Benefits of a low GI diet
Author: ANCP Date Posted:3 March 2014
Rather than cutting out or limiting specific food groups, the low GI diet allows you to eat foods from all food groups. This is more likely to be sustainable as you won’t be left craving for nutrients like carbs or fats, which other diets often restrict.
Also, it allows for a balanced diet, reducing the risk of dietary deficiencies. This balanced approach makes it suitable for virtually everyone, pregnant women, the elderly and children included.
Help you to lose weight by decreasing your food consumption
The GI of foods impacts upon how full you feel (satiety) and your energy levels. Studies indicate that after eating a high GI meal, the spike in blood sugar levels quickly will make you feel full. However, the subsequent plummet in blood sugar and energy levels could have you reaching for more food.
And so follows the spiral of increasing energy intake and weight gain. Although eating low GI foods may not provide such an early satiating effect, the steadier rise and fall in blood sugar levels provides you with more sustained energy levels and a longer satiating effect.
This means that you are less likely to go reaching for another snack. Studies have demonstrated individuals who consumed a high GI meal first requested food a lot sooner than individuals who consumed a low GI meal. Another study found that compared to those who ate high GI puddings, those who ate low GI puddings had a lower energy intake two and a quarter hours after eating the puddings. Therefore, by decreasing your hunger and food consumption at successive meals, consuming low GI foods may help you to manage or lose weight.
Help you to lose weight by decreasing your fat storage and increasing your fat burning
The quick rise in plasma insulin levels accompanying the consumption of high GI foods has been associated with an increase in fat storage. In contrast, the smaller insulin response stimulated by low GI foods has been associated with reduced fat generation. What’s more, by decreasing the plasma insulin response, low GI diets may increase the use of fatty acids as fuel sources.
This could ramp up your fat burning and weight loss. Stevenson et al (2006) demonstrated that following consumption of a low GI meal, more fat was burnt (instead of carbohydrate) for energy during moderate exercise, than when a high GI meal was consumed. Another clinical trial found that over six months, a low GI diet heightened the rate of body fat loss. Then, in the 12 months after weight loss, the low GI diet entirely prevented weight being regained.