I have been hearing of low carb diets for a while, as almost everyone. Examples: the Atkins and the South Beach diets. But in the diabetic diet scene the low GI diet (GI stands for glycemic index) is a fairly new name. The former restrict the quantity of carbohydrates, while the low GI diet focuses on the quality of the carbohydrates that one consumes. It promotes the consumption of foods that are "low" in the glycemic index, the ones that keep you full longer and have a gently effect on your blood sugar.

In the beginning, a typical low carb diet has a restrictive phase, where your carbohydrate intake is severely limited. On the other hand, you can eat all the meat you want, including unlimited fats. Later on, you can gradually add in more carbohydrates.

Although the low GI diet sounds like another fad diet, it has actually been around for almost 40 years! It is being used in European countries to help manage diabetes. Moreover, this diet has gotten a lot of attention as a great healthy way to lose weight. The low GI diet focuses on the "good carbs", foods that have a low glycemic index, and prompts you to eat plenty of them. By the way, these foods are also the ones that we know to be good for us, like vegetables, whole grains and fruits. On the other hand, "bad carbs", which have a high glycemic index, should be eaten in moderation and, if possible, mixed with the low GI carbs, to lower the overall glycemic index of the meal. By the way, it is very easy for vegetarians of any type to adopt the low GI diet since this diet focuses only on carbs.

Other low carb diets can be limiting in fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins, enzymes and minerals, as well as fiber. They are commnonly associated with a license to eat as much saturated fat as you want. This is a misconception. Nevertheless, the low GI diet is full of vegetables, fiber, fruits and low in fat, though it emphasis the "good fats" found in nuts. It encourages eating moderate quantities of lean meats.

We all know that fats and meats are no carbohydrates, and leafy vegetables are low carb. That is why some may not be aware of what foods have a low GI. Most vegetables have a very low GI, except beets, pumpkin and potatoes. Most fruits have a medium GI value, except citrus, apples, peaches and plums, which have a very low glycemic index.

The question now is which diet is best ...

A low-GI diet is useful for people with diabetes, as either their bodies' insulin production is deficient or their bodies are insulin resistant, restricting their ability to metabolise glucose. Thus a low GI diet causes less variation in blood glucose levels which makes the condition easier to manage.

Many people in the health profession in general, and in the nutrition field in particular, consider a low carb diet to be unhealthy. Studies have shown saturated fats to be sometimes worse than carbs for the diabetic. On the other hand, almost everyone would consider a low GI diet to be very healthy. It is widely accepted that eating lots of vegetables and the adequate fruits and fiber can help to bolster your immune system, thus allowing you to fight disease. That is a side effect, besides the main effect of helping you control your blood sugar level and thus avoiding the complications of diabetes. On the other hand, following a simple low carb diet and eating high fat meats, for example, may adversely affect your health and help contribute to heart disease in the long run.

Low-GI diets have benefits for non-diabetics also. A high-GI diet results in peaks and troughs of energy throughout the day, whereas a low-GI diet results in a good level of sustained energy. Low-GI foods also tend to have a longer satisfaction period per calorie given the slow energy release, which is useful in maintaining a healthy weight loss/control diet.

Remember also that being overweight is a major health risk for many diseases, including especially diabetes. Anyway, the best diet is probably one that works for you ...! Some prefer a low carb diet, some respond better to the low GI diet. Either way, it makes sense to make healthy food choices, and living a healthy lifestyle, including excercise.

You may want to read a review on the low GI diet at the web site below:

or just go to the "Low GI diet breakthrough" ebook web site.

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