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Glycemic Index Diet vs. Paleo Diet

Updated on August 23, 2017

I don't like the word Diet. It implies a severe restriction in the foods that we eat, and that is not good. Being restricted in what we can eat, makes us want that food so much more and we usually end up cheating on the diet and eating whatever foods we are not allowed to have.


I prefer to use the phrase Healthy Eating for Life which basically means a complete lifestyle change. This is a total change in how we eat (and live) and it has to be for the rest of our lives for us to become healthy and stay healthy.

Healthy Eating
Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating for Life

In the last few years I have come across two "diets" that seem to be quite healthy and could be used by western civilisation. One diet goes all the back to the days of our ancestors, the caveman, a million years ago. The other diet allows us to eat some of the processed foods we have created in our western civilisation, but only in moderation.

For the record, in case you are wondering, I personally have done the western diet (G I Diet) but I have not done the caveman diet (Paleo diet).

Refined Pure Sugar - GI Index = 100
Refined Pure Sugar - GI Index = 100

The Glycemic Index Diet

Part 1

The GI diet is all about the level of sugar in your blood - or blood sugar level.

The less sugar you eat, the better. All foods are converted from carbohydrates and sugars in our food to energy in our bodies. The more sugar we use up (in the form of exercise), the better and healthier for us. The less sugar we use up, (the less we exercise) the fatter we get because that sugar has to be deposited somewhere - and so it gets deposited in our cells.

Pure sugar is given an index rating of 100 - it is turned into energy in our bodies very very fast. But if that sugar is not used up quickly, it gets deposited in our cells and becomes fat. All other foods have been tested and have a GI index of below 100 - which indicates how fast that food is turned into sugar in our bodies. The higher the index number the faster the conversion. The lower the index number, the slower the conversion rate.

Every time we move our bodies, we use energy. As I type this page, I am using up energy. As I get up and walk around my apartment I am using up energy. If we go out and walk 5 miles or run a marathon, we are using up energy.

It is NOT that we are required to cut sugar completely from our diets - we do NOT need to do that. The human body does need sugar - but we only need very small portions of sugar (unless we are exercising). A lot of our modern and processed foods have extra and added sugar in them, and we are frequently not aware of this fact.

Sugar comes in many forms. We all know about white and brown sugar. But other forms of sugar include raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup (most often found in fizzy drinks) as well as maltrose, dextrose, sucrose and glucose.

Traffic lights - High, Medium, Low
Traffic lights - High, Medium, Low

The G I Diet

Part 2

The G I diet runs on food lists. It also runs on numbers. Numbers below 55 are low, numbers between 55 and 70 are medium, and numbers between 70 and 100 are high.

In the G I diet - Low is GOOD, Medium is OK and High is BAD.

Rick Gallup invented a new way of looking at the G I Diet by making a traffic light system. Green Lights are Low GI numbers and are therefore GOOD for us. Yellow Lights are Medium GI Numbers and are not good but not bad for us. Red Lights are High G I numbers and are BAD for us.

Under this traffic light system, we are permitted to eat as many green GI foods as we wish to eat. We should eat moderate portions of yellow GI foods. We should eat SMALL portions of Red GI foods.

Foods in each group are listed in charts. This is one example of a Basic GI Foods Chart

Search Amazon for the Glycemic Index Diet books

A caveman and his family
A caveman and his family

The Paleo Diet

Those foods that were available more than 10,000 years ago, (when the last of the cavemen settled down to become agricultural farmers). are what we should still be eating now.

Our bodies have not yet advanced enough to digest those processed foods that have been introduced into our diets,. This is the main reason WHY humans currently have so many health problems.

Foods that we should still be eating are the basics - meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, herbs and spices.

Foods we should NOT be eating include grains, eggs, dairy products, processed foods and sugar (in the form of candy).

The only liquid we need to be drinking is pure WATER.

If you have a lactose intolerance to milk - have you ever wondered why? It's a genetic leftover of our ancestral lives when cows were not domesticated and we never drank cows milk. Our bodies were not designed to drink cows milk.

Being gluten intolerant (or have celiac disease) comes from the same thing. Someone discovered that we could grind wheat to make flour and that flour could be cooked. But this was less than 10,000 years ago and our bodies have not yet evolved to allow us to eat flour products.

The Paleo Diet

This has a music soundtrack. Everything you need to know is written on the screen for you to read. So your sound can be turned right down.

Search Amazon for Paleo Diet books

Processed Foods - Depression linked to processed foods

Processed foods
Processed foods

These foods are not good for us. We should be eating far less, or better yet, nothing of these processed foods whatsoever.

The page this picture comes from says that there is a link between people who are depressed and the amount of processed foods they eat.

What about processed foods? - Just how healthy are they?

Processed foods are a big part of the modern western diet. Our bodies are not designed to fully digest them and this is partly why obesity occurs. (The other reason is the lack of exercise) Processed foods include the following -

cheese

pasteurized milk

cookies

candy,

breads, cakes and other flour products

processed meats

fruit juices with added sugar

fizzy drinks

ice cream and other dairy products

fried and battered foods

and so on

Lets hear it for the healthy lifestyles!!

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    • profile image

      CatJGB 4 years ago

      I did a whole30 a short while ago, strict paleo, and I felt great. I feel great anyway though, haha, as I eat a pretty good paleo diet generally.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      @Beaddoodler: I think initially we all tend to feel that way, but as you get better at sourcing vegetables and fruits say from farmers' markets, and stop buying processed foods, it works out to be not so expensive. At least that has been my experience - and hey, no doctor's bills!!! There's a saving.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      Having written several lenses about the dangers of high-sugar diets, and also about the modern-day slavery that is part and parcel of the sugar industry, I can publicly say I will NEVER buy sugar again.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I always feel better when I have my food as naturally as possible and with no sugars or simple carbs. Blessings! :)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Hurrah for healthy lifestyles. I know I felt better when I did it.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      I like all the great information in your lens. I try harder each day to eat healthy and exercise. I think I do a good job but not the best I could do. Love this lens!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      As an Herbalist, I applaud you for writing about this. Nutrition and the lack thereof are the main cause of disease. I try to get the word out too:)

    • TeacherSerenia profile image
      Author

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      @Beaddoodler: I never thought about that, but you're absolutely right. I forgot that the cost of natural foods (fruit, veges and meats) are usually more expensive than the processed foods.

    • Beaddoodler profile image

      Jennie Hennesay 6 years ago from Lubbock TX

      Great information on healthy eating! Sometimes I wish the "caveman" diet was easier to follow. Unfortunately it's getting more and more expensive when you can't grow your own food.