The Holford GL Diet
The Glycemic Load is a refinement of the Glycemic Index.
A few years back, the GI Diet became a popular eating strategy. The glycemic index is concerned with carbohydrates based on their rating of glycemic response (their conversion to glucose within the human body). However, the GL Diet (glycemic load) takes it one step further. The GI Diet is inherently flawed, because while it considers the rate at which food releases sugar in your body, it doesn't take portion into consideration. The Glycemic Load Diet considers both the type and the amount of carbohydrate consumed. A good example of why this matter: while most candy has a relatively high Glycemic Index, eating a single small piece of candy will result in a relatively small glycemic response.
The only thing that you need to be concerned with if you are on a GL diet is eating foods that are low in glycemic load. This will help you lose weight and stay healthy without having to go to extreme measures. It's centered more around controlling your blood sugar than eliminating fat from your diet. And if your blood sugar is stabilized, so will your mood and energy levels. All of this leads you to what you ultimately want: weight loss.
- No calorie counting or carb restrictions
- A study found that people on the Low GL Diet burned more calories, even at rest, than people on the low-fat diet
- Promotes exercise
- Diabetic friendly
- Long-term benefits unknown
The following are considered favorable foods on the Low Glycemic Load Diet: almonds, artichokes, barley, beans, apples, prunes, soy beans, hummus, 100% whole grain bread.
Some of the GL foods you must avoid include: bagels, spaghetti, white rice, raisins, macaroni and cheese and dried dates.EXERCISE
In Patrick Holdford's book, The Holford Low GL Diet, there's a section called Five Simple Principles. In it, he espouses a very manageable 15 minutes of daily exercise. But in actuality, you can do 35 minutes three times a week, or any other combination that comes out to 105 minutes weekly. It just happens that 15 minutes add up to the less intuitive 105 minutes a week, so don't think you have to get it right down to the minute.CONCLUSION
Cosmopolitan magazine called the Low GL Diet "The diet to end all diets." Now that's a ringing endorsement. As with any diet, there is some research debating the long-term benefits of a GL Diet for weight loss. But the GL Diet is more about controlling sugar levels and avoiding diabetes than anything else. It just so happens that weight loss follows. It sounds confusing, but ultimately it comes back to common sense. Natural foods tend to be a positive low GL level, while man-made processed foods have a negative high GL level. When all else fails, your intuition for what's healthy is probably right.Common Misspellings
the glycemic load diet, glycemic load, gi diet, gl deit