The GI Diet

Developed in 1981 by Dr. David Jenkins at the University of Toronto, the GI Diet is a popular diet that measures how fast your body breaks down food into glucose. High GI foods break down fast, leaving you hungry. Low GI foods are slow to break down, leaving you with a fuller feeling, longer.

The majority of the people on the GI Diet lose between 1 and 2 pounds of weight per week. This is considered a safe amount of weight loss and is consistent with most nutritional experts.

How The Diet Works

Dr. Jenkins developed a scale called the Glycaemic Index, which ranks foods according to how they affect blood sugar levels. The scale ranges from 0 to 100 and tells us if the food raises the blood sugar none, a little or a lot. Foods that have a small effect on blood sugar have a lower GI value than foods that have a large, rapid effect on blood sugar. So basically, the higher the GI number the more the food will affect our blood sugar levels. Foods with a glycaemic index of 55 and lower is considered to have a negligible affect on blood sugar levels. Foods which have a glycaemic index between 56 and 69 are in the moderate category, while 70 and over are considered high.

There are many books and web sites available that list the glycaemic index of foods. You may be surprised when you view the tables of the glcaemic indexes. For example, rice cakes are high on the glycaemic index while nuts and milk chocolate are low.

The GI Diet encourages you to eat only the foods from all the major foods groups that have a low GI value. It is also recommended that you cut down on fats. Be aware that some foods which have a low GI value are also high in fat, such as whole milk and chocolate. You still need to be aware of foods high in fat and salt. Try to reduce these types of food as much as possible.

Benefits of the GI Diet

The GI Diet offers many benefits. The diet encourages you to eat foods rich in carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables. It also incorporates fiber into the diet which helps with regularity. The GI Diet follows healthy eating guidelines, is low in fat, and easy to follow if you are a vegetarian.

There are plenty of foods available on this diet and it may also reduce the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Consuming foods that contain a low GI value also helps improve the good cholesterol and may help in reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease, and some cancers.


It seems that the GI Diet is a healthy nutritional diet that is easy to follow. The GI Diet is similar to the Atkins Diet and the Low Carb Diet but not as restrictive. Another benefit of the GI Diet over the Atkins Diet is that you don’t get the negative side effect of bad breath and headaches with the GI Diet.

The Results

Eating foods in the low range of the GI scale and les of the foods in the high range of the GI scale is not only good for our health but also an effective tool for managing our weight.