Diabetes: Which foods are considered as low glycemic index foods and why they should be added in diet? Read on to find out.
Diabetes, especially Type 2 Diabetes is one of the common health problems in India and across the world. If not taken care of it early on, then the same could lead to other health complications such as heart disease, stroke and damage to the nerves, brain, eyes and kidneys among others. With the help of certain lifestyle changes, one can bring down raised blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. Today we are talking about certain food items that can help diabetics. As per several studies, when diabetics followed low-glycemic (low-GI) diet (based on the concept of the glycemic index) they saw weight loss, reduced blood sugar as well as blood pressure levels and risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes also got lowered. Low GI diet can also improve cholesterol levels, reduces the chances of cancer and heart diseases among others.
For the unversed, glycemic index (GI) is a scale from 1–100 and the ranks are given according to food’s effect on your blood sugar levels. It was created in the early 1980s by Dr. David Jenkins, a Canadian professor. Every food has a certain GI score. Lower GI score based foods are recommended for diabetics as they take a longer time to raise a person’s blood sugar levels than medium and high GI foods. Basically they are slowly digested and absorbed and the rise in blood sugar is smaller. On the other hand, high GI foods can lead to a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels.
Low GI foods will have a score under 55, medium GI foods will have a score of around 56-69 while high GI foods will have a score of 70 and beyond. However, one should note that there are certain factors such as the level of processing, cooking, ripeness and type of starch that can affect the index.
One can also reduce GI of meals smartly. Dr. Deepti Bagree, Head of Department- Healthcare, RESET- Holistic Living Concepts told, ” Mixing different GI foods together helps overall reduce the GI of a meal. Most of the foods contain carbohydrates and makeup to a large portion of our meals hence idea of choosing the right quality carbohydrate along with its portion is important. Consuming pulses reduces the GI of rice and making safe for diabetics. Also, adding fats to high GI food is another way to slow down the release of sugar in the blood.”
Today we are talking about low glycemic index foods which are considered best for diabetics:
Whole grain, multigrain, rye and sourdough based bread.
Rolled or steel-cut oats
Fruits such as apples, strawberries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears and kiwi
Not starchy vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, tomatoes and zucchini
Other foods that can be added in low-GI diet are:
fish and sea food
herbs and spices
Aside from low GI foods, you can have medium and high GI foods however, moderation is the key here. Make sure at the end of the day you are eating whole, natural and unprocessed foods. Avoid processed and junk foods even if their GI is less.
NOTE: Consult your physician before making any changes in your diet.
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