We've all heard of GI Joe, but what the heck is a plain ordinary definition of GI in dietary terms? Well, many people have come to view it as equally combative like America’s favorite soldier – but it doesn't rely on guns to do the shooting.
The GI (Glycemic Index) is a system of measurement used by nutritionists to gauge the levels of sugar found in food that causes the body’s blood sugar levels to rise. Too much sugar in the blood can cause many diseases, and illnesses. Using a low GI diet plan can help people who need to lose weight, or who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The idea is that by avoiding high-GI foods, weight loss can be achieved, and diabetes controlled. Some scientists and researchers also believe that adopting a low GI diet plan can help prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer. But not all do believe this and there is certainly another side to this story for those poor misfortunate foods that are ranted in the not so desirable GI danger zone.
The basic idea is that the Low Glycemic Index Diet helps people choose low-GI foods because it is high-GI foods that cause weight gain, and build-up of harmful toxins. Research has shown that high-GI foods such as white bread, white rice, cornflakes, donuts, ice cream, have high-GI rankings of over 70 (out of 100), whereas spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and zucchini rank as low as 10-15 (out of 100).
Which all gives credence to the belief that vegetables are man’s real best friend, not dogs.
But the main point of the Glycemic Index is that high-GI foods are digested more quickly into the bloodstream than low-GI foods, thus making us feel hungrier more quickly. Low-GI foods take longer to digest, and therefore enable us to go longer without eating. After all, when it comes to putting on weight it is the sheer act of eating too much (calories), and too many of the wrong foods (that usually contain high-GI components) that causes weight gain.
The idea behind the GI Diet Plan then is to eat more low-GI foods, and thus stave off hunger. It is no coincidence that these low-GI foods are also the foods that would appear on any good dieticians roll-call of healthy grub.
GI foods are also exclusive to foods that contain carbohydrates, and does not relate to protein-based foods. In other words, all foods that contain an element of natural sugar will find themselves on the GI list. Foods designated 55 or lower are low-GI; those that are ranked 59-69 are deemed medium-GI; and those that score 70 and above are in the red-zone of high-GI. It is interesting to note that many of the foods that are generally regarded as essential for a good diet fall within the low-GI ranking, with many others in the medium-GI category. Not surprisingly, those foods in the danger zone are generally the ones we should all be avoiding as much as possible for a healthy diet…in theory. But theories aren't always full-proof and there is certainly some controversy surrounding the effectiveness of the GI formula.
Indeed, there are some scientists, and dieticians who have come right out, and put a mighty bomb under the GI phenomenon and completely destroyed it as a credible way to measure what one eats. That’s because it’s so damn confusing.
Take the humble potato for instance. Ordinarily, the potato would be viewed as a healthy vegetable to eat because it is packed with fiber, and has dense alkaline properties which helps balance acidity that comes in many other foods. Yet the potato scores at best for a low rating at 60 when boiled, though ranks in the 90s if baked! In contrast, a sweet potato (which actually tastes sweeter, hence the name) is as low as 48. To most people the potato would be something good to eat – yet according to the Gylcemic Index it isn't.
Another anomaly arises in the fact that there isn't one universal ranking for each food. Take the carrot. On some charts it is ranked as low as 35, on others it’s as high as 90. And yet the jelly bean scores a relatively modest 80 on the heart disease Richter scale! Much seems to depend on the way foods are cooked and combined too…for let’s face it, no one eats just a carrot on its own, which in theory makes determining the total GI properties during a meal time a very haphazard occupation at best. Like navigating a minefield! Which, on the face of it, makes creating a healthy diet based solely on the Glycemic Index highly complex, and virtually impossible. Certainly not a task for any mere mortal with little time to spare.
Even scientist David Jenkins, who developed the Glycemic Index in 1981, has acknowledged that the Gi was never intended to be the ultimate plan for eating, or indeed the final say on food in general. He is even quick to point out that a food with a high glycemic index can contain a lot of important vitamins and minerals, which needless to say is good for us to eat. Most importantly in Jenkins’ view is that getting hooked up on GI might cause people to become confused about whether to eat vegetables and fruit…or not…given that some produce (such as the potato and carrot) carry high-GI rankings. But the plain fact is any fresh fruit or vegetable is better than a plateful of fried chips or raspberry slush puppy even if that fresh fruit or veg did happen to appear higher on GI table. There is no substitute for fresh fruit and vegetable any day of the week…or indeed all week.
So, although the Low GI diet might have possibilities in the way of providing some useful guidelines when it comes to formulating diets, and eating plans, it is by no means the Holy Grail in the world of health given the confusion associated with assimilating the GI information.
But there is one Holy Grail of sorts when it comes to providing quality, un-confusing advice, and support for those people looking to find out more about diets and exercise plans that would suit them in their hour of weight-loss and dietary need, and that’s an online team at www.changingshape.com – an online dietary, and exercise website that provides carefully constructed meal, and exercise plans created, and designed with the individual in mind.
No two people are exactly the same, so no two diets are going to be exactly the same either, which is why changingshape.com has become a rapidly growing health and fitness program of excellence. At changingshape.com you get customized workout routines built around you daily schedule, healthy nutrition plans designed to meet your dietary needs, fitness goals, and preferences. With changingshape.com all your questions about the GI diet can be explained and explored and adapted to suit your requirements if adequate for your particular circumstances.
For instance, at changingshape.com you receive your own personalized nutrition plans, your own meal planner, thousands of food exchanges, fast food options, the opportunity to create your own shopping list, and meals based on your food preferences (vegan, vegetarian, “heart healthy”, low-carb).
You are also assigned your very own online coach who will help design your specialized exercise program, and planner based on your preferences (home workout, gym). Your coach will also ensure no time is wasted, and that all frustration is banished, as they instruct you in the art of making results last, with full guidance, and continued support. Most uniquely of all, changingshape.com provides effective and safe fitness programs that cost less than a cup of coffee a day!
At a time when eating healthily for Americans has never been more important, or topical with obesity striking around two-thirds of the entire population, now has never been a better time for people to start taking their health seriously. And with so much confusing information out there concerning diets, consulting professional nutritionists and dieticians is going to save a lot time, and energy, and brain ache.
GI Joe might be a fictional soldier of fortune and the Low GI Diet might not have all the armory to be called the perfect system of eating – but with changingshape.com you get one helluva dynamite team to meet all your dietary and fitness needs.