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02-11-2009, 10:31   #1
MissMotivated
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Low GL diet vs Low GI diet?

Just wondering what are the main differences between these 2 diets?
Is one better than the other or are they both rubbish?
Thinking of going low/no carb, am I right in thinking these diets are low carb?
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02-11-2009, 14:00   #2
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Originally Posted by MissMotivated View Post
Just wondering what are the main differences between these 2 diets?
Is one better than the other or are they both rubbish?
Thinking of going low/no carb, am I right in thinking these diets are low carb?
Well from what I know, which is very little compared to some people on here, your body needs carbohydrates to function. Carbohydrates are energy. And there are two types; simple and complex. Simple carbs are basic sugars, when eaten they give you a quick energy burst (insulin spike) and are therefore high on the Glycaemic Index. Complex carbs are the opposite and when eaten give you a slow steady release of energy and are low GI. Examples of food packed with simple carbs are sweets, chocolate, white bread, white pasta, white rice, breakfast cereals that come in a box (Special K, Bran Flakes, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies etc.). Examples of food with complex carbs are porridge (oats), brown rice, brown bread, brown pasta etc.

If you look on any packaging on food, take a look at the Carbohydrate bit. There'll be one reading for Carbohydrates and another just below it for Carbohydrates That Sugar. The bit "that sugar" is the reading for simple carbs. Take that away from the total "Carbohydrates" figure and you'll get the figure for complex carbs.

Now from what I can gather regarding low GI/low GL diets - aren't both centered around eating relatively no simple carbs, and only eating complex carbs? Something like the Atkins Diet is a no-carb diet, or as close to no-carb as you can get. If you were to follow a no-carb diet you wouldn't be able to eat any of the above food I listed, not to mention fruit or vegetables, which are 100% carbohydrates, as well as a lot of other things.

Why anyone would want to eat unhealthily like that is beyond me. Your body would only suffer. And when you then decide to eat carbs again or if your body tells you to eat carbs again, the chances are after being off it for so long your body is going to store it all as fat. Your body will believe it's in "starvation" mode when going without carbs, so when eating carbs your body will believe that it needs to store carbs as fat in order to see out the "starvation" period. Similar to bears and hibernation really. They go from one extreme to another.

Other posters can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong?
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02-11-2009, 14:41   #3
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Hi Frogdog
Yeah so i had a quick look at both diets and I think you're right about them being centered around eating complex carbs. I'm trying to do that already but I do have baby potatoes and wholemeal bread every day. I know what you're saying aswell about
Quote:
Your body will believe it's in "starvation" mode when going without carbs, so when eating carbs your body will believe that it needs to store carbs as fat in order to see out the "starvation" period
.
I've been getting alot of good info from stickies/threads on boards about diet and fitness. I have cleaned up my diet alot in last few weeks but I find it hard going without bread/potatoes so being realistic I couldn't go no carb. But these are also the things that bloat me.
I don't intend on doing any crazy diets (been there done that), but there seems to be as much people for low carb as there is against so I just don't know if it is healthy or not!
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02-11-2009, 16:18   #4
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Low GL was a follow on from low GI as GI is just measured on how much 50g of the carb content a given food substance raises your blood sugar, regardless of the quantity you would usually consume the food in.

This is why low GL was created, it factors in the amount of carbs as well as GI. It's really fiddly to work out. It's is the amount of carbohydrate in a serving of food multiplied by that food's GI. Thus, a 70g serving of carrots, which has 8 grams of carbohydrate, has a glycemic load of about 10 (8 x 1.31 = 10.48).

I'm not a big believer in GI, you can find a very long discussion on it's merits if you do a search. I'm more into less processed carbs, so for example I believe potato and carrots, which both have a relatively high GI can be a part of a healthy diet and won't really adversely affect insulin sensitivity in the long term as other carbs that are lower GI but more industrially processed.

Low carb is perfectly healthy, and nothing in the scientific literature has ever shown otherwise. Having said that, it might not suit everyone, it requires a lot of cooking and planning and effort to keep variety, but some people find that their health and energy improves so drastically that it's worth the effort.

Whatever you choose, buy a book and follow the rules exactly, otherwise you're just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Oh and BTW, there's no plan out there that I know of that's 'No carb', and I wouldn't recommend it. Most people after initial induction settle into a range of around 50g-100g a day and still lose weight. That gives you considerable leeway with veggies or rice, but the bulk of your calories will still come from fat.

Last edited by El_Dangeroso; 02-11-2009 at 16:21.
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02-11-2009, 16:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMotivated View Post
Hi Frogdog
Yeah so i had a quick look at both diets and I think you're right about them being centered around eating complex carbs. I'm trying to do that already but I do have baby potatoes and wholemeal bread every day. I know what you're saying aswell about
.
I've been getting alot of good info from stickies/threads on boards about diet and fitness. I have cleaned up my diet alot in last few weeks but I find it hard going without bread/potatoes so being realistic I couldn't go no carb. But these are also the things that bloat me.
I don't intend on doing any crazy diets (been there done that), but there seems to be as much people for low carb as there is against so I just don't know if it is healthy or not!
hi, if you like carbs then dont bother with low carb, like other posters have mentioned if you are going to do a specific diet then follow it to the letter of the law! i prefer to use the common sense approach, If you like potatoes have them, but only one. if you like bread, have some but only one slice of whole grain .... Ive found that following a low GI diet is pretty useful TBH, in that it does keep you full longer ... my only reason for not eating potatoes every day is that I will be hungry again soon after .. where as brocolli, chicken and lots of brown rice has a totally different effect!

best of luck ....
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02-11-2009, 21:40   #6
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That's the thing I don't think I would follow it to the letter so I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Will try and up my veg intake though and maybe try not to have potatos every day. Have been eating better I think and this is the first time I don't feel like I'm on a diet but still feel like I am losing a bit of weight plus I'm going to the gym. I just read so many sites etc.. with so much different info that I start to think I am not doing enough!!
Thanks for the info anyway guys!
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02-11-2009, 23:04   #7
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I follow a low GI/GL diet for the most part, while I accept that it is partially due to being a type 1 diabetic I have also researched the science into it (have a Masters in Food Science) and it makes sense to me personally. I find that it keeps me fuller longer but I accept that it is a lifestyle change.

Edit: speaking in a personal capacity only.

Last edited by CathyMoran; 02-11-2009 at 23:15.
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03-11-2009, 08:46   #8
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That's the thing I don't think I would follow it to the letter so I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Will try and up my veg intake though and maybe try not to have potatos every day. Have been eating better I think and this is the first time I don't feel like I'm on a diet but still feel like I am losing a bit of weight plus I'm going to the gym. I just read so many sites etc.. with so much different info that I start to think I am not doing enough!!
Thanks for the info anyway guys!
good idea .. it will take time and you will probably hit plateau's which you can move on from by increasing physical activity or tewaking diet .. its a good idea to switch potatoes for veg, but you can still have potatoes ocasionally ... just dont do anything drastic, like you say you dont want to feel like you are on a "diet" - rather a healthy lifestyle choice ... as long as you are losing then keep up the good work!
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03-11-2009, 14:31   #9
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Have been having another think today and looking up some more about these diets and I am thinking about giving it a go. The majority of the foods listed as low GL are foods I like anyway. Yes it would take a bit more planning for meals but I have been trying to do that anyway. My energy levels have increased alot since I started to clean up my diet and exercise but they still have a bit to go! That and The fact that you feel fuller with these kinds of food can only be a good thing I think!
I have ordered a book about it because as said If I'm goin to do it I need to do it right. I still don't think of it as a diet though which I think is a big step for me, If I do decide to do it it will be a lifestyle choice!!
So I'll see!
Thanks again for the info!!
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04-11-2009, 14:28   #10
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Originally Posted by CathyMoran View Post
I follow a low GI/GL diet for the most part, while I accept that it is partially due to being a type 1 diabetic I have also researched the science into it (have a Masters in Food Science) and it makes sense to me personally. I find that it keeps me fuller longer but I accept that it is a lifestyle change.

Edit: speaking in a personal capacity only.
Hi Cathy, a relative has been advised by a doc to eat Low GI food not as a diet but to help controlling sugar levels as far as I gather. I'm just wondering what kind of foods you might eat.
(I tried searching the forum for this topic but it wouldn't work )
Thanks!
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04-11-2009, 14:43   #11
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Hi Cathy, a relative has been advised by a doc to eat Low GI food not as a diet but to help controlling sugar levels as far as I gather. I'm just wondering what kind of foods you might eat.
(I tried searching the forum for this topic but it wouldn't work )
Thanks!
google is your friend here! GI only applies to carbohydrates, so protein and fat can be excluded (from GI calcs) so you can eat these ad lib (within calorie and personal taste limits obviously!)
low GI carbs would be whole grains, oats and brown rice .. most fruit and veg are ok but avoid bananas, parsnips, potatoes etc ... have a look online its all there ....
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04-11-2009, 14:43   #12
CathyMoran
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Hi Cathy, a relative has been advised by a doc to eat Low GI food not as a diet but to help controlling sugar levels as far as I gather. I'm just wondering what kind of foods you might eat.
(I tried searching the forum for this topic but it wouldn't work )
Thanks!
Brown rice and pasta for a start (but if you eat a lot the the GL effect comes into play). My diet is a but unusual as I have other medical issues as well. I found these books to be the best http://www.amazon.co.uk/GL-Glycaemic.../dp/0007222149 and http://www.amazon.co.uk/GI-Guide-Suc.../dp/0007211392

I also only use it to control my blood sugars and not to loose weight (am pregnant now but was always skinny) but it is harder to eat a lot on the diet as you are full for longer.

Hope that this helps - these books are very cheap, small and easy to read and carry round with you, especially at first when you are not used to the system.

I have also found that the fat content of a meal affects the way the sugars are absorbed but that is anothet minefield that your relative probably does not need at the begining!

Last edited by CathyMoran; 04-11-2009 at 14:46.
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19-11-2009, 10:59   #13
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Food GLorious food

Hi There

Have just bought a recipe book by Patrick Holford called: Food GLorious food - loads of yummy low GL recipes - highly reccomended!
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19-11-2009, 12:49   #14
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Hi There

Have just bought a recipe book by Patrick Holford called: Food GLorious food - loads of yummy low GL recipes - highly reccomended!
I am currently waiting on his book called LOW-GL DIET MADE EASY , a friend also recommended his book The optimum Nutrition Cookbook. I'm not the best cook without a recipe in front of me so they will be handy!! Looking forward to trying some recipes!
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19-11-2009, 12:59   #15
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I am currently waiting on his book called LOW-GL DIET MADE EASY , a friend also recommended his book The optimum Nutrition Cookbook.

I have the Low GL made easy - it's great - very staright forward I know what you mean re needing recipes, I tend to get into "food ruts" and need new recipes to jazz things up every now and again!
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