What is a ‘Low Glycemic’ diet? … and Why You Should Care if You are ADD-ADHD

In this article we are going to explore how the GI (glycemic index) effects people with ADD-ADHD.
There are over 50 conditions that mimic ADD-ADHD, but non-stable blood sugar levels is one of the most notorious culprits.
Most kids experiencing ADD symptoms like fidgeting, anxiousness, and irritability can be linked to a “bad” glycemic diet.
This article will introduce you to the “GI” and how you can do simple things to eliminate your ADD-ADHD symptoms.
note: No drug should be taken for ADD-ADHD until this approach has been tested.

What is a ‘Low Glycemic’ diet? (for ADD ADHD)

The low glycemic diet was created on the basis of the glycemic index, which is a method of ranking carbohydrates. The glycemic index was first introduced by Dr. David J. Jenkins in 1981. It was primarily formed to assist diabetics control their blood sugar. Glycemic index essentially explains how certain foods, specifically carbohydrates, generate a rise in blood sugar in the body.
The foods that are given a low GI or Glycemic Index rank increase blood sugar gradually, unlike high GI foods that lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar. A sudden increase in blood sugar leads to an increase in the insulin flow in the body.
A low glycemic diet is usually prescribed for diabetics, people with weight issues and high cholesterol. The low glycemic diet is the basis for several popular diet plans such as The Zone, Sugar Busters, Glucose Revolution and SouthBeach. The GI value of a food is measured by calculating the increase in blood sugar after eating a 50 gram portion of carbohydrate.
Most carbohydrates are digested and converted into glucose in the human body. This production of glucose increases the blood sugar in the body. There are several factors that lead to the different levels of blood sugar stimulated in the body after eating carbohydrates and this includes the method of cooking and the amount the carbohydrate is already processed before it is consumed. Therefore white bread would lead to a sudden increase in blood sugar, whilst consuming brown bread would cause a more gradual increase.

Note: I highly recommend the “Complete Idiots Guide to “Glycemic Index Weight Loss” NOT for weigh loss but for the info about “GI” and GI foods

Why is the Low Glycemic Diet Effective?

The low glycemic diet is found to be effective for people who want to control their blood sugar because the carbohydrates take longer to be digested and produce blood sugar. And for people, who wish to lose weight, low GI foods make you feel full for a longer period of time and hence you don’t have the urge to snack or overeat. On the other hand, high GI foods lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar, causing sudden hormonal changes. This also means that these foods are quickly digested, making you feel hungry soon.
A low glycemic diet doesn’t advocate consumption of only GI foods but in fact recommends that you mix high and low glycemic foods in your diet to create a balance. This also ensures that you receive balanced nutrition.
A low glycemic diet does not restrict you from eating more than a certain portion, but in fact you can eat as much as you wish to, as these foods are healthy and nutritious. Low glycemic foods that you can splurge on include whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes and lean protein. It is recommended that highly processed foods and white flour be avoided on a low glycemic diet.
A low glycemic diet focuses more on nutrition and balanced diet than on hard and fast rules regarding what you can eat on the diet. For instance while corn and fruit juices have a high GI value they are nutritious and can be made part of the low glycemic diet too.
Is a Low Glycemic Diet Useful for ADD-ADHD People?
Research indicates that diet treatment for ADD-ADHD has the same affect as drug treatment. In fact it is has been seen that increasing the nutritional intake of children leads to increase in self-control and attention, as much as that improved by Ritalin treatment.
It is found that most people with ADD-ADHD have glucose metabolism problems. Research suggests that in people with ADD-ADHD the regulatory hormones, that keep glucose level in check, are found to be inadequate. And hence a surge in blood sugar is not controlled effectively. This in turn leads to sudden fall in blood sugar, which is associated with decreased brain activity and inability to focus. In such instances children with ADD-ADHD were found to benefit from diets that were low in refined carbohydrates.

A low glycemic diet can help ADD-ADHD people because:

•    It helps control blood sugar levels.
•    Reduces sudden increase and decrease in blood sugar.
•    Lowers HbA1c.
Thus the low glycemic diet would help regulate the flow of blood sugar in the body of a person and this is an effective way of controlling the symptoms of ADD, instead of resorting to drug intervention.
It is recommended that ADD-ADHD people and children incorporate the low glycemic diet to their diet and include foods like oatmeal, puffed wheat, cream of wheat, bran flakes and corn flakes in their breakfast. Meals that should be a part of one’s daily diet should include vegetables with low GI include broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin, beets, carrots and peas. Whole grain breads are also recommended on a low glycemic diet. A low glycemic diet can empower people with ADD-ADD to overcome its symptoms.