Be aware: this is only the goal of this diet, not necessarily its outcome. Results vary from person to person. Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any other) diet.
The GI diet is based on the glycemic index (hence the name 'GI diet'). You eat food with a low GI value in an effort to feel satiated longer (and hopefully less likely to eat more). In addition, you avoid products with a high GI value as much as possible.
On the homepage you can compare this diet with other diets.
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The GI index gives food a value that indicates how much it makes the blood sugar level rise. Only products containing carbohydrates are listed on the index. The values run from 0 to 100. Glucose (sugar) has the highest value: 100. The value indicates whether a product makes your blood sugar level rise very quickly or very slowly.
According to the authors of the diet, you can use the glycemic index to lose weight. Food with a low GI value causes a small, slow and longer increase of the blood sugar level. This is because the carbohydrates are broken down more slowly and therefore release sugars into the blood more slowly.
Because the increase lasts longer you feel satiated for longer and are less likely to eat (or snack) again, according to the inventors of this diet. If you eat food with a high GI value, you have a large, rapid and short increase in the blood sugar level (a so called 'peak'). This means you feel satiated for a shorter time and you are more likely to want to eat more.
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Some variants of the GI diet also recommend eating less (saturated) fat. This makes the diet more difficult, as some products with a low GI value, such as dark chocolate, contain a lot of (saturated) fat.
The GI value of a product is determined by the type and amount of carbohydrates. In addition, the fats and proteins in a product also influence the GI value as, according to the inventors, they influence how (and if) the carbohydrates are absorbed into the body.
It also matters how the product is processed or prepared (cooked or baked for example). Combining the product with other foods has an effect as well. Therefore, if you eat a meal with different products, you cannot simply add up the GI values, as the products influence each other's GI values.
In addition, there are individual differences due to digestion. Therefore, the GI value of a product cannot predict the blood sugar rise of one person. This would have to be determined per person. The index therefore uses averages.
You can find an example table of GI values here. Please note: the values differ from one source to another.
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As an alternative to the glycemic index, there is also the glycemic load. In addition to the GI value, this takes into account how much of the product you eat. The load is determined by multiplying the amount of carbohydrates with the GI value and dividing that by 100:
[Number of carbs] x [GI value] / 100 = glycemic load.
If the glycemic load is 10 or lower, the load is relatively low. A value of 20 or more makes the load relatively high.
Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any) diet, especially if you have diabetes.
Several books have been written about the GI diet. Some examples are the books by Rick Gallop or by Antony Worrall Thompson. There are also several ebooks available.
This page has been checked, and warnings have been added by, Jolande, dietician. Read more here.
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As you see fit
This diet only takes the GI value of a product into account. It says nothing about the amount you can eat, the method of preparation of the product and whether the product is healthy. It remains especially important to look at the portion size and to be critical about the products.