We hear alot about low GI eating in the media but what does it really mean? What does a low GI meal plan actually look like and is it just for diabetics or can we all benefit? To answer this we must first understand what a Low GI is.
What is the Glycaemic Index (GI)?
The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a value that ranks carbohydrate foods according to how they impact our blood glucose levels. A food with a low GI (55 or less) takes longer to digest, be absorbed and metabolised, therefore causing a slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels (a good thing).
Foods with a high GI (70-100) are more rapidly digested, causing a faster release of blood glucose and therefore insulin levels (a bad thing, unless you’re running a marathon!).
This is important for health because chronically elevated blood glucose and insulin levels can not only be harmful to our waistlines, but they can contribute to Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin.
Considering diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, increasing at a faster rate than heart disease and cancer, choosing low GI foods is a smart way to manage our waistlines and type 2 Diabetes.
What Does a Low GI Day Look Like?
There is a long list of delicious, healthy low GI foods available, so creating a meal plan is quite easy.
Breakfast: Low GI toast (Eg Bürgen® bread), with avocado, sliced tomato and cracked pepper
Snack: Low GI snack bar (Eg enerGi Bio Bar)
Lunch: Minestrone soup with a crusty whole grain bread
Snack: Low-fat yoghurt and berries
Dinner: Deep sea bream fillets with semi-dried tomato marinade, Low GI white or brown rice, green bean, rocket and baby tomato salad
Visit the Glycaemic Index Foundation for more meal plan samples.
Amelia Phillips is a nutritionist, exercise scientist and online health coach who has helped thousands live a healthier life through optimised nutrition and targeted supplementation.