G.I. Diet - The Healthy Way to Lose Weight

Written by Raymond Salas

Looking for an easy, yet satisfying and healthy way to lose weight permanently?

If so, the G.I. Diet may be the answer for you.

What is the G.I. Diet?

The “G.I.” or “glycemic index” diet measures the rate of how fast your body breaks down carbohydrates and converts them to glucose. Glucose is the primary fuel that your body uses for energy.

Research has shown that foods with a “high” G.I. rating break down faster, which will leave you feeling hungry. Therefore, high G.I. foods should be avoided whenever you are trying to permanently lose weight. By contrast, foods with a “low” G.I. rating break down slower, which will leave you feeling “full” for longer periods of time.

In addition, Dr. Barry Sears says that foods with a “low” glycemic index are also good for the treatment of chronic diseases.

Benefits of the G.I. Diet

Here are the known benefits of a “low” G.I. diet:
  • Permanent weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased risk of heart attack
  • Decreased risk of stroke
  • Decreased risk of diabetes
  • Increased fiber intake which promotes regularity (always a good thing)
  • Low in fat
  • Boosts levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol)
Also, a “low” G.I. diet is an easy one for most vegetarians to follow.

Foods of the G.I. Diet

Here are foods with the desired “low” G.I. rating:
  • Bread
Any wholegrain or stone-ground breads, including 100% whole wheat or whole-grain high-fiber bread with 2½ - 3 grams of fiber per slice.
  • Cereals
Oats, oat bran, or high-fiber cereals with at least 10 grams of fiber per serving (check the label on the cereal package).
  • Rice
Brown, basmati, long grain, or wild rice.
  • Pasta
Most types of pasta are fine (except canned, instant, or pasta filled with meat or cheese).
  • Pasta Sauces
Light sauces with vegetables (no sugar added).
  • Beans and Lentils (Dry)
Most types of beans and lentils are fine (except canned, refried, or baked beans with pork). Canned baked beans are O.K.
  • Meats/Poultry/Fish
All seafood (fresh, frozen, or canned in water), sashimi, smoked salmon, beef (lean), ground beef (extra lean – less than 10% fat), chicken breast (skinless), turkey breast (skinless), tofu, Canadian bacon, lean deli ham. All lovers of sushi please note that the white rice used in sushi raises its G.I. significantly, therefore sashimi is recommended for the G.I. diet.
  • Dairy
1% or Fat-free for all of the following dairy foods: milk, frozen or fruit yogurt (no added sugar), cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream (no added sugar), cream cheese.
  • Eggs
Egg whites, Egg Beaters, liquid eggs, omega-3 eggs.
  • Vegetables
Most types of vegetables are good. Potatoes and root vegetables (e.g., yams, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, and rutabagas) should be eaten in moderation due their high starch content. Avoid French fries and hash browns as much as possible.
  • Soups
Fresh soups, made from scratch are best (canning soups raises their G.I.).
  • Fresh Fruits
Most types of fruits are good, especially apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, grapefruits, pears, plums, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, lemons, blackberries, cherries. All tropical fruits (e.g. bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapple) should be eaten in moderation and all melon fruits (e.g., watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon) should be eaten rarely due to their high sugar content.
  • Fruits (bottled, canned, or frozen)
Applesauce (unsweetened), frozen berries, mandarin oranges, canned pears or peaches in juice or water.
  • Nuts/Seeds
Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, flaxseeds.
  • Fats/Oils
Olive oil, canola oil, soft margarine (nonhydrogenated, light), mayonnaise (fat-free), salad dressings (fat-free).
  • Condiments/Seasonings
Mustard, mayonnaise (fat-free), soy sauce (low sodium), vinegar, teriyaki sauce, herbs, spices, garlic, hummus, Worcestershire sauce.
  • Sweeteners
Monk fruit may be used for the G.I. diet.
  • Beverages
Bottled water, decaffeinated coffee or tea (with skim milk, no sugar), club soda, diet soft drinks (no caffeine).

Guidelines for the G.I. Diet
  • Eat as much of the foods listed as desired, except pasta and rice. Pasta and rice should be considered as a side dish, not a main course. The portion size for pasta and rice should be no more than ¼ of the plate (this may take getting used to for most Americans, especially with pasta).
  • Ideally, eat three principal meals and up to three between-meal snacks (choosing from the G.I. diet list of foods).
  • Eat everything in moderation. Avoid large quantities.
  • Avoid fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, and fruit juices (eat the fruit instead) as much as possible.
  • Drink lots of water, especially before and with each meal.
  • Use common sense, especially with serving and portion sizes.
  • The G.I. diet is not a prison. 90% compliance, especially over the long-term is considered normal.

Here’s to your good health!

Disclaimer: This article is intended as educational information only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The author is not engaged in rendering medical or other professional services. If expert assistance is required, please seek the services of a competent professional. You are 100% responsible for what you do (or don’t do) with it.