Phase 2 of the diet is based primarily on the Glycemic Index (GI). What I love about it is that you can eat almost anything, you just need to substitute high GI foods for low GI foods. You can continue eating lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, legumes, nuts and healthy fats. You’ll also start reintroducing healthy low-GI carbs like fruit, oatmeal, couscous, sourdough bread, honey and many others.
What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrate foods that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. Their blood sugar response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes. Eating a diet rich in low GI foods helps alleviate mood swings, regulate energy levels, and most importantly, minimize hunger so that there is less tendency to “cheat” or overeat. A GI is 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.
What is the Glycemic Load?
The glycemic load (GL) takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn’t tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. You need to know both things to understand a food’s effect on blood sugar. The carbohydrate in pumpkin, for example, has a high GI. But there isn’t a lot of it, so pumpkin’s glycemic load is relatively low. Therefore, you may eat pumpkin, but it is extremely important to control your portion size. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 inclusive is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low.
To calculate the GL of a meal, multiply the GI value by the carbs per serving and divide by 100. For example, an apple has a GI of 40 and 15 grams of carbs per serving, so it’s GL is (40 x 15) ÷ 100 = 6.
Some Factors that affect GI value of foods:
1. Starch Gelatinization. The less gelatinized (swollen) the starch, the slower the rate of digestion. Therefore, you may eat spaghetti, but only if it is cooked al dente.
2. Particle Size. Starch that is consumed in it’s whole form has a low GI value. For example, you may eat steel cut oats, but not instant oatmeal.
3. Fiber. Viscous fiber (fiber that is thick) slows down the passage of foods and digestion. For example, legumes, oats and All-Bran cereal.
4. Acid. Research has shown that vinegar or lemon juice can have a significant affect low lowering blood sugar levels.
5. Protein and Fat. Adding protein and fat to a meal tends to cause a delay in stomach emptying, thereby slowing the rate at which carbohydrates can be digested and absorbed. Therefore, if you choose to eat something with a high GI value, combine it with protein or fat to slow down the digestion.
Obviously, protein (meat, fish, poultry, eggs) does not have a GI or GL because they do not have any carbs.
This is a very simple and basic summary of the glycemic index and glycemic load. To learn more about controlling your blood sugar on a low GI diet plan, I highly recommend the New Glucose Revolution Book Series, including, The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemix Index, Low GI Eating Made Easy, and for handy reference, the Shopper’s Guide to GI Values. You can also visit Glycemicindex.com to look up the GI and GL of foods.
For optimum weight loss, your best bet is to eat foods that have a low GI and a low GL. The key is to reintroduce carbs slowly. You want to learn your body and see how many carbs you can eat while still losing weight. You can start with introducing one fruit a day for a week, and then go on to include a bowl of steel cut oats for breakfast, or try a tuna sandwich on Ezekiel bread for lunch. If you are still losing weight, you might want to add a small bowl of basmati rice to your chicken dinner.
If watching the GI and GL of foods is too complicated for you, just pay attention to the GI of foods. Most foods with a low GI have a low GL too. It’s only when you want to eat something with a high GI (like watermelon, GI of 80) that you might want to check the GL (which is a very low 5). So you may eat watermelon, so long as you eat a small portion.
Here are some of the low to moderate GI/GL foods you can reintroduce in Phase 2 (you can continue to eat everything in the allowed list form Phase 1):
*if an item has an asterik, you must be very careful with portion sizes.
Beans (black beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, peas)
lentils, split peas
Bread & Crackers:
*Wasa Fiber Rye crackers
*Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread
*Steel cut oats
*Old fashioned oatmeal
*All-Bran (not Bran Flakes)
*Couscous (not Israeli couscous)
Dried fruit (apples, apricots, prunes, *craisins, *figs)
Canned fruit with no sugar added (peaches, pears, *apricots)
*Banana (not too ripe)
Nuts & Seeds:
All nuts (besides chestnuts) and seeds
Dairy & Soy:
Low fat milk
Low fat, no sugar added yogurt
Low fat ice cream
Pasta, Noodles & Rice:
*Rice noodles, al dente
*Soba noodles, al dente
*Udon noodles, al dente
*Pasta (not whole wheat), al dente
*Pure maple syrup
*Pure floral honey
Check out the BIB Diet category for some great diet recipes.