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The Montignac Method is some sort of "diet" and "food recommendation" that has given me great results in the past, but usually the food alternatives offered in the book, tend to be overly complicated French dishes.

Although this is not a rule, most of the suggestions are not simple things and require a decent amount of time in the kitchen or great preparation ahead. Neither of these is actually easy to achieve unless you have a lot of free time.

How can I follow the Glycemic Indexes Theory without needing to do overly complicated cooking like the Montiganc Method requires?

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locked by Matt Chan Sep 29 '12 at 19:45

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closed as off topic by Matt Chan Sep 21 '12 at 21:32

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I think this will be closed as "not a real question", because it will result in bad answers -- specifically either "Yes" or "Yes, X". It will just be a list of alternatives, which isn't really what StackExchange is designed for. I suggest asking a "How" question, for example "How can I follow the Glycemix Indexes Theory without needing to do overly complicated cooking like the Montiganc Method requires?" –  Matthew Read Mar 30 '11 at 14:37
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I agree with @Matthew and suggest you change the angle of your post. –  Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '11 at 14:41
    
Much better :-) –  Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '11 at 16:49
    
Off topic per new FAQ –  Baarn Sep 21 '12 at 15:28
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Glycemic index refers to the rate at which foods increase blood sugar levels. Foods with a high glycemic index increase blood sugar levels quickly, and those with a low glycemic index increase blood sugar levels slowly (making it easier for your body to regulate blood sugar level). One way to check the glycemic index of your food sources is to use databases like this, and try to avoid foods in the high range.

If you don't want to look up all your foods, here are some rules of thumb:

  • Foods low in carbohydrates (like meat) tend to have a lower glycemic index (since blood sugar comes from carbs, this makes sense). That said, it's hard to get adequate vitamins and minerals without consuming some carbs, and high carb doesn't necessarily mean high glycemic index.
  • Carbs in foods can come from sugar, starch, and fiber (on the nutrition label, only sugar and fiber are listed, but [Total carbs] - [sugar] - [fiber] = [starch]). Sugar has the highest glycemic index since it doesn't take much to break it down; the body can absorb it almost immediately, spiking blood sugar. Starch takes longer to break down, so it enters the bloodstream more slowly. Fiber goes mostly undigested, so it doesn't contribute much to blood sugar, and has a very low glycemic index. It also makes food harder to digest, prolonging the digestion process. So, in general, high-fiber, slow-sugar foods have a lower glycemic index. This is one reason whole grain bread is so much healthier than white bread.
  • If you have a sugar craving, fructose ("fruit sugar") has a much lower glycemic index than glucose. So to satisfy your sweet tooth eat fruit or veggies (these foods are also high in fiber). Be careful though, consuming large amount of fructose (such as soda sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup) will still cause weight gain.
  • Eating carbs along with fat and protein lowers the glycemic index of a food. It's kinda counterintuitive, but chocolate has a lower glycemic index than, say, jelly beans (pretty much pure sugar), because it contains protein and fat. Protein and fat also prolong digestion, just like fiber. Don't overdo it on the fat though. Fat yields over twice as many Calories/gram as carbs or protein, so eating too much fat can rack up Calories quickly. Certain types of fats can increase your health risks, so I would recommend trying to get unsaturated fat rather than trans or saturated fat (however, there's been some debate around here about that lately).
  • There are a few foods that slow the emptying of your stomach into your small intestine. Since most food is absorbed into your body in the small intestine, this slows down the entry of carbs into the bloodstream, lowering glycemic index. Not only that, having food in your stomach for longer also increases feelings of fullness. Protein, fat, and fiber all have this effect (See my answer here for mechanisms). There is also evidence that other substances, such as vinegar and cinnamon do the same (Addressed in another question here). Incorporating these into your cooking could help lower glycemic index.

As you can see, the way you combine foods has a huge effect on glycemic index, so instead of just looking for low glycemic index foods, you want to try to create low glycemic index meals.

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The more fiber a food has, the lower glycemic it is. The more simple sugar a food has, the higher glycemic it is.

When you build a meal with one of the below carbohydrates, you can bring down the average glycemic impact of the meal by adding any of the following:

  • protein
  • fat
  • fiber in the form of low calorie fibrous vegetables

Here's a simple grouping of foods according to the glycemic index:

  • Very low glycemic complex carbs (best)

    • oatmeal
    • sweet potatoes
    • brown rice
    • grapefruit
    • berries
  • Low glycemic complex carbs (good)

    • beans
    • corn
    • peas
    • lentils
  • Medium low glycemic carbs (okay)

    • pastas
    • breads
    • white potatoes
  • Kinda low glycemic carbs (okay, these fruits are both high sugar and high fiber)

    • apples
    • oranges
    • peaches
    • pears
  • Not so low glycemic (not good)

    • refined sugar
    • candy
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