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You’ve probably heard the term “Glycemic Index,” but do you know what it means to your health?
Any maybe you even have a sense that low glycemic foods are better for you, but do you know why, or where your favorite food sits on the scale? Welcome to the sixth edition of my 28-Day Menu Plan Challenge Series!
I do not believe that one diet is right for everybody, but I do believe that there is one right diet for everybody. See the difference there? Just because it’s good for you, does not mean it’s good for me and visa versa – but it could be life changing for either of us! And how will you know the which one is for you if you don’t try?
Last year I started this series and have released released Gluten Free, Paleo, Holistic, Vegetarian and Vegan menu plans to allow you the chance to “try on” as many diet styles as you need to until you find the one that fits you just right. It may take a while, but it’s worth it when you find the one that clicks. It’s like digging through a warehouse of jeans and finding that perfect pair — you know what I mean — success!
If you’ve been feeling excessively groggy, fatigued, itchy or grumpy, generally “not so great,” there’s a good chance a change in diet might do you some good.
What exactly is the Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a way of ranking foods based on the impact they have on your blood sugar and hence insulin levels. The higher the food is on the GI, the quicker your body is at converting it from carbohydrate to glucose, the faster it spikes your blood sugar signaling insulin to come put it away. If it spikes really high, a lot of insulin comes to work, puts the sugar away in your muscles if needed, and then stores the excess as…you’ve to it, fat. Boo! And then when your blood sugar drops, well, then you’re hungry again too. You can see the cycle here, right?
Which foods are high on the Glycemic Index?
In the simplest of terms, high glycemic foods are typically more processed, refined, sugary, or starchy types of foods. Since the processing has been done outside your body, it is easier and faster for your body to convert into sugar (glucose) and the quicker your blood sugar will spike. On the flip side, lower glycemic foods are more often less processed, closer to nature and are “whole” when you consume them. Because they are minimally processed, it will take more time and work for your body to convert into sugar and should not cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar. Of course there are exceptions to this, but generally speaking, it’s a good rule to stand by.
GI Guidelines for Foods: A food that has a GI value of:
- 55 or less is Low and that’s good
- 56- 69 is Medium and that’s ok
- 70 or higher is High and that’s bad
The GI can be a good way to decipher slower-acting “good carbs” from the faster “bad carbs” to help keep your blood sugar more steady. A steady blood sugar helps support a stable appetite, consistent energy and a balanced mood. However, it’s important to know that just because a food sits low on the GI, does not automatically mean it’s good for you (i.e. a Snickers bar sits lower than oatmeal and inherently, we know which is a better choice for breakfast). And just because a food is high on the GI, does not mean it’s off limits (i.e. watermelon is higher than corn chips, but we all know which is a more refreshing, nourishing snack).
What exactly is a Low Glycemic Menu Plan?
In general, it would be a menu full of more whole grains, nuts, legumes, fibrous fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. It will feature fewer foods with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, white rice, white bread, and other junky things like candy, cookies, cakes, fruit roll ups and sweet drinks. It’s important to realize that the GI is just a number on paper, the value can change depending on the quantity of food consumed, as well the preparation and combination of foods served together. A low GI food, typically a whole food, higher in fiber, fat or protein can curb the blood sugar spike from a higher GI food (i.e. try stuffing some chili in a potatoes to curb the blood sugar spike). A well put together menu plan is a great way to focus on whole, real food and also curb naturally occurring sugar spikes from wholesome foods that happen to sit high on the GI.
The 28-Day Low Glycemic Menu Plan Challenge in a nutshell
- 28 days of RD approved low glycemic menu plans so you know exactly what you CAN eat to manage your blood sugar.
- 28 days of healthy and balanced menu plans to avoid any nutritional deficiencies and control blood sugar spikes.
- Weekly shopping lists that making shopping quicker and complete.
- A quick tip sheet with over 100 popular foods and their GI value.
- A weekly tracker that allows you to track and understand how your body is responding.
- You have a few calorie levels to pick from 1250, 1500 and 2000 is available upon request.
- The full 4 week challenge is reasonably priced at just $28.00!
The beauty of the low glycemic menu is that it’s not in entirely restrictive in that you can consume foods from all the main groups that are often considered taboo including gluten, carbs, fruit, and dairy products. So long as long as you find the balance between low and high GI foods and control portions, it’s all fair game. This makes it one of the more appealing menu styles to adopt for lifelong healthy eating for those of us who do not like to forge entire food groups for the long haul.
Do you have to follow the menu plans 100%?
While putting an emphasis on consuming foods in their natural state will benefit your life in many ways, it can be an overwhelming or inconvenient feat depending on your current lifestyle. But keep in mind; this is not an all or nothing approach like the gluten free lifestyle where a little does you exactly that, little good. In the case of low glycemic nutrition, some is better than none – so start with small changes and go from there. Take an inventory of your pantry, fridge and daily meal plan. What highly processed foods are causing spikes in your blood sugar and can you curb those by adding a lower GI food or more natural substitute? Is it a highly processed, high-sugar as a snack? A soda in the afternoon? This challenge can be a great tool to give you ideas, but you don’t need to follow it 100% to begin to feel the benefits of cleaner more balanced eating.
How the 28-Day Low Glycemic Menu Challenge works
- You make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to try this. You’re going to eat with the GI in mind for 4 full weeks and pay attention to how you feel, sleep, what your energy is like and so on.
- You join the 28-Day Low Glycemic Menu challenge by purchasing the menu plan, then selecting the calorie level that is right for you. Most people will be ok with 2000 calories. But if weight loss is on your mind, 1500 or 1250 may be better (this is your decision and you are 100% responsible for it).
- You will immediately receive an email with 4 weeks of menus in all three calorie levels, shopping lists, a quick tip sheet of the 100 most common food GI values, and a printable journal to track how you’re feeling throughout the challenge.
- You follow your menu, making swaps when necessary, but do your best to follow the plan for 28 days.
- It’s ok to eat out, just follow the rules of your menu plan and try to find restaurants that feature whole, fresh ingredients when you are out of your kitchen. You’ll find you can still enjoy dinner at many of your favorite restaurants!
What happens after the 28-Day Low Glycemic Menu Challenge is over?
This is the BEST part!! You know if you feel better when you follow the principles of the glycemic index! You now know if it’s worth the trouble to do so from here on out. You’re also an expert now on how to shop, prepare and eat low GI meals because you just did it for 28 straight days. You made it through the tough stuff and you’ve already put in some serious work towards building healthier habits!
Start Your 28 Day Low Glycemic Menu Plan Challenge Today for just $28.00!
Note: If you’re not ready for a full 28-days, you can try the 7-day trial version for just $8.
Let me call out my disclaimer here, as it applies most certainly to this post and these menu plans in addition to everything I share on this blog.
Are you ready to try on the low glycemic style of eating to see if it fits?
Let’s do this!
PS — what did you think of the audio blog? Helpful?
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