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How to Switch to a Low Glycemic Index Diet

Benefits of a low glycemic index diet are many with weight loss, improved serum cholesterol levels, better blood sugar levels, and prolonged physical endurance being just a few. The glycemic index of a food is a ranking of that food based on the immediate effect it has on the blood glucose level. The less impact the food has on blood sugar levels the lower the glycemic index. Simple carbohydrates that raise the blood sugar higher at a faster rate have a high glycemic index and complex carbohydrates that raise the blood sugar more slowly and to a lower level have a low glycemic index. Switching to a diet with a low glycemic index can be simple with a little knowledge of the glycemic index of common foods.

Foods that have a low glycemic index can result in more stable blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Foods with a lower glycemic index contain more fiber. These foods require a longer period of time for digestion and give a prolonged sense of fullness after eating. Less refined, these lower glycemic index foods are also higher in vitamin content than their more refined, higher glycemic index counter parts.

The basic technique in switching to a low glycemic index diet is to avoid foods such as refined sugars, potatoes and processed flour. One begins a low glycemic diet by eating foods that are rich in whole grains such as bran, barley or oats, along with certain vegetables excluding white potatoes. Breads should also come from whole wheat, bran or rye. For a wide variety of foods listed with their glycemic indexes, please read Glycemic Index Food Chart

A low glycemic index diet should contain generous portions of fruits and most vegetables, whole grain cereals, breads, and pastas. Because these foods are digested over a longer period of time the rise in blood sugar levels will be less. This improves the body's response to insulin, helps in weight loss, and improves physical endurance making a low glycemic index diet perfect for diabetics, those who want to lose weight, and athletes.