Low Glycemic Index Diets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Glycemic Index (GI) was originally devised to help diabetics. The index is a ranking of carbohydrate foods which measures the rate at which the blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels rise when a particular food is eaten.

Pure glucose has a rating of 100 – so there nearer a food is to 100, the higher it’s GI rating is.

This indicates how quickly the food is converted to blood sugar, and, how quickly the blood sugar levels will drop. Foods with a low GI rating will be absorbed more slowly, helping to keep blood sugar levels constant.

Popular Low Glycemic Diets

Glycemic Impact DietA newer diet implemented by eDiets – takes the best of the Zone and South Beach Diet. Very good diet.
Montignac MethodThe original Low Glycemic Index Diet first made popular in 1986.
Glycemic Load DietGlycemic Index corrected for serving size is the Glycemic Load – the diet aims to produce healthy weight by maintaining a daily load under 500.
South Beach DietCarb choices are based around low-glycemic foods – although the diet begins with a very low carbohydrate phase.
NutriSystemThis portion-controlled program is based around low-glycemic foods.
Healthy Pancreas DietThe Pancreatic Oath explains how eating the right foods can protect your pancreas and promote health, whereas when you eat unhealthy foods you are abusing your pancreas.
Sugar SolutionFrom Prevention magazine – a diet to correct blood sugar imbalances.
Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Bellywritten by neurosurgeon Dr. Larry McCleary and is based on the concept that the calories people are consuming are bypassing their brains and being stored in fat cells.

Understanding the GI Index Video


A number of books have been written about the GI – with one of the biggest selling being The New Glucose Revolution. Rick Gallop’s The GI Diet is also very popular.

Typical GI Diet

A typical low glycemic index diet is low in fat and high in carbohydrates — but specifically low-GI carbs. Often a simple change from high GI carbs, to low GI carbs may being about weight loss. It may also give the feeling of more energy, due to less blood sugar / insulin spikes during the day.

Oatmeal with raisins and skim milk.
Orange juice.
Vegetable soup with sourdough bread.
Lean beef bolognese on wholemeal pasta.
Green salad.
Low-fat yogurt.
Water, tea (skim milk), herbal teas.

Look for other low glycemic meal ideas here.

What About Glycemic Load?

Glycemic Index alone does not provide enough information about the glycemic affect of a food. For example; carrots have a high GI, but you would have to eat boxes and boxes of them to have any pronounced affect on blood sugar. This is because the amount of carbohydrate in carrot is very small.

To calculate glycemic load (GL): Simply multiply the GI by the amount of carbohydrate and divide by 100.

For example; an 80g serve of carrot with a GI of 92 has 4.2g per serve. 92 X 4.2 / 100 = 3.9


ziag4.mmb.usyd.edu.au – A database providing GI index and GI load for a huge list of foods.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Andrea

    how come you don’t have anything about The Montignac diet here? it’s only mentioned in one comment in Susan Sommers diet – but not on the list of diets! And it’s very popular, and one of only few really heatly diet plans

    • http://www.everydiet.org ted

      I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • artemisa roberts

    interesteed in low glycemic foods

  • senojjones

    Total calories are most likely more important GI. I’m on a 1500/day diet and exercising daily. It’s very difficult to lose weight without aggressive exercise. Use a web based calorie counter.

    It’s pretty difficult to maintain a low calorie diet and eat junk…

    • Kerry

      I disagree. Yes eating soda and cakes gets you no wear. but what you eat i think is about like 80% of your body structure, as an athlete you can work your way down.. but ive seen plenty of overweight in shape people.. because yu need o change your diet too, to make your fuel optimal..calories…are not created equal

  • alma

    Excellent information! I found the site very easy to use, and the information just enough to send me out to do further research. Please keep up the good work. I am recommending this site to all my friends that are in the same ov wt boat!

  • Debbie

    @ Lorna

    I made an appt with an endocrinologist a month ago. She told me to get on a Low GI diet and she sent me for blood work. I just had a follow up and the blood test revealed that I have Insulin Resistance. She recommended medication and for me to continue on a Low GI diet.

    A Low GI diet is basically lots of veggies, no carbs but good carbs to a limit, fruit, protein, and lots of water.

    In a month I lost 7 lbs with no exercise. However, exercise is a must.

    If you can make an appt with an Endocrinologist so they can assess everything, not just your Thyroid.

  • Lorna

    Two years ago I noticed that I was putting weight on and discovered that I have under active thyroid which I am taking medication for. I was size 11 stone and I am now 13 stone. Can anyone out there tell me if there is a diet for under active thyroid. I was told the Low-Glycaemic-Load (GL) diet is the good one for it. Were will I find this diet.

  • Roger

    To Carole: Rush Limbaugh lost his weight by using illegaly prescribed “methamphetamines”. He is a speed junkie.

    • Keith


      Rush had used “methamphetimens” due to a back injury years ago. He dealt with that by going through a detox program. Several years later he lost his weight by using a low GI diet mixed with high protein. The program was called quick Weight Loss Centers They have numerous sites in Florida. Get your facts correct!!!!!!

  • lynda

    I am looking for a diet that tells you when to eat fruit and when to eat veggies and meat. I was told you don’t eat fruit at night. That when you eat things make a difference do you know what diet that is?

  • carole

    I am looking for the “QUICK WEIGHT LOSS CENTER” DIET


  • Halli Magg

    I would like to comment on one sentence here which I believe is not all that correct. Here it is “A typical low glycemic index diet is low in fat and high in carbohydrates”
    Many low GI diets I read about are difficult to tell apart from low carb diets. That is because in essence both of these diets are trying to accomplish the same thing, lowering the negative/harmful effects of carbs. Both diets usually allow for room for much of non starchy vegetables but limit starchy one and all starchy carbs. Youre diet can be a relatively high fat diet and still be a low GI or a low carb diet.
    Another argument agains that most GI diets are low in fat and high in carbs (it is the high carb part in the sentence that I have the problem with) is that many low GI authors realize that it is important also to take the Glygemic load (GL) into account and quite frankly it is impossible or extremely difficult to keep a low GL diet on a low fat/high carb regime.
    I am well aware of that low GI diets in general advocate less fat then low carb diets. But the fat ratio doesn’t define these diets, the carb does, or more correctly, the quantity of carbs in the low carb diet and the GI of carbs in the low GI diet.
    So I believe saying a typical low GI diet is high in carbs is not correct, but at the same time not entirely wrong as there are probably low GI diets out there which are high in carbs.

    • Renee


      I was thinking the same thing. Dieting does not have to be so difficult to do. Eat a small balanced meal 4 – 6 times a day, drink your 8 glasses of water, exercise, and done. If you like something (I’m crazy about peanut butter cups), treat yourself to a single serving or less once in a great while. Diets fail when you feel deprived. The more you exercise, the less deprived you will feel. It isn’t rocket science, it’s common sense.

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