Benefits of a Low Glycemic Diet
On the Oprah Winfrey show on Thursday, Dr. Christaine Northup talked about how a low glycemic diet is important for our health, especially women’s health. Dr. Northup said that eating a high glycemic (high sugar) diet can change the way hormones are metabolized once women reach middle age.
One of the “side effects” of eating a high glycemic diet is male patterned baldness, but may grow hair on their faces. According to the Glycemic Index site, the risks of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease are associated to the overall glycemic index in a person’s diet.
How many diet plans have we heard about nowadays that promote low glycemic index foods? The glycemic index is basically a ranking that determines how carbohydrates in certain foods affect the blood glucose levels. All carbohydrates are not created equal.
The Home of the Glycemic Index says, “Choosing low GI carbs – the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels – is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.”
Any food with a glycemic index of over 70 is considered a high glycemic food. Sticking with foods with a glycemic index of 55 – 70 have a medium glycemic index. Foods under 55 have a low glycemic index.
There are many benefits to switching to a low glycemic eating plan. If you are already diabetic, a low glycemic diet can help keep your diabetes manageable. If you need to shed a few extra pounds a low glycemic diet can help you get to your goal weight and keep it off.
Another benefit of a low glycemic diet is it can help reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn is good for your heart health. By eating low glycemic foods you may also feel fuller longer and satisfied.
But going on a low glycemic eating plan does not mean that your life is over. There are plenty of great and filling foods that have a low glycemic index:
Cherries have a low glycemic index of 22, so they are very healthy for a low glycemic diet. Cherries also contain a lot of nutritional value and are full of antioxidants which are beneficial in fighting cancer and other illnesses.
Broccoli has a low glycemic index of 10. Broccoli is loaded with nutrients and has the most nutritional value of any vegetable. “The Benefits of Broccoli” states that broccoli is an important source of calcium for people who do not eat dairy products. Calcium may also play a role in preventing colon cancer and controlling high blood pressure.
Kidney beans have a glycemic index of 28 and they also have some health benefits. Kidney beans are rich in fiber and fiber helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body. Kidney beans are low in sodium and high in potassium, so they can help reduce blood pressure.
Yams, with a glycemic index of 37, are a great source of fiber and potassium. Yams contain large amounts of vitamin B6, which is needed for the liver to function properly. They also contain folic acid and other B vitamins that are important in ridding the body of excess estrogen. This can help women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome.
Cashews have a glycemic index of 22. Cashews and nuts are high in calories, but if you can stop yourself with one serving, you can reap some health benefits. Cashews are a great source of protein. They are also full of fiber, Vitamin E and antioxidants.
If you want to try a low glycemic diet plan, there are websites available, such as Fifty 50, that have a chart where you can compare what you are currently eating against low glycemic foods that you can replace.