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8 Low Glycemic Foods to Shrink Your Belly Fat?

Are you searching for effective ways to improve your diet and achieve a stable weight? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the power of low glycemic index (GI) foods and how they can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Meet Thomas, a vibrant 45-year-old man who’s been living with type 2 diabetes for the past 5 years. Thomas occasionally enjoyed running 5K events, but he had trouble keeping his weight under control. Determined to take control of his health, he recently had his A1C levels checked, and they came back at 7.5%. Thomas was concerned about the elevation in his blood sugar levels after meals, which often showed a rise of 70–100 points from his pre-meal levels.

In his quest for answers, Thomas diligently monitored his carbs intake and discovered a pattern in his diet.

He usually had a breakfast of cornflakes with milk or frozen waffles with sugar-free syrup, followed by a lunch of a lean meat sandwich on white bread and a granola bar. The evening meal typically included grilled chicken or fish with potatoes, a small serving of vegetables, and a roll.

Thomas realized that certain foods in his diet might be contributing to his higher post-meal blood sugar levels. Determined to make a change, he decided to make some substitutions and modifications to his eating habits.

Armed with knowledge about the glycemic index (GI), he decided to add low-GI foods to every meal:

He understood that Low glycemic index (GI) foods have a GI of less than 55. When he ate low-GI foods, his body released a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK), which told his brain that he was full. This feeling of fullness lasted up to 3 hours.

On the other hand, when we ate high-GI foods, it quickly moves through the digestive system, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar levels right after the meal. He felt hunger and even low blood sugar later on. When the GI of his meal was increased by 50%, his sense of fullness decreased by 50%.

He carefully chose low-GI foods like salmon and tuna, with a GI value of 0. He felt fuller for longer, and there were no spikes and drops in his blood sugar levels. His hunger and cravings throughout the day came down considerably.

He went through different types of low-carb diets and found that they have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s how he broke it down for his understanding:

Keto Diet:

  • Pros: Helps with weight loss and controlling blood sugar in type 2 diabetes.
  • Cons: Can be difficult to maintain and may lead to nutrient deficiencies if not balanced properly.

Atkins Diet:

  • Pros: Effective for weight loss and improving cholesterol levels. It keeps you feeling full for longer.
  • Cons: Expensive. May cause headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and constipation, making it challenging to stick to in the long run.

Paleo Diet:

  • Pros: Focuses on whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Cons: Low in dairy and grains, which could cause nutrient deficiencies if not balanced well.

Mediterranean Diet:

  • Pros: Promotes overall health and is sustainable long-term.
  • Cons: Not specifically low-carb, but still beneficial for weight loss and heart health.

In the end, he consult with his doctor and decided to swap foods to begin with.

Here’s how Thomas swapped certain foods to incorporate low-GI options into his diet:

For example,

Instead of instant oatmeal with a higher GI of 79, he switched to steel-cut rolled oats with a GI of 55. He came to know that pure sugar has a GI of 100, with the highest glycemic response. So, he gave up sugar bombs like candy, soda, protein bars, sauces and dressings, flavored milk, and packaged fruit juices. Whenever he was in a morning rush, and didn’t have much time to eat anything he made a quick bowl of all-Bran cereal instead of cornflakes.

For lunch, he had Pumpernickel Bread, a dense and hearty bread, with a lower GI compared to white bread. It had more fiber, making it a better option for managing blood sugar levels.

He decided to choose pumpernickel bread instead of white bread for several reasons. Firstly, he had read about the benefits of pumpernickel bread containing manganese, which plays a crucial role in the production of insulin. This intrigued him as he was seeking ways to stabilize his blood sugar levels. Additionally, pumpernickel bread had been shown to improve the levels of the antioxidant enzyme manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), which caught his attention due to its potential positive impact on brain function.

By opting for pumpernickel bread, he hoped to harness these benefits and make a healthier choice for his overall well-being. Plus, the unique flavor and dense texture of pumpernickel bread added an enjoyable twist to his meals.

He chose to use Uncle Ben’s Converted rice, which is steamed while still in the husk. This steaming process not only gives the rice a lower glycemic index (GI) but also enhances its nutrient content. When cooked, the rice has a drier and less sticky texture compared to other rice varieties, which he finds preferable.

He ate whole fruits, such as apples, oranges, pears, dried apricots, strawberries, plums, cherries, peaches, and grapefruit, with a GI of less than 50. They provided him with natural sweetness while being packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

He aimed for one to two servings of fruits and vegetables in every meal and snack. Half of his plate was filled with vegetables, including salads, during lunch or dinner.

He took foods rich in soluble fiber such as dried beans, black beans, lima beans, kidney beans, brussels sprouts, avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, turnips, and peas.

The Soluble fiber, found in the fibrous coat around beans, acted as a physical barrier and slowed down the action of digestive enzymes on carbs, and helped in regulating his blood sugar levels after meals.

He paired high or moderate-GI foods with low-GI foods. He also focused on combining lean protein sources with unsaturated fats to improve their overall GI.

For example,

Sam ate white bread with a bowl of chili or spread peanut butter, and added cheese to a slice of bread to lower its GI. He ate rice with a high-G with low-GI foods such as red beans or legumes.

He cut down his cooking time. Sam cooked his pasta al dente, for 5–10 minutes which gave it a slightly lower GI than pasta cooked longer. He was aware that longer cooking times could boost the food’s glycemic impact by allowing the starch to break down and travel through the body more quickly.

He found that a food’s glycemic index (GI) is influenced by how acidic it is. When he learned that meals like pickled vegetables and those that include vinegar or lemon juice often have a lower GI, his eyebrows shot up in surprise. So, for dinner, he chose a lower GI sourdough bread, which is formed during the leavening process using a lactobacillus or lactic acid culture.

In the end, we at MyFat Diet would suggest that the right low-carb diet depends on your specific needs and preferences. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional to ensure that this diet is balanced and suitable for you.

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