So far I’ve covered the issue of calories, I’ve touched on the issues of sugars, good and bad fats and why pulses and whole-grains are such great foods. What ties all these things together is what I consider to be the most sensible, easy to maintain, healthy way of eating that will also help you lose excess weight and keep it off.
It’s not sensational, outrageous or particularly quick fix but it can be applied anywhere, anytime and allows you to eat plenty so you’re not left feeling hungry. It’s also been around for ages so most of you have probably heard about it but maybe you don’t know why it’s so good and how it works…
I’m talking about using the glycemic index of foods or GI eating. Put simply, it’s based on a measure of how much a food causes your blood sugar to rise. Sticking to foods with a medium to low GI and avoiding high GI foods is not only an effective and practical weight-loss tool, it is an extremely healthy approach to eating that everyone, young or old, fat or thin can benefit from.
Fat, fibre and protein all help to bring down the GI index of foods. Foods naturally high in sugar as well as those with added sugars and foods that have been processed and refined tend to be high on the GI index.
Rather than list all the foods and their GI levels here, have a search on line as there are many lists available. But the basic principle of avoiding highly refined or sweet foods is a good starting point. Also, you can minimise the impact of a high GI food if you eat it alongside a low GI food.
There are some less obvious foods that rate as high GI but are generally considered healthy. Mashed and baked potatoes for example, have a very high GI. Large white potatoes contain lots of natural sugars which are released through the mashing / slow cooking process. Boiled new potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes are actually better options.
If you want to understand more about GI eating, why it works and how to get going on it, look out for my GI update coming soon.