Low GL Diet Info

Here is a great article about the low GL Diet written by Patrick Holford.  I have two of his Low GL diet books (the Low-GL Diet Bible, and the Low-GL Diet Cookbook), and they're great.  He really explains the diet and how it works wonderfully.  Mind you I don't do any counting of how many GI or GLs a food has anymore.  So I'm not doing it super strict, because if you follow it very strictly you can lose about 2 lbs a week.  Here is the link the original article  http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/

Food Features

The Low Glycemic Load Diet

A Secret to Successful Weight Loss

The secret to successful weight loss isn’t starving yourself, nor is it limiting your food choices or following a rigid pattern of eating. It is simply to keep your blood sugar balanced and your food choices healthy. This will not only help you lose weight, but will also give you more energy and plenty of welcome side effects, such as better skin, improved digestion, and enhanced mood. You can even reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Stable blood sugar is crucial for successful weight loss and feeling good, because when your blood sugar is too high, you gain weight, and when it’s too low, you feel lethargic.
After 20 years of research into healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss, I’ve discovered that the best way to achieve stable blood sugar is to eat a low glycemic load diet.
Glycemic Load – or GL for short – is a unit of measurement, much like grams, litres, centimetres, and calories. GLs are used to measure the amount of sugar and starch in food, and their impact on the body. They show how much carbohydrate there is in each food (and therefore how much glucose it will create and release into the bloodstream as blood sugar) and how fast the carbohydrate will break down into glucose (and therefore how quickly your blood sugar levels will rise).
This information is important because blood sugar levels are linked to hunger and the way we eat. When you haven’t eaten for a while, your blood sugar level will dip, and you will become hungry. When you eat a food containing carbohydrate, glucose is released into your bloodstream and your blood sugar level will rise again. The key to achieving your perfect weight is to keep your blood sugar levels stable. To do this, you need to eat healthy foods that provide you with glucose in the right quantities.
Low-GL foods release their glucose more slowly, so you maintain stable energy levels for longer. When you eat a low-GL diet: You will stop producing more glucose than you can use, so you won’t gain fat; You won’t suffer from food cravings; Your body will be reprogrammed to burn fat rapidly; You will be able to lose weight and sustain your weight loss permanently.


There is a wealth of evidence to support the positive benefits of a low-GL diet. In one study done in 1994, nutritionists tested two groups of 15 people. They put one group on a low-GL diet and the other group on a calorie-controlled diet. Both diets contained identical numbers of calories. During the first 12 weeks, both groups lost weight, but those on the low-GL diet lost an average of 1.9 kg (4 lb 3oz) more weight per person. During the second 12-week period, half the group members switched diets. Those on the low-GL diet lost an average of 2.9 kg (6 lb 6oz) more per person than those on the low-fat, low-calorie diet. Overall, those on the low-GL diet lost 40 percent more weight than those on a calorie-controlled diet.
You’ll find more scientific studies proving the effectiveness of my low GL approach for reversing diabetes and heart disease, as well as losing weight, at www.HolfordDiet.com.


The beauty of eating a low-GL diet is that you just don’t feel hungry. This is because you eat regularly and can have decent portions. A low-GL diet is also easy to follow. You just need to follow three golden rules:
1. Eat no more than 40 GLs a day
2, Eat protein with carbohydrate
3. Graze, don’t gorge
Your GL intake breaks down as 10 GLs each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus 5 GLs for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack – so you eat (or graze) regularly instead of gorging at one or two big meals. Here’s what a typical day’s food intake could look like:
Breakfast (GL score)
A bowl of porridge (30g) 2 GLs
1/4 cup milk (coconut, cow, or nut) 2 GLs
Half a grated apple 3 GLs
A small tub of yogurt 2 GL
AM Snack – A bowl of strawberries 4 GL
Lunch – A substantial tuna salad, plus 3 oatcakes 11 GL
PM Snack – A pear and a handful of peanuts 4 GL
Tomato soup, salmon, brown rice, and green beans 12 GL
Total GL score 40 GLs
To work out the GL score of different foods, refer to www.HolfordDiet.com, the Low GL Diet Bible, or The Holford Low-GL Diet Made Easy. You can also refer to the Holford Low GL Diet Cookbook. All books also provide lots of easy recipes and new food ideas, plus tips on exercise and supplements to enhance your program.
Meal balancing is also key. This means eating a combination of both carbohydrate and protein foods at every meal. It is an important concept at the heart of the low-GL diet. Protein foods (such as fish, eggs, meat, dairy, tofu, or pulses) have virtually no effect on blood sugar levels, and we only need small portions to feel full. This is the opposite of the effect of carbohydrate foods (such as sugars, cereals, grains, fruits, and vegetables).
However, protein foods are often high in fat, especially ‘bad’ fats rather than the omega-3 and omega-6 essential ‘good’ fats. Eaten on their own and in large quantities, protein foods are bad news for our health. But eating them with low-GL starchy carbohydrates and non-starchy vegetables results in high energy, low blood sugar, and optimum health, so you will feel less hungry for longer, lose more weight permanently, and supply your body with the essential fats that it needs for good health.
The easiest and most visual way to make protein-carb combining a part of your daily life is to keep your food in the following proportions:
• A quarter of each main meal should be protein.
• A quarter of each meal should be carbohydrate: starchy vegetables or other starchy foods.
• Half of each meal should be non-starchy vegetables.
A similar principle applies to snacks, which should comprise both protein (for example, 50 g of nuts or seeds) and low-GL carbohydrate (such as a pint of berries).
Recommended Protein foods include:
Organic tempeh, chicken (no skin), turkey (no skin), Quorn, salmon and trout, tuna (canned in brine), sardines (canned in brine), cod, clams, prawns, mackerel, oysters, yogurt (natural, low-fat), cottage cheese, hummus, skimmed milk, eggs (boiled), quinoa, baked beans, kidney beans, black-eyed beans, lentils.
Starchy vegetables include:
Organic Pumpkin/squash, cooked carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, cooked beet root, boiled potato, sweet potato, sweet corn, corn on the cob, baked potato, broad beans.
Starchy grains and pasta include:
Organic quinoa, cornmeal, pearl barley, bulgar, brown rice (ideally basmati), white rice, couscous, wholemeal pasta
Non-starchy vegetables include:
Alfalfa, asparagus, aubergine, bean sprouts, raw beet root, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, raw carrot, cauliflower, celery, courgette, cucumber, endive, fennel, garlic, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, radish, rocket, runner beans, spinach, spring onions, tomatoes, watercress.


“I retired from work in June 2009. I was very overweight and was taking medication for high blood pressure. I overslept a lot and had very little energy, often feeling depressed. I came across PatrickHolford.com and decided to buy The GL Bible and the Ten Secrets of Healthy People. I was very impressed with the information they contained, as it was well supported by reference to scientific and medical research. I started to follow the GL diet and was pleasantly surprised to see an increase in my weekly weight loss. The most surprising aspect of this diet was that I seldom felt hungry. My healthier lifestyle provided some unexpected benefits: my mood has improved greatly, and I wake early every morning, clear-headed and without the aid of an alarm clock. My blood pressure has returned to a normal level and I have been off the medications for the last four weeks. I have lost over 100 lbs in 7 months.
-Eamon Weadwick
“When I tried to put on my wedding dress, I was horrified that I couldn’t get it on! I couldn’t believe that 28 lbs had crept on so easily. I started the Holford Low-GL Diet and was amazed that I was able to shed the weight so easily without feeling hungry. I lost 19 lbs over six weeks, lost 8 inches off my waist, and dropped two dress sizes. Everyone was completely astonished when they saw me six weeks later.” -Julie Watson
Patrick Holford will conduct lectures and workshops on how to put low GL (glycemic load) principles into action, ‘natural painkillers’, and improving your mood, memory and motivation (The Feel Good Factor) at the Total Health Show in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 8-10. He will sign books and chat with people at the Patrick Holford booth, #904. For more information, please visit: www.patrickholford.com
Don’t miss Patrick Holford’s ‘FEEL GOOD FACTOR’, Canadian Mind and Mood Seminar Tour:
Vancouver – April 21
Calgary – April 25
Montreal – April 27
Ottawa – April 28
Toronto – May 1
For more information, please visit: www.patrickholford.com
* For more information on xylitol, check out the blog post by holistic nutritionist Julie Daniluk at www.juliedaniluk.com
View the full printable recipe
For the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
Chewy and satisfying, this muesli is lower in carbohydrates than the classic type, as it features more nuts and seeds than grains and no dried fruit (which is very high in sugar). It is also wheat- and sugar-free, unlike most of the bought varieties, but you can use a little xylitol (a natural sugar derived from plants)* to sweeten it if you like. (Serves 2).
(GLs per serving = 4)
Allergy suitability: wheat-, dairy-, yeast-free


  • 100 g (4 oz) whole oat flakes
  • 50 g (2 oz) ground almonds
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp xylitol (optional)
View the full printable recipe
To view the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
Chestnuts have the lowest fat content of all nuts and a pleasantly sweet flavour. The blended butterbeans thicken the soup and provide a creamy consistency without needing to add dairy products or flour. This is fast, easy, and deliciously filling. (Serves 2.)
(GLs per serving – 12)
Allergy suitability: Gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, yeast-free


  • 200 g (7 oz) cooked and peeled chestnuts (available vacuum-packed in boxes, cans, or jars)
  • 1 410g can of butterbeans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tsp reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in 600 ml (1 pint) water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
View the full printable recipe
To view the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
This is better made in advance to allow the flavours to develop and mingle – it is actually best the day after cooking, so if you are very organized it is ideal for an easy supper that simply needs heating through. This version uses more vegetables than standard recipes to optimize the nutrient content. Serves 4 (keep some in the fridge for easy meals or freeze leftovers).
(GLs per serving – 7)
Allergy suitability: gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, yeast-free
Maintenance phase (per person): serve with 45 g brown basmati rice (dry weight) and a green salad (total GLs = 15)


  • 450 g (1 lb) lean organic beef mince (Vegetarians substitute soy mince)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp crushed chili flakes (according to taste)
  • 250 g (9 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 400 g can chopped organic tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tsp reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 410 g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
View the full printable recipe
To view the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
This is a simply brilliant recipe – it takes just 30 minutes to make and bake, and is perfect for when you crave bread. Enjoy it warm and crumbly, straight from the oven. Makes 6 squares (serve 2 per person).
GLs per serving: 2 (for a 2 square serving)
Allergy suitability: gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, yeast-free


  • 75 g (3 oz) organic polenta flour or cornmeal
  • 75 g (3 oz) sesame seeds, finely ground
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 dessertspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 150 ml (1/4 pt) skim milk, coconut milk, or nut milk
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, for sprinkling on top
View the full printable recipe
To view the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
This is an impressive dinner party dish that tastes fantastic, yet takes minutes to prepare. It’s served with tenderstem broccoli – young broccoli stems packed with nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants. Serves 2.
GLs per serving 10
Allergy suitability: gluten-, wheat-, dairy-free


  • 2 portions of flageolet beans in white sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 handfuls tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 hot smoked trout fillets (approximately 75 g /3 oz each)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs flat leaf parsley
View the full printable recipe
To view the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
A wheat- and dairy-free white sauce that is still packed with flavour and wonderfully creamy. The pale green flageolet beans have a delicious, mild flavour that is much less earthy than other beans and pulses, and provides more protein and fibre. Serves 2.
Allergy suitability: gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, yeast-free


  • 210 ml (7 fl oz) skim milk, soy milk, or rice milk
  • 1 Tbsp corn flour
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp Marigold reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 410 g can flageolet beans, rinsed and drained
View the full printable recipe
To view the complete “The Low Glycemic Load Diet” feature, visit http://vitalitymagazine.com/food-features/the-low-glycemic-load-diet/
No, this isn’t too good to be true – a delicious wheat-free cheesecake that uses rough oat cakes, nuts, and seeds for a much lower GL biscuit base. This delicious pudding also contains plenty of fibre, plus minerals and essential fats from the nuts and seeds. Serves 8.
GLs per serving: 4
Allergy suitability: wheat-free


  • For the base:
  • 25 g (1 oz) coconut oil or butter
  • 15 g (just over 1/2 oz) xylitol
  • 50 g (2 oz) ground almonds
  • 25 g (1 oz) finely-chopped hazelnuts
  • 25g (1 oz) finely-chopped sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • 25 g (1 oz) Nairn’s rough, organic oat cakes, ground
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • For the filling:
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 5 Tbsp xylitol
  • 275 g (10 oz) low fat cream cheese
  • 125 g (just under 5 oz) natural yogurt
  • Finely grated zest of eight lemons (preferably unwaxed)
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp corn flour
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About the Author

Patrick HolfordPatrick Holford, based in London, England, is a leading pioneer in new approaches to health and nutrition, and is widely respected as one of the world’s leading spokesmen on nutrition and mental health issues. He is also the author of more than 30 health books. For more information go to: www.patrickholford.com.

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