The Low Glycemic Index Diet
The Glycemic Index
° The GLYCEMIC INDEX of a food tells us how much insulin a certain food causes the body to make. The more insulin we produce, the more calories we store as fat
° Foods with a high glycemic index are those that contain lots of sugar or that are made from processed grains like white bread and white rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots. When we eat these foods:
More insulin will be produced
More of the food will be stored as fat.
° Foods like high fiber fruit, non-starchy vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains have a lower glycemic index. When we eat these foods:
Less insulin will be produced
Less of the food will be stored as fat.
The Low Glycemic Index Diet
° Helps your child eat foods low in sugar and starch
° Helps reduce the amount of insulin being produced
° Helps reduce the amount of food and extra calories being stored as fat
You can determine if a food has a High or Low Glycemic Index by:
° Referring to the stoplight list of foods:
o Green means low – eat these foods every day
o Yellow means moderate – eat these foods sometimes—about three times a week
o Red means high – eat these foods rarely
° If the food is not on the list, find a food that is similar to one that is on the list—the glycemic index will probably be similar
° Understand that most fruits and many vegetables have a low glycemic index.
° Most starchy foods like potatoes, carrots, breads, cereals, crackers, have a high glycemic index.
° Foods that are low in carbohydrate like meats, eggs, milk, cheese and other dairy products have a low glycemic index, but the portions of these need to be moderate, since too much fat and too many calories can overcome the benefits of the low glycemic index diet
Good Hints to Healthy Eating Habits
° What kind of food your child is eating may be as important as how much he or she eats, but
° Your child should not over eat any foods-- even those that have a low glycemic index; one serving of each food and no second helpings should be the rule
° Most food should be eaten during meal time; providing three meals a day with very limited between meal snacks is best
° Snacks, like foods eaten at meals, must be low in sugar and starch (green light foods)
° Soda pop and Fruit Drinks should be eliminated completely
° Whole fruits have lower glycemic indexes than fruit juices and are healthier choices
° Meal time and snack time drinks should be low fat or skim milk, water or unsweetened beverages
° Eating while watching TV, playing video games, working on the computer, or reading should be discouraged.
Helpful Hints When Planning a Meal
° Refer to Stoplight food lists (Green, Yellow, Red)
° Provide meals and snacks from green group
o Fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean meats, low fat dairy products
° Limit foods from the yellow or red groups
o Potatoes, carrots, refined breads, doughnuts, bagels, crackers, cakes and cookies.
Activity and Exercise are Important!
° Limit sedentary activities (TV, video games, and computer time) to no more than two hours a day.
° Sitting around causes more fat storage
° Activity (playing outside, walking or other exercise) reduces the amount of insulin produced and helps the body use up extra food so it is not stored as fat
Food Choices for Healthy Eating
The Low Glycemic Index Traffic Light System
Breads, Grains and Cereals
Meats, Eggs, Beans, Nuts
Milk and Dairy