The GI Diet

The GI Diet, created by Rick Gallop, promises three things to dieters:

  1. Weight-loss without hunger;
  2. Increased energy levels; and
  3. Lowered risk of heart diseases.

In this easy to follow diet program, Gallop categorized foods into three color groups. Those under the red group are foods that one must avoid when trying to lose weight. The foods under the yellow group are foods that can be eaten occasionally while those that fall under the green category are foods that you can eat in whatever quantity. Gallop used the colors of the traffic light to make it easy for dieters to follow the program. Foods are grouped according to their Glycemic Index.

Glycemic Indexing was invented by Dr. David J. Jenkins of the University of Toronto. The glycemic index measures how fast the food is converted into glucose and how fast it is absorbed by the body. Foods with low GI rankings are those that provide a slow, steady stream of energy to the body. Many food items with low GI rankings also often contain more fiber. Fruits, vegetables and unprocessed grain foods have low GI rankings. Baked potato, white rice, and white bread are samples of food that have GI ratings. Food with high GI ratings will give your blood sugar level a quick boost but unless you burn the energy, this glucose will be stored in your body as fat.

According to studies, people who consistently followed the GI diet and consumed food with low GI were at a lower risk of acquiring heart diseases, type2 diabetes and other diseases related to high glucose and cholesterol. Aside from this health benefit, the diet has the following advantages:

  1. People who follow the diet have consistent instead of spiking energy levels.
  2. The GI diet helps a dieter experience weight loss without the usual side effects such as light-headedness, hunger, etc.

Also known to follow GI ratings for planning their meals, it is not without its share of criticisms. One of the criticisms to this diet is that Glycemic indexing does not consider factors such as insulin response, the individual’s blood sugar level, and how GI level can vary for a specific food depending on the food’s preparation, processing, etc.