Glycemic index

Glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of foods to know their effect on the blood sugar levels. These are important for diabetes patients and for those who want to lose body weight. Low GI foods are healthier while those foods with higher GI are bad in the long run. Know the low GI foods.

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Glycemic index and foods

Each and every food has a glycemic index or GI attached to it. This measures the effect of the food on the blood sugar levels. Therefore, those foods that have a high GI raise blood sugar more prominently compared to those with low GI.

Glycemic index
Rye bread has medium GI (Source: Occasionally eggs)

Diabetics should consume more of low GI foods for better blood sugar control. People desirous to lose body weight should also avoid high GI foods. This ranking of foods help people to know how much of carbs they have consumed in a day. Pure glucose has a GI value of 100. The other foods are grouped into 3 categories:

Low GI foods -55 and less
Medium GI foods – 56 to 69
High GI foods – 70 and above

Foods with medium GI

Rye bread and raisin bran cereal have medium GI values. Oatmeal, ice cream and raisins also come in this category. Also foods with medium range GI include macaroni and cheese, white rice, and sugar (sucrose which is one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose). Honey, brown rice and Snickers bars sit at the edge and have a GI of 55 each. Thus, they are borderline foods and can be put in the low GI food category.

Glycemic index
Apples have low GI (Source: Medical news today)

Glycemic index is different from glycemic load. Glycemic index is a number that indicates how fast a food is digested and absorbed into the blood stream. Higher the rank, higher the chances of elevated blood sugar. While the glycemic load indicates how much grams of carbs are present in one serving of the food.

Low GI foods

People who want to lose weight and are diabetics should know which foods to consume so that they can manage their condition well. Foods with low GI are suitable for them. The GI value should be 55 or less. These foods are potato chips, bananas, oranges, apples, carrots, spaghetti, whole wheat pizza, low fat yoghurt, grape fruit, legumes, peas, lentils, beans, chick peas, bean sprouts, and peanuts.

Glycemic index
Green foods have low GI (Source: Pinterest)

All the green leafy vegetables have low glycemic index. Sweet potatoes are also good and do not raise blood sugar remarkably. Quinoa and cauliflower vegetable can also not cause a great rise in blood sugar. Hence diabetics can consume them liberally. Barley, avocado, pears contain proteins and dietary fiber and thus despite having carbs, they do not cause an appreciable change in blood sugar levels of the eater.

Read here: Lung cancer: a diet with high glycemic index foods increases risk of this preventable cancer!

Foods with complex carbs, high protein, and high fiber are best in diabetics. They satiate and take long to digest and absorb. They keep a person feeling full for a longer time. Healthy fats containing foods such as peanuts, and oily fish also are nutritious with lower GI.