Living Low GI

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Kendo_Bunny
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Living Low GI

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:25 pm UTC

Does anyone else try this diet approach? It's not low carb, since the carbs in vegetables and most fruits are necessary. I'm trying to get started, since I discovered that I'm sensitive to wheat, and things high on the GI scale tend to make me balloon up.

http://www.lowcarbiseasy.com/dietplanlowgi.htm The basics of the diet plan are explained here.

I'm quite good at cooking meat, but I'm afraid I'm not too up on good low GI side dishes, or vegetable-based main dishes that don't require rice or pasta. Does anyone else follow this lifestyle, and if so, are they willing to trade recipes?

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:24 pm UTC

I've been eating low GI with varying degrees of commitment for about 7 years. I go through phases but when I'm being good I follow these principles quite strictly (sometimes venturing over as far as low carb). I find it makes me feel great in terms of energy and satiety.

First, you say "without rice or pasta", but you can get low GI versions of these. Brown rice and basmatti rice both have longer grains and are lower GI (I want to say low but should be working and won't research it right now); I used to get brown basmatti in England which was great. Now I make brown rice with lots of lentils in. All pasta here exept specifically labled "egg pasta" and freshly made stuff is low or med GI as it is made from durum wheat. I think I've heard some USAns say your pasta is not necessarily made from durum wheat but try finding out; I buy the wholewheat version which has become more readily available now. Add protein and/or beans (which you may also class as protein, I suppose) to dishes containing these and it will further help lower the GI.

Polenta (grits?) can also be low GI - according to the book I had if you make it and let it cool, the crystal structure changes in a way that lowers the GI. Reheating will not undo this effect, either. With polenta, and as a rule in general, though; avoid any quick-cooking version or anything more refined than it needs to be.

New potatoes are another great side dish option: eg. boiled then tossed in a little butter, salt and herbs, or potato salad (try 50% mayo and 50% yoghurt for the dressing, it's healthier AND tastier imo).

Beans are your friends in a huge way. My mom's got this great low GI cookbook, and we call it The Bean Book because *every* recipe has beans in.

I suck at sharing recipes because I make most things off the top of my head, but I'm happy to write down some rough ideas if you'd like.
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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

Pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes and beans are still all very high-carb foods. I mean, they're basically each pure carbohydrate, with the exception of beans which are much higher in fiber than the preceding starches. It doesn't matter how low the GI is if your diet specifically needs to be low-carb. In many cases, GL is the more important measure; GI is important for thinking about steady blood sugar but doesn't necessarily say anything about how much sugar you're actually consuming.

Lots of low-GI diets talk smack about bananas, for instance, because they have a high GI compared to other fruits. But they are, in general, a low-calorie, low-carb, low-sugar food. Yes, they are sweet. Yes, they have higher GI and GL than many other fruits. But what's important is that they are also nutritious, and they are a far better choice for a snack than (for example) a couple pieces of dry toast, or a small portion of crackers, pretzels or chips. Both the USDA and the American Diabetes Association recommend bananas as a healthy snack. Just don't eat a banana with every meal, and when possible, eat it together with a low-GI food such as peanut butter for a more moderated effect on your blood sugar.

Low-GI dieting is a pretty significant fad right now. That means there's a LOT of misinformation out there in the form of marketing and sales pitches. The simple rules still apply: Choose foods with lower amounts of sugar and carbohydrates. Since I started shopping low-carb for my wife, I've found it incredibly hard to find dry snack items such as crackers, pretzels and chips because almost without exception they are mostly carbohydrate by weight. No matter if they're whole grain, or hearty and full of bran, or whatever other health claims are on the package. When I can't find vegetable chips, I have been going for these soy puff crackers, because they have a good amount of protein, are proportionally less carb-heavy than other chips, and most importantly they are not at all dense, so a given volume or number contains less of everything than, for example, Triscuits.

A serving of Triscuits contains about 7 crackers and is 28g with 19g of carbs (almost 70% by mass) and 3g protein. A serving of soy crisps contains about 17 crackers and is 28g with 15g of carbs (53.5% by mass) and 8g protein. Triscuits have one more gram of fiber and 90mg less sodium, but also 3g more of fat (1g of which is saturated). This is a great example of how to select your best option from products that are all inherently carb-heavy, when your priority is reducing the carbs in your diet. People tend to think more about how many crackers they have than what the actual serving size is; in this case, even when you eat more than twice as many soy crisps, you're getting fewer carbs and more protein. Most likely you would eat fewer soy crisps or more Triscuits, making the crisps an even better choice. But still, the crisps are more than 50% carbohydrate, so I don't put them in my wife's lunch every day and I would rather buy something lower-carb and made of veggies, seeds or nuts if it were available at my local supermarket.
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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Moo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:22 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes and beans are still all very high-carb foods.
Uhm... glycemic index only applies to carbohydrates, so I don't really know where you're going with this. It's about changing the types of carbs to ones that release their energy slower, not how much energy they contain (ie. whether they're carb rich or not). Kendo specifically asked about low GI, not low carb.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:39 pm UTC

I think the low GI diet fad perpetuates a lot of misconceptions about the place of carbs in a healthy diet. Since this is a thread about low GI dieting, I took the opportunity to ramble a bit. I guess I was originally distracted and/or sidetracked based on this part:
Kendo_Bunny wrote:It's not low carb, since the carbs in vegetables and most fruits are necessary.

Looking again, I'm just kind of confused. Low carb doesn't mean no carb (a "no carb" diet being better described as "slow death by starvation"). If you're limiting your carbs to fruits and vegetables, your diet is most certainly a low carb diet.

You can find quite a few recipes on http://www.sparkrecipes.com/ by browsing recipes by dietary needs; though there is only a "low carb" tag and not a specific "low GI" tag, I think you'll find that the former tend to also be the latter.
Last edited by Bakemaster on Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:41 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Moo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

I know South Beach doesn't like you even eating fruit except for blueberries and apples, but yeah I don't know where the line is.

The low GI cookbooks and other literature I "grew up with" on my food journey didn't vilify all starches the way the new trends seem to.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby melladh » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:22 pm UTC

I'm not really good at the whole GI thing, but you can for example make a bolognaise with grilled bell peppers which goes brilliantly with boiled broccoli instead of pasta, or just adding a small amount of whole grain pasta to it rather than the normal white pasta.

It's a bit late in the evening, so forgive me if this is a rant that's already been addressed, but: The whole GI thing vs carbs is among other things that you have to take into consideration what carbs the body actually absorbs... If you grill a potato in the oven, it'll be very high GI. But if you boil it and let it cool off, it'll be low GI.

My favorite low GI filler is black quinoa. Soak it in 15 minutes, then boil it with some vegetable bullion and some fresh herbs (thai basil is great to boil quinoa with). When it's cooled off, mix in a little bit of olive oil and lime, and some fresh coriander leaves. (I cheat and add some mango balsamic vinegar when I don't have fresh lime, but that's probably far too sweet to be low GI) You can shred some lettuce into the mix as well. Goes great with grilled meats or as a salad base (add some extra lettuce, tomatoes, cold smoked salmon and avocado, for a brilliant salad)
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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Jorpho » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:43 pm UTC

I was just reading a fairly convincing-sounding article that came out pretty soundly against the GI:
http://www.menshealth.com/men/nutrition ... 0013281eac
Kendo_Bunny wrote:I discovered that I'm sensitive to wheat
See, if you're sensitive to wheat (have you been properly tested for celiac?), then methinks your focus should just be on avoiding wheat rather than ruminating about this GI business.

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Nath » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

That article is somewhat poorly reasoned, but it does get to some of the reasons I don't trust the glycemic index as a dieting tool. Eating straight fructose doesn't affect your blood sugar levels much, but it's still an easily absorbed simple carb that doesn't fill you up much -- precisely the sort of thing that makes people overeat. That's why I stopped using 'low GI' as a proxy for 'slow-digesting'.

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Moo » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:25 am UTC

Nath wrote:but it's still an easily absorbed simple carb that doesn't fill you up much -- precisely the sort of thing that makes people overeat.
[citation needed] The way a sudden spike in blood sugar and the resulting excess of insulin in the bloodstream triggers carb cravings isn't exactly insignificant, either, though.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Kendo_Bunny wrote:I discovered that I'm sensitive to wheat
See, if you're sensitive to wheat (have you been properly tested for celiac?), then methinks your focus should just be on avoiding wheat rather than ruminating about this GI business.


I have been tested and came out negative. But I gave up wheat for Lent and felt way better than I normally do, and lost a couple of pounds. I lost 50 lbs on South Beach once, but I gained back 30 when I went back to school, since it does require a little more planning than I had time for. I know I do well on low carb, but since carbs are cheap, I figured it would be better and easier to try to figure out the glycemic index.

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Nath » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:26 pm UTC

Moo wrote:
Nath wrote:but it's still an easily absorbed simple carb that doesn't fill you up much -- precisely the sort of thing that makes people overeat.
[citation needed] The way a sudden spike in blood sugar and the resulting excess of insulin in the bloodstream triggers carb cravings isn't exactly insignificant, either, though.

Citation needed for which part? Satiety or ease of absorption?

Actually, I shouldn't have said 'straight fructose'. Humans absorb it much better in combination with other carbs.

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Re: Living Low GI

Postby Moo » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:30 pm UTC

Oops; the citation part was left after a serious rework of a very different original draft. Please feel free to ignore.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"


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