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The Glycemic Index Diet

By: The Editors of FaveHealthyRecipes.com

What it is: The diet is based on the glycemic index, which is a system used to rank carbohydrates in terms of how much they raise a person’s blood sugar. Experts believe that foods low on the glycemic index may help control appetite and lead to weight loss.

How it works: On the glycemic index, foods are rated from 1-100, with 100 being pure glucose. Foods are typically rated as high (more than 70), moderate (56-69) or low (less than 55). The belief is that foods that rate lower on the glycemic index are absorbed more slowly, allowing you to feel full longer.

What you do:
There are several diets and variations that are based on the glycemic index, each with different approaches to meals and exercise. In general, dieters are recommended to exercise regularly and focus on eating low-GI foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Benefits: Low glycemic diets have proven heart benefits and may help lower cholesterol. Doctors have observed patients losing weight after starting a low-GI diet, though the effects were inconsistent and not convincing enough to lead nutritionists and experts to conclude it is a healthy long-term option.

The Down Side:
The glycemic index can be confusing to some dieters, with some candy and potato chips being low index foods and other healthy items like corn and baked potatoes being high index foods. Experts also question the value of heavily relying on the GI because many foods fall within a constantly changing range (dependent on things like ripeness) and everyone’s glycemic response is different, sometimes changing several times throughout the day to a specific food.

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