The G.I. Diet: Pros and Cons

The official web-site of the G.I. Diet ( agrees that there are many diets capable to ensure weight loss, but at the same time it says that the majority of those diets fail because people cannot follow the regimen for a long period of time to maintain the optimal body mass. The G.I. Diet is said to be different from all the other dieting programs, because it has three unique features:

-         it does not let people go hungry or feel deprived;
-         it is very easy to follow;
-         it is not harmful for people’s health.

Of course, the uniqueness of those features is a very debatable issue, since practically all the popular diets nowadays take such features as simplicity, hunger-free regimen and general health improvements into their own arsenal of advantages. That is why, it is important to look behind the curtains of any diet and find out what really stands behind its alluring and promising features. Now it is turn of the G.I. Diet to reveal the backstage.

The G.I. diet does not let people go hungry and feel deprived.

This statement seems to be true for the G.I. diet, because it is really not a program crazy about limiting the consumption of certain type of food, weather it is carbohydrates, fats or proteins. Of course, the G.I. Diet ranks all the foods into good, not very good and bad ones, but the ranking is based on the glycemix index of the individual products.

Consequently, there are always alternatives to choose among if some of your favorite products fall into a “bad” group. For example, instead of pineapples and bananas, which have high glycemic index and thus their consumption should be limited, you may take apricots, oranges or pears, which have significantly lower glycemic index, thus being more preferable for the followers of the G.I. Diet.    

The G.I. Diet is very easy to follow.

Well, again the G.I. Diet receives thumbs up, because its rules are understandable and clear, and its regimen is easy to follow. Besides, the diet is not overloaded with calculating calories, carbs, food blocks, etc. Rick Gallop, the author of the diet, used the traffic light principle in order to illustrate better what foods are allowed in the diet and what products should be avoided. All the products are classified into three groups; each marked either with red, yellow or green color. It is not difficult to understand that green colored group contains foods, welcomed by the G.I. Diet and the red group includes the products to avoid.

The G.I. Diet is not harmful for the health.

Definitely, eating low glycemic products brings many benefits to a dieter. By the way, the majority of registered dietitians favor the glycemic index approach to eating, because it helps to keep sugar and insulin levels stable and predictable, and at the same time it does not restrict the consumption any of the essentially important food groups, such as carbs, fats or proteins.

Furthermore, the G.I. Diet is said to lower the risks of developing heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and prostate cancer.

Are there any flies in this pot of honey?

Probably, the most debatable issue about the glycemic index diet emerged with the development of the glycemic load theory. Unlike glycemic index, where only nature of the particular product is taken into consideration, the glycemic load takes into account the nature and the amount of carbohydrates in the particular product. That is why the glycemic load is the more enhanced way to understand how a particular product influences blood sugar level and how badly it may contribute to weight gain or other health disorders.

When choosing food options based on the glycemic index only, one may see that some chocolate bars have lower glycemic index than some vegetables. But vegetables are definitely healthier choice than chocolates. Consequently, the ideal diet should be based not only on the glycemic index of the products, but the glycemic load should be also kept in mind.

Another weak point of the glycemic index and all the diets, based on it, is that this index is designed only for individual products. Since we usually eat combined food, and not individual products, it is not always easy to define whether a meal is low glycemic or high glycemic. For example, jam has a very high glycemic index, but eating jam with a slice of wholemeal bread will reduce the speed of digestion, thus resulting in the lower glycemic index of the meal.

However, this weak point can be fixed with the help of the revised glycemic index tables available nowadays, which include data not only for individual products, but even for combined meals and processed food options.


Perhaps, it is a surprising finding, but the backstage of the G.I. Diet appeared to be quite neat and not filled with the questionable statements, anecdotal theories and unreal promises. Obviously, this is the reason why the G.I. Diet has many supporters among the doctors, dietitians, and nutritional experts. Besides, even web community is much more loyal to the G.I. Diet in comparison to the other popular weight-loss programs.


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