The low glycemic index treatment (LGIT) is a new dietary therapy currently being studied to treat epilepsy. LGIT attempts to reproduce the positive effects of the ketogenic diet. The treatment allows a more generous intake of carbohydrates than the ketogenic diet, but is restricted to foods that have a low glycemic index, meaning foods that have a relatively low impact on blood-glucose levels.
These foods include meats, cheeses, and most vegetables because these foods have a relatively low glycemic index. Foods do not have to be weighed, but instead careful attention must be paid to portion size and balancing the intake of carbohydrates throughout the day with adequate amounts of fats and proteins.
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate increases the blood sugar level. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index cause a slower and more gradual increase in blood sugar; those with a high glycemic index a cause more rapid and shorter increase in blood sugar. The low glycemic diet encourages carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (<55). These carbohydrates also have health benefits by reducing cholesterol and appetite, and lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The South Beach diet incorporates low glycemic carbohydrates into the diet. However, in contrast to the Atkins diet which allows all types of fats, the South Beach diet encourages the healthier, unsaturated fats.