I love this question. The answer you get may depend on who you are asking. I honestly believe that if you are asking this question to a registered dietitian, they will tell you that there has been studies that have shown the benefits to eating low glycemic foods and its connection to weight loss. They will also tell you that this is only PART of the story and that eating foods with low glycemic index or GI is a little more complicated than just a food’s number.
The basic understanding of what it means when a food has a low glycemic number is that the lower the number, the slower your body metabolizes the food and the less spike in blood sugar you have. The higher the GI number then the faster your body will metabolize the food and the higher spike in blood sugar you will have. This means means more insulin pours into your body trying to deal with the sugar spike.
When foods are metabolized more slowly, then the less readily it is to turn into fat, and the more satisfied you feel for longer periods of time. You also will not have that “crash” feeling after you eat a high glycemic food such as white refined pastas.
If you are looking for low glycemic index foods to aid you with weight loss, I am going to give some great examples below. They can be used as healthy snacks or used within your main meal. However, while you should stay away from refined and processed “white”-looking foods such as rice, bread, pastas, and potatoes, know that often low GI foods are only going to be part of the bigger picture of healthy weight loss. You have to eat from all the food groups and include lean protein, dairy, and whole grains in a moderate way.
Understanding the GI can be important for weight loss because it does educate you. It may also be unavoidable if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Remember though, just because a certain food has a low Glycemic number does not mean it is healthy. Many candy bars with nuts will have a low number as will certain breads that are no healthier than white bread. Take this into account when composing your own list of foods for weight loss.
The first 10 are considered powerhouse foods as well as a low GI (according to Dr. Connie Guttersen who wrote The Sonoma Diet). They not only nutritionally dense, but have other nutritional benefits beyond aiding in losing weight:
11.Low-fat plain yogurt
This list of low glycemic index foods is far from complete. You can look up almost anything you want to see if it falls into the low GI number which is usually a number under 50; however, hopefully you have a better understanding of why eating low GI foods can be beneficial to weight loss, but is truly only part of the weight loss equation.