A low-glycemic index (low-GI) weight-reduction plan is an consuming plan primarily based on how meals have an effect on blood sugar degree, additionally referred to as blood glucose degree.

The glycemic index ranks meals on a scale from 0 to 100. The low finish of the dimensions has meals which have little impact on blood sugar ranges. The excessive finish of the dimensions has meals with an enormous impact on blood sugar ranges.

A low-GI weight-reduction plan makes use of the glycemic index as the primary information for meal planning. Individuals additionally could use the glycemic index as considered one of many instruments for making decisions about meals and meals.


The aim of a low-GI weight-reduction plan is to decide on meals much less more likely to increase blood sugar ranges.

Why you would possibly observe a low-GI weight-reduction plan

You would possibly select to observe a low-GI weight-reduction plan since you:

  • Wish to shed some pounds or hold a wholesome weight
  • Need assistance planning and consuming more healthy meals
  • Need assistance holding blood sugar ranges from going too excessive or low as a part of a diabetes remedy plan
  • Wish to decrease threat of diabetes or illnesses of the guts or blood vessels

The glycemic index

The glycemic index is designed to be a food-choice information for folks dwelling with diabetes. A global database is run by the Sydney College Glycemic Index Analysis Service in Sydney, Australia. The database reveals the outcomes of meals research from all over the world.

A fundamental overview of carbohydrates and blood sugar is useful for understanding low-GI diets.


Carbohydrates, additionally referred to as carbs, are a kind of nutrient in meals. The three fundamental varieties are sugars, starches and fiber. Your physique breaks down the sugars and starches from carbs. They find yourself as a kind of sugar referred to as glucose. This sugar passes into the bloodstream and is the primary supply of power for cells in your physique. Fiber passes by way of your physique undigested.

Two primary hormones from the pancreas assist management glucose within the bloodstream. The hormone insulin strikes glucose from the blood into the cells. The hormone glucagon helps launch glucose saved within the liver when blood sugar ranges are low. This course of helps hold the physique fueled and blood sugar in steadiness.

Many various issues about meals have an effect on how shortly glucose enters the bloodstream.

Understanding GI numbers

The glycemic index ranks the impact meals has on blood sugar ranges. A low-GI weight-reduction plan suggests meals which have low GI values. The classes are:

  • Low GI: 1 to 55
  • Medium GI: 56 to 69
  • Excessive GI: 70 and better

So as to assign a rank, additionally referred to as a GI worth, researchers normally examine the impact of consuming a meals with the impact of consuming sugar on blood sugar ranges. Typically the comparability is made with consuming white bread. For instance, to check the GI worth of cantaloupe, 10 or extra wholesome folks eat sufficient cantaloupe to digest 50 grams of whole carbohydrates. That’s about one medium cantaloupe for every particular person. Over the subsequent two hours, their blood sugar ranges are examined a number of instances. On one other day, the identical 10 folks eat or drink 50 grams (12 teaspoons) of sugar. Once more, their blood sugar ranges are examined a number of instances over two hours.

The researchers examine the outcomes of consuming sugar with consuming cantaloupe to rank the impact of consuming cantaloupe. The GI worth for cantaloupe is 65 to 70.

Limits of GI values

The glycemic index would not contemplate how a lot of a meals you might be more likely to eat throughout a meal. For instance, you doubtless would not eat a complete medium-sized cantaloupe directly.

To concentrate on this drawback, researchers developed the concept of glycemic load (GL). This quantity reveals the impact on blood sugar ranges once you eat a typical portion of the meals. For instance, you would possibly eat one-third of a medium-sized cantaloupe throughout one meal. The GL worth for that a lot cantaloupe is round 11 or decrease.

Sydney College’s desk of GI values additionally contains GL values. The GL values are divided into:

  • Low GL: 1 to 10
  • Medium GL: 11 to 19
  • Excessive GL: 20 or extra

Different points

A GI worth tells you nothing about different dietary data. For instance, cantaloupe has a medium to excessive GI rating and a medium GL rating. However it’s a good supply of vitamin C, beta carotene and different essential vitamins. Complete milk has a low GI worth and a low GL worth. But it surely’s excessive in fat and energy. So it could not a good selection for shedding or controlling weight.

The printed GI database just isn’t an entire listing of meals. As an alternative, it is a listing of meals which were studied. Many nutritious meals with low GI values will not be within the database. The listing additionally contains extremely processed meals which can be much less nutritious than unprocessed meals. And a few meals with low GI values will not be good sources of vitamins.

The GI worth of any meals merchandise depends upon many components. It issues how the meals is ready and the way it’s processed. Additionally, there is usually a vary in GI values for a similar meals. So the values will not be dependable for all meals decisions.

Food plan particulars

Should you observe a low-GI weight-reduction plan, your meals with carbs are largely restricted to decisions with low values. You normally will keep away from meals with excessive values. Examples of meals with low, center and excessive GI values are:

  • Low GI: Inexperienced greens, most fruits, uncooked carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.
  • Medium GI: Candy corn, bananas, uncooked pineapple, raisins, cherries, oat breakfast cereals, and multigrain, whole-grain wheat or rye bread
  • Excessive GI: White rice, white bread and potatoes

Industrial low-GI diets could seek advice from meals as having sluggish carbs or quick carbs. It’s because meals with a low GI worth are digested and absorbed over an extended time. Meals with excessive values are absorbed over a shorter time.


Research of low-GI diets have proven diverse outcomes. Normally, they’ve proven a low-GI weight-reduction plan could also be useful for:

  • Shedding pounds
  • Decreasing blood strain
  • Decreasing whole levels of cholesterol
  • Bettering diabetes administration
  • Decreasing the chance of diabetes and coronary heart and blood vessel illnesses

Researchers have famous the advantage of the weight-reduction plan could also be linked to the nutrient-rich meals and high-fiber meals within the research. The general dietary high quality of the meals could also be extra essential than the GI worth of every meals merchandise.

The underside line

Following a low-GI weight-reduction plan could enable you to shed some pounds or hold a wholesome weight. It could enable you to handle a diabetes plan. It could decrease your threat of diabetes and coronary heart and blood vessel illnesses.

The glycemic index additionally might be one device, reasonably than the primary device, that will help you make more healthy meals decisions. The Dietary Tips for People recommends a concentrate on wholesome dietary patterns and nutrient-rich meals.

A wholesome dietary sample means making constantly wholesome decisions over time. Meals that slot in that sample fluctuate. They embrace a wide range of vegetables and fruit that present nutritional vitamins, minerals and fiber. A wholesome dietary sample additionally contains whole-grain meals which might be excessive in fiber and different vitamins. Beans, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy and lean meats are additionally good decisions.


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