(Glycaemic Index)

The GI Diet was invented in 1981 by Dr David Jenkins, a Canadian professor, to help people with diabetes. It is a healthy non-faddy diet that is getting good press from nutritionists and even the World Health Organization is recommending that diets be based on low GI foods to promote long-term health.

Rather than cutting out carbohydrates, the trick is to eat the right ones. The reason for this is that, although carbohydrates break down to provide blood glucose, they don't all do it at the same rate. It depends on their Glycaemic Index.

This Index is based on a ranking from 1 to 100. The foods that break down the slowest have the lowest GI - these gradually release glucose and therefore leave you feeling satisfied for longer. At the other end of the scale there are the carbohydrates which break down quickly, raising blood sugar levels rapidly. These then come crashing down again, leaving you with food cravings.

There seem to be other benefits too, healthier blood sugar and fat levels and also the possibility that it may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

So, the overall point to remember if considering going on this diet is that it is based on official healthy eating guidelines, which includes a healthy amount of fibre and unsaturated fats. It's easy to follow, so it fits in with the family and eating out and you should see a slow but steady weight loss. There also seem to be no unpleasant side-effects.

One final thought. The bottom line is always this - you only lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn.


and get plenty of exercise.

For a guide to the glycaemic index of some common foods see below.

Low GI Diet

Medium GI Diet

High GI Diet
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