longer. Moreover, many low GI foods are rich in fiber. Since fiber is digested slowly, it also helps curb hunger.
  3. Improves focus. Since the sugars in low GI foods are released slowly, the brain is given a constant source of energy. Many believe this results in better attention and focus.

There’s still lots to learn about the glycemic index, but a low GI diet may be worthwhile if you’re open to changing the foods you eat but unwilling to count calories or carbs. Since low GI foods are fairly diverse, it’s a diet plan that is sustainable longer term.

For general guidance, below is a list of the GI scores for many common foods. Low is a score of 55 or below; medium is a score of 56 to 69; high is a score of 70 or above.

Have you ever tried a low GI diet? Did you experience results?

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Comments

  1. Marco Duran says:

    Great info Davey! Even if you do have peaches listed twice ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I was somewhat surprised to find out that some foods that are major components of my diet are low on the GI.

  3. This comes as a timely reminder. Been diabetic almost 2 years; just learned that my A1C is trending up; need to get back on the low-gi wagon.

  4. No typos and then you went ahead and typed peaches a second time! ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. I can see where this particular system would have its critics. Diet sodas may be low on the glycemic index, but the psychological and physiological (in)directly effects it can have on the body can still cause obesity and diabetes among other issues.

  6. The problem with this, is that it does not take into consideration other factors. Such as, when you eat a meal, you do not eat a single potatoe on its own. You normally have a side of vegetables and some form of protein. Also, a baked potatoe usually has a dab of butter and fat free cottage cheese/sour cream. These inevitably change the digestion of the foods, and therefore increase/decrease its “GI”. Don’t hate the potatoe because it’s high on this list, add a teaspoon of olive oil to lower its GI ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Chris Hansen says:

    You must have gotten this chart from the UK, as there are several Anglicisms that many USans wouldn’t get: “porridge oats”, “digestives”, “fruit loaf”. and “sweetcorn” rather than just “corn”.

    Anyway, happy holidays to you and everyone, and eat your porridge oats!

  8. Besides, low GI foods are healthier and reduce the risk of chronic disease. It’s highly recommended to practice low GI diets. Thanks for the useful chart Davey!

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  2. […] scored on a scale of 0 to 100. Lower scoring foods don’t result in blood sugar spikes and, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help you feel full longer, boost energy and even improve focus. Potatoes can score as high as […]