What is a Low Glycemic Diet?

Malcolm Tatum

The low glycemic diet is a change in eating habits that is aimed at promoting a desirable level of good health through the use of wise choices in the foods consumed. Essentially, the diet makes use of what is known as the glycemic index, a resource that provide information about the amount of carbohydrates found in various types of food. By following a low glycemic diet, it is possible to promote healthy weight loss and also use nutrition to effectively manage several health issues.

The low glycemic diet helps eliminate many carbohydrates from participants' meals.
The low glycemic diet helps eliminate many carbohydrates from participants' meals.

While just about anyone can benefit from employing the basics of a low glycemic diet, people who are attempting to manage Type 2 diabetes will especially find this approach helpful. Because the diet helps to change basic eating habits over time, it becomes easier to identify foods containing the right types of carbohydrates that provide fuel for energy, but are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. The end result is that the diabetic using diet to manage this health condition will experience fewer swings in glucose readings and still maintain a decent amount of energy to get through the day.

A low glycemic diet can help promote healthy weight loss.
A low glycemic diet can help promote healthy weight loss.

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A low glycemic diet can also promote a lifestyle that helps to minimize the chances for developing various forms of heart disease. Pursuing an eating plan of this type involves consuming a much wider variety of fruits and vegetables than many people normally include in their daily consumption. Not only does the diet provide more textures and flavors to please the taste buds, it also helps the individual to obtain more of the nutrients needed to maintain a good standard of health. This promotion of overall well-being means less stress on the heart and less chance of the development of blockages and other issues that could lead to long term heart problems.

Unlike some forms of dieting, a low glycemic diet does not promote a sudden and unhealthy loss of weight. Instead, the diet helps people to achieve long term weight loss that involves shedding excess pounds at a pace that is less likely to trigger other health issues. Because a low glycemic diet involves making wise choices about which foods to consume, there is also a good chance that the dieter will experience an increase in energy levels and be more likely to get at least modest amounts of exercise on a regular basis.

While not generally touted as possessing any benefits to mental health, a low glycemic diet can indirectly aid in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Because the diet helps to eliminate excess carbohydrates and empty calories from daily consumption, some of the factors that influence mood swings are minimized. When coupled with consuming the more nutritious foods recommended as part of the diet plan, the brain and nervous system receive more of the nutrients they need to maintain proper function. Thus, a low glycemic diet may be of some benefit to people suffering with mild depression or anxiety.

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