About the Glyceamic Index

The prevalence of lifestyle diseases, i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol levels and obesity are on the increase. Our whole lifestyle needs to change to treat or even prevent these diseases and the complications there of. 

If you feel that a certain diet or nutritional plan is too good to be true, it probably is just that. If you cannot follow the prescribed way of eating for the rest of your life, it is will be a quick, but temporary fix. Once you stop the weight will just pile back on. Your body needs different things to survive and food / nutrition is the most important. Balancing your life in all aspects will give you the best results.

The word diet is associated with a negative feeling and starvation. Starvation leads to yo-yo dieting / "career" dieting. Your weight goes up and down every year but it is impossible to keep you weight stable for more that two years. There are no good or bad foods or wrong or right foods. Everything in moderation will give you a good change in eating habits, you also need a variety of food to supply your body with the balance of nutrition you need.

The Food Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) has been compiled according to the consumption of locally available foods and is are aimed at the food problem in South African at large:


  • Eat a variety of foods 
  • Be active 
  • Make starchy foods the basis of the majority of meals 
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables 
  • Eat dry beans, peas, lentils and soya often 
  • Meat, fish, chicken, milk and eggs can be eaten every day 
  • Eat fat sparingly 
  • Use salt sparingly 
  • Drink lots of clean, purified water 
  • If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly.


The above gives all of us a guideline where to start to improve our eating habits. A variety of food gives you the different kinds of fiber, vitamins and minerals you need to live a healthy life. Exercise and regular meals, especially low glycaemic index (GI)foods and low fat foods are all important to loose and control weight, control blood glucose levels, increase energy levels and reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Regular exercise helps you to eat a bigger variety of foods. It will also help to increase your metabolism and so burn more energy, which helps you to loose weight without you starving yourself. Eating regular meals provides the body with regular energy supplies and prevents starvation. The metabolism is higher than if you were only eating irregular meals. The more regularly you eat, the more the body will burn. The body's metabolism is like a fire, if you do not put logs on the fire the fire will burn out and it is difficult to start the fire again from scratch. The best is to put small logs often on the fire to prevent burn out, so eat small regular meals and keep you metabolism going consistently.

The glycaemic index (GI) of food is a ranking of carbohydrate food based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. Carbohydrate foods include fruit, vegetables and starch. Giving preference to low GI (long to digest) foods when trying to loose weight is a very good idea. Moderate blood sugar (glucose) levels after meals over longer period of time will prevent hunger short after a meal. Low GI foods include legumes, lentils soya etc.

The glycaemic index of pure glucose is 100 and every other food is ranked on a scale from 0 - 100 according to its actual effect on the blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest GI (> 70). The blood sugar response is fast and high. In other words the glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream increases rapidly. This is also associated with higher insulin levels. Carbohydrates that are broken down slowly, releasing sugar gradually into the blood stream, have a low GI value (0 - 55). Low GI foods are associated with lower insulin levels, which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.

To reduce the amount of fat you consume will also help to loose weight and reduce the risks of developing life style diseases, i.e. coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Fat contains twice the amount of energy per gram than carbohydrates and protein. Foods high in fat include oil, margarine, butter, avocado, nuts, mayonnaise, salad dressings and olives.

The GI foundation

Link to the GI Foundation website


The practice:

21 Highland avenue
Bryanston, Johannesburg


Office  073 179 4907


NutritionWeek 2016 link