The importance of low GI foods for anti-ageing

Healthy eating will go a long way toward assisting you in your anti aging campaign. Something that we have all heard a lot about is the glycemic index. You always hear about how important it is to check the GI index of foods or to buy foods that have a low GI rating. Do you sometimes wonder what all the fuss is about? And how will eating low GI foods assist with anti aging? Well let us demystify this acronym.

Anti aging is a holistic process that encompasses many components. Healthy eating and following a healthy and sustainable diet will allow you to control your weight. This is so important to minimise the onset of aging and age related diseases. Following a diet that is rich in low GI foods is the most sensible and sustainable way to eat healthily and make sure you do everything you can to assist your anti aging campaign.

Healthy eating has always been promoted, though it must be said that this promotion generally occurs in trends. Do you remember when the Atkins diet was the tour de force – is the GI trend another Atkins? 5 or 10 years ago, none of us had a clue what GI foods were or why they mattered. So what is all the fuss about?

The GI trend is here to stay and most importantly it promotes sustainable weight loss. The GI trend is backed up with some serious research. In 1999, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommended that people in industrialised countries base their diets on low GI foods so as to prevent heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

The glycemic index is a ranking of carbs on a scale of 0 to 100. The scale is calculated on how each carb raises our blood sugar levels after eating. High GI foods are rapidly digested/absorbed leaving us with marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This spike and subsequent crash is not a good thing for our bodies.

Low GI foods are slowly digested/absorbed, thus producing a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. Without a spike or a crash, your blood sugars will be kept at a consistent level throughout the day. This is the ideal state for our bodies to be in.

An Australian study that was published in July 2006 shows that you would lose 5% more weight with a low GI diet as opposed to a high GI diet. How does this work? Well, low GI foods will keep you satisfied longer because they produce a steady release of sugar into the bloodstream, thus reducing the likelihood that you will be reaching for the snacks or venturing to the vending machine down the halls to grab a candy bar.

High GI foods will provide a sudden energy burst. This will leave you hungry after a short period. Say you have gone and grabbed the candy bar from the vending machine to kill the pangs of hunger. Despite consuming a large amounts of calories, due to the high GI nature of candy bars, you would have probably felt a spike and then a subsequent crash and this would have brought all those pangs of hunger running back – meaning you would have to eat more and consume more calories. However, had you made a smarter choice and consumed a healthy sandwich or pasta salad instead of the candy bar, these choices being of the low GI variety, you would have taken care of your hunger for a great deal longer.

Anti aging encompasses so many elements and it seems that healthy eating and following a diet rich in low GI foods is essential. Include more complex carbs in your diet. Replace the sugary breakfast cereals with muesli, granola or porridge. Steer clear of white bread and get stuck into the brown or grainy breads and as always, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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