Food for Thought

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The Low GI Diet—More Than Just “The Next Big Thing”
According to analysts at the market research/consumer intelligence company, Mintel International, American dieters are beginning to show interest in the glycemic index (GI) diet. ‘With the Atkins diet crashing financially, many consumers are in search of “the next big thing,”’ they report.

But encouraging people to adopt a low GI diet is not about being “the next big thing” for the weight loss industry or a best-seller list. For nutritionists and dietitians, it’s about encouraging people to adopt a way of eating that will make a real difference to their lives helping them to maintain long-term health and wellness and reducing their risk of developing chronic and crippling diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The real reward is when someone with diabetes says that the GI has transformed their life—and you can see that it has.

Low GI eating not only has science on its side, it dovetails with the key dietary guideline of countries right around the world: ‘Eat a wide variety of foods.’ Low GI carbs are found in four of the five food groups. There are wholegrains and pasta in the bread and cereal group; milk and yoghurt among the dairy foods; legumes in the meat and alternatives group; and virtually all fruits and vegetables (with potato one notable exception) in the group we should eat the most of!

Photo: Ian Hofstetter, The Low GI Diet Cookbook

The low GI diet is not a restrictive diet. No one has to jump through a hoop or turn themselves inside out (or even buy a book) to adopt this back-to-the-future, commonsense way of eating that delivers taste, nutrition, satisfaction and wellbeing as we eat food closer to the way nature intended. It’s suitable for the whole family as it essentially encourages a ‘this for that’ approach to making some simple changes—such as swapping white bread for a grainy one or cornflakes for natural muesli or porridge.

What are the lifelong benefits?
Low GI eating:

  • Reduces your insulin levels
  • Lowers your cholesterol levels
  • Controls blood glucose levels
  • Halves your risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • Helps control your appetite