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The Low Glycemic Index Diet
The Easy Healthy Way To Achieve
Permanent Weight Loss & Disease Prevention
Glycemic Index - The Difference Between Low GI and High GI
By Ann Gobel
The glycemic index sometimes referred to as GI, is a method of ranking carbohydrates by their effect on the body's glucose levels. Foods are given a value determined by how slowly or quickly they raise blood sugar. When glucose levels stay steady, energy levels stay steady and hunger is kept at bay for a longer period of time.
Foods can be considered as low, medium or high GI. Items on the low end of the GI are a good choice if you want to keep glucose levels even. Most fruits and vegetables fall within this category as well as whole grain breads, milk and yogurt. In the medium range, you find foods such as basmati rice and sweet potatoes.
Foods on the high end of the GI should be eaten sparingly as they rapidly increase blood sugar. These foods are good options when blood sugar is low or steadily dropping such as after a strenuous exercise program. High GI foods include white breads and rice, watermelon and some cereals.
Eating foods low on the GI not only keeps blood sugar levels steady, but it also protects your health. When glucose levels stay high, you run the risk of developing diabetes. One Australian study found that eating breakfasts which include sugary cereals or white bread over time appear to increase susceptibility to diabetes. There are indicators that it may also increase risk of heart disease and cancer as well.
When glucose levels are steadily high, it can have damaging effects on the body. Blood vessels may become damaged, leading to heart disease and stroke. If the blood vessels leading to other vital organs are also damaged, these organs may be affected as well. The eyes, kidneys and nerves are frequently affected.
Research indicates that following a low GI is helpful in weight management. When you eat a high GI food, blood sugar rapidly spikes. When it is used up, glucose levels decrease quickly. The resulting low blood sugar leads you to feel hungry again, necessitating more food intake.
If you continue to eat high GI foods in response to hunger, it sets off a vicious cycle. You are eating more calories than your body can use. Since it cannot use all the calories, it begins to store them and the next time you step on the scale, you will find the number has risen.
Low GI foods, on the other hand, help keep hunger at bay. Since you are only eating the calories your body needs, you won't gain weight. Individuals already at a healthy weight will maintain it. Those who are overweight will find that they begin losing weight. As fruits and vegetables make up a good portion of the low GI foods available, you will also benefit from the plentiful vitamins and minerals.
Eating a diet full of foods low on the GI has multiple benefits. You can lower your weight, decrease your risk of disease and help protect your body from the damaging effects of high blood sugar.
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