Is The Low-Glycemic Diet Worth It?

With so many diets to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of selecting a diet that best fits your health goals. If you have diabetes, it's likely that your doctor has discussed making changes to your diet to help manage your blood glucose levels. According to Medical News Today, the low-glycemic diet has been recommended to manage diabetes, obesity, and coronary artery disease.

The low-glycemic diet uses the glycemic index to categorize foods based on how they impact blood sugar levels. The glycemic index ranks foods from 1 to 100, with 100 representing the highest amount. Foods are classified as having a low, medium, or high glycemic index. Several factors affect the glycemic ranking of foods such as the amount of food processing, cooking process, ripeness, and macronutrient content (via Medical News Today).

According to Healthline, studies have shown that the low-glycemic diet may lower heart disease and diabetes risk, increase weight loss, and lower blood sugar. However, the diet may be unreliable for promoting healthy food choices.

The low-glycemic diet may improve glucose levels

Diet is important in the management of several conditions. However, the glycemic index does not tell the whole picture of how fast a food delivers glucose into the bloodstream and the amount of glucose contained in each serving, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

The glycemic load provides a more comprehensive view of how foods impact blood glucose levels. Some dietitians believe that both glycemic index and load should be utilized to avoid high blood sugar. Others believe that both measures make food selection too complicated for dieters (via Harvard Health Publishing).

A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a low-glycemic diet effectively reduced glycated hemoglobin, body mass index, total cholesterol, and fasting glucose. The review concluded that low glycemic diets may be useful for reducing weight and providing glycemic control for those with prediabetes and diabetes. If you're considering a low-glycemic diet, a dietitian can provide a customized meal plan to help you reach your goals.