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Glycemic Index

Learn about the glycemic index and how it can play a role in healthy weight loss. The articles in this section will teach you the difference between the glycemic index and glycemic load.

Health Benefits of Gluten-Free Foods & Low-Glycemic Diet

Combining a gluten-free and low-glycemic diet plan encourages the consumption of more nutrient-dense foods, which can support overall health with or without celiac disease diagnosis.

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Following a gluten-free diet is the only known treatment for mitigating from celiac disease symptoms and lowering the risk of consequent health conditions.

The combination of a gluten-free and low-glycemic diet plan encourages the consumption of more nutrient-dense foods.

Besides, following a more wholesome, less processed eating pattern can support overall health with or without a diagnosis of a celiac disease.

What is Celiac Disease?

Also recognized as coeliac disease, celiac sprue, non-tropical sprue, and gluten sensitivity enteropathy, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by an abnormal response to ingested gluten.

When individuals with celiac disease consume gluten, it disturbs the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the "toxic" fragments stimulate an immune response. Essentially, the body believes and comprehends gluten is a harmful substance, thus attacking its own GI lining.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests celiac disease only happens to individuals with particular genes. Carrying these genes, having a family history, and/or being exposed to environmental factors may lead to celiac disease.

A number of health issues can also trigger celiac disease and its symptoms, including surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, and severe emotional stress.

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation (https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/symptoms-of-celiac-disease/), there are more than 200 known celiac disease symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body.

Classic symptoms of celiac disease include:

• Diarrhea
• Abdominal pain and bloating
• Nausea and vomiting
• Gas
• Steatorrhea (fat in the stool)
• Indigestion and heart burn

Signs of celiac disease also vary between children and adults. Children are more likely to experience digestive symptoms. Adults with celiac diseases are more likely to develop number of nutritional deficiencies and health conditions such as iron-deficient anemia, osteoporosis, missed menstrual periods, infertility, arthritis, depression and/or anxiety, itchy skin rashes, and canker sores.

If experiencing signs and symptoms of celiac disease, it is best to consult with a doctor to help determine a definitive diagnosis for proper management. Eliminating gluten is the only known treatment for celiac disease.

What to Avoid & Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

Again, the only known way to manage celiac disease is by following a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a special type of protein naturally sourced in these grains:

• Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, kamut, farro, and durum; and products like bulgur and semolina
• Barley
• Rye
• Triticale

Gluten also found in foods produced with the grains, including cereals, breads, and pastas. Aside from the recognizable sources of gluten, sauces, dressings, marinades, and other products may be contain hidden gluten. Cosmetics and medications are also unlikely culprits.

These foods are considered to be safe and naturally gluten-free:

• Beans, seeds and nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
• Soy and soy products
• Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
• Fruits and vegetables
• Most milk and dairy products

It is also always a good idea to make sure these naturally gluten-free foods. Ask servers about gluten-free options when eating out, too. If skeptical of a food, skip out on it.

Importantly, too, be cautious of products labeled as "gluten-free" and remember a gluten-free diet does not always constitute a healthy eating pattern. Just because a box of cookies is gluten-free, it can also be laden in added sugars, refined flours, and other highly processed ingredients.

Following a gluten-free, low-glycemic diet plan may be also beneficial to moderate the consumption of such products. Besides, following a more wholesome, less processed eating pattern can support overall health with or without a diagnosis of a celiac disease.

A Low-Glycemic Diet Plan

A low-glycemic diet plan encourages consumption of foods high in the glycemic index (GI) scale and incorporating more foods on the lower end, while also considering its glycemic load (GL).

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is essentially a carbohydrate meter, measuring how carb-containing foods affects blood sugars (or glucose). The scale is valuable for diabetics and those wanting to moderate carb content.

The glycemic index breaks down into three divided categories:

Low GI: Less than 55
Medium GI: 56 to 69
High GI: More than 70

Higher GI foods (think products made with refined sugars and flours), are shown to digest rapidly and spike blood glucose. On the other hand, the lower the glycemic index, the lower the risk of high blood sugars thanks to their relative slower digestive speed.

Moderate to High-Glycemic Foods

• Instant white rice
• Baked russet potatoes
• Sweet potatoes
• Bananas
• Grapes
• Cookies
• Cakes
• Ice creams
• Honey

Low-Glycemic Foods to Try

• Raw carrots
• Peanuts
• Raw apples
• Grapefruits
• Peas
• Skim milk
• Kidney beans
• Lentils
• Quinoa

Foods with a higher glycemic index tend to be devoid of high nutritional value, as they are often stripped down from the fiber, mineral, and vitamin content. However, that does not always serve all higher glycemic foods. For instance, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A while bananas are ample in potassium.

Generally, though, lower glycemic foods based on index and load tend to supply more nutrients while likewise keeping hunger at ease.

What is the Glycemic Load?

As the glycemic index is based on individual food items, such as an apple or a piece of toast, the glycemic load combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.

So since most people consume multiple different foods at once during their meal or snack, it is useful to refer to the glycemic load of an entire meal with combination foods.

A Gluten-Free, Low-Glycemic Diet Plan Made Easy

First and foremost, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before eliminating gluten entirely to lower the risk of developing a nutrient deficiency and consequent health condition.

While eating a gluten-free diet can certainly be achieved through careful planning and intent, ordering a gluten-free, low-glycemic diet from a meal delivery service can ease the mind and take out the guesswork of safe and healthy eating. All meals are tested to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten-free standard (20 ppm or less) and do not contain wheat, rye, barley, or their constitutes.

Meals are also approved by Registered Dietitians and crafted with fresh, all natural ingredients. Menus are also dietitian-prepared with the nutritional requirements of a gluten-free diet, while scientifically-proven to facilitate weight loss and sustain a healthy lifestyle thanks to their lower glycemic load.

"Overall, bistroMD serves meals with a lower glycemic load," says Sarah Asay, a Registered Dietitian at bistroMD. "This is due to the ratio of lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, making them perfect for minimizing impact to one's blood sugar while providing adequate and balanced nutrients."

From caramelized mushroom and onion frittata for breakfast to macadamia crusted barramundi seabass for dinner, you will never feel limited of gluten-free and low-glycemic options, robbed of flavor, or deprived of essential nutrients!

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on May 15, 2013. Updated on February 15, 2019.

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