The glycemic index lists the rate carbohydrates break down in the body and convert to sugar in the form of glucose. Those foods high on the list, say over 55, convert to glucose quickly, raising the blood sugar level. The body responds by releasing insulin to control that surge of sugar. Insulin does a number of things: it controls the level of sugar in the blood; it stimulates appetite; it stores energy, in the form of fat, for future use. This fat is stored, among other places, around the abdomen.
This means if you eat mainly the high GI foods your body weight loss is constantly going through this process. It is on a merry-go-round of taking in food, wanting more to eat and storing fat. That is why you need to balance the foods you eat. While your diet does not have to be made up entirely of low GI foods, it should be mainly low GI. For example, you can have a meal with some high GI as long as most of the food is low GI.
Working on a low GI regime is not as hard as you might think. Many common foods fall into that category, some of which you may be eating already. Bear in mind, meat and fish is not on the list because they contain little or no carbohydrates.
Here are some foods that are at 55 or under on the list:
- Most vegetables – potatoes are over 55 but can be enjoyed occasionally
- Most fruit – exceptions are paw-paw (papaya), pineapple, kiwi fruit and fresh apricots, which are medium GI foods, but they can be eaten with low GI foods to provide a balance
- Most fruit juices – unsweetened is better and fresh is best
- Most pasta and noodles
- Multi-grain and whole grain breads
- Most dairy foods
- Cereals such as All Bran and Oat Bran, but popular cereals like Rice Bubbles and Corn Flakes are high in sugar and high GI
The foods on the list should come as no surprise as they are the foods we are told we should be eating to stay healthy. Dietitians and health professionals tell us we should be eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, along with fish, poultry and lean meat. There is such a wide selection weight loss when it comes to eating healthy, low GI food, you may have to make only minimal changes in your eating habits. You are probably eating many of these foods now.
Whatever changes you do have to make will be worth the effort to stop that process of building up stomach fat. Choosing most of your food from the low GI list not only helps maintain your health but also helps lose your stomach fat.