We have a natural tendency to fall for sugar. The human body needs carbohydrates for energy production and the major source of carbs is a part of great delicacies that we cannot deny. Your body can use the carbs that you are taking in only if there is a balanced insulin level. If we are diabetic, the body cannot produce or use insulin. Then we may have to suffer the complication of high blood sugar levels such as kidney damage, eye problems, or nerve damage. Managing blood sugar levels is very important in diabetes.
What is Glycemic Index? – All You Need To Know!
The Glycemic index or GI is a value related to food items that find out how much blood sugar can be increased by the intake of a particular food.
GI values can be used when choosing your portion as it directly influences your blood sugar regulation. The Glycemic index is helpful to know how fast the given food item can raise your blood sugar level.
Different food items including different carbs are different in the way they get digested. GI is actually a classification of ranking of carbs-based foods.
It determines how fats in a particular food can cause a rise in the blood sugar level. Glycemic index or GI s a term widely used in blood sugar control and it is necessary to know more if you or your beloveds are diabetic.
🥗 What do you mean by low GI and high GI?
GI or Glycemic index classifies food items as low GI food or high GI foods. It is based on the rate of breaking down of a particular food into glucose. The American Diabetes Association published GI values for different categories as shown below.
- Low GI foods – 55 or below
- Moderate GI foods – 56 to 69
- High GI foods – 70 and above
High GI foods break down easily or quickly and it causes an immediate rise in the blood sugar level. White rice, white and wheat bread, cakes, cookies, sweetened dairy products, fruits like watermelon and pineapple, potatoes, chips, fries, crackers, and breakfast cereals are considered High GI food items.
Whereas low GI foods break down slowly and will not cause an immediate or quick contribution to the blood sugar level. Best examples are green vegetables, most fruits, carrots, nuts, legumes, unsweetened dairy products, kidney beans, lentils, and all.
There is one more category between low GI and high GI called moderate or medium GI. Examples include Sweet corn, bananas, raw pineapple, raisins, oat breakfast, multigrain, etc.
🥗 Low GI foods and diabetes
Low GI foods cannot cause a rapid increase in the blood sugar level as it breaks down slowly. So these items are the better choices to keep a balanced blood sugar level. Low GI foods can control your cravings and you will not feel hunger for a longer duration as the breaking procedure is slow compared to high GI foods.
🥗 GI diets in Diabetes control
Low GI foods benefit the person with diabetes in a number of ways. They have a higher nutritional value. Low GI foods can keep you active for a long period as it releases energy slowly. It reduces the immediate demand for insulin. The glycemic index chart and varieties of options make the diet convincing and we feel satisfied.
If not followed wisely, the GI diet can also have disadvantages. The person may forget to regulate the overall carbohydrate intake as we focus only on the GI. The GI diet will be successful only when you incorporate it with the carbohydrate content of the portion that you are choosing.
It is important to consider the GI of each fruit or vegetable that you are choosing. The best examples of low GI fruits are apples, pears, plums, avocado, olives, dried apricots, unripe bananas, peaches, strawberries, cherries, oranges, and coconut.
Among vegetables, you can choose green peas, onions, lettuce, cabbages, leafy greens such as spinach, collards, kale, beet, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, peppers including bell peppers and jalapeno, zucchini crookneck squash, snow peas, and mushrooms.
Whole or minimally processed grains such as barley, whole wheat, oat bran, rice bran cereals, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain pumpernickel bread, sourdough bread, and wheat tortilla can be best the best options while you undergo a GI diet. You can also opt for dairy products such as plain yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, soy milk, and yogurt.
Diabetes control is essential for healthy well-being. You cannot compromise with diabetes for any reason as it can cause many harmful effects on your body. GI is the value that determines the rate of breaks down of different food into glucose.
High GI foods should be avoided and low GI foods can be chosen by a person with diabetes. A GI diet is beneficial for a person who seeks weight loss too. It is important to know the carbs content of your portion too to avoid a negative effect.