People with blood sugar problems have to take care of themselves a lot. They have to keep tabs on the food they eat.
They have to keep their blood sugar levels in check all the time. But what if there was an easy way to not check your blood sugar levels every now and then and still keep them maintained.
What Is The Glycemic Index? How To Use It?
This is where Glycemic Index comes into play.
Glycemic Index. What is it?
The Glycemic Index is a unit of measurement that helps in determining the effect of each specific food on your blood sugar levels. In other words, the more Glycemic Index of a food item, the more chances that your blood sugar levels will shoot up.
It should be noted that the Glycemic Index or GI is only used to help one be aware of the food they are eating and its adverse effect on their health. The GI rating is given on a scale of 0 to 100. According to this scale, the food has a low GI when it is below 55, medium when it has 56 69 GI, and high when the GI is 70 and above.
What is included in GI?
The Glycemic Index is calculated only of foods that have carbs. So, nuts, herbs, oils, spices, etc. are not the foods that are assigned a GI. The foods which have high amounts of carbs and sugar like Fruits, etc. are calculated under the Glycemic Index.
The Glycemic Index also pays attention to ripeness, sugar type, the way something was cooked, and how much processing a specific food has gone through.
With what you have read so far, you can also agree that a low Glycemic diet is something to consider. Let’s check out what benefits such a diet would entail.
What are the benefits of a low Glycemic Diet?
A low Glycemic Diet provides the following benefits to anyone prone to high blood sugar levels:
- This is the one diet that helps in maintaining blood sugar levels easily. Studies have shown that this is a diet that is effective for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Weight management also becomes quite easy with a low Glycemic diet. It can definitely, in the long term, help in weight loss.
- The cholesterol levels can also be kept tabs on with a low Glycemic diet. Hence, helps in keeping the heart disease at bay.
What foods are good for following a low glycemic diet?
If you are someone who wants to have a healthy low glycemic diet, then these are the food that your diet must comprise of:
Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, Legumes, Oils, Nuts, Seeds, etc.
All these foods are not only low in GI but also give the much-needed other nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy and keep the diseases at bay.
There are foods like bread, pasta, noodles, anything baked, snacks, etc. which have a high GI content and hence should be avoided.
Can GI be affected due to cooking or ripening?
Yes, cooking and ripening can most certainly affect the GI of your food. We can take the example of fried food. The GI increases when you fry and consume something as compared to its unfried counterpart.
Such a change also happens when a fruit or vegetable is not ripened. The fully ripened fruits have a high Glycemic Index as compared to the not-so-ripened fruit.
One great tip, while having foods like rice and pasta, is to cook them till they are al dante.
Knowing the placement of each food on the Glycemic Index scale can be a great help in following the diet easily. The Glycemic diet does include foods that one should eat along with the ones that should be consumed. But, rest assured, these are not permanent rules. With the help of the Glycemic Index, you can determine how much you should consume.
This can be a great asset when it comes to enjoying your favorite food. Just like with any diet, there is always room for trying out and enjoying your favorites. Just make sure that you also swap out the high GI foods with their low GI counterparts to keep yourself healthy and away from health issues.
You can easily check out the GI of several common foods on Google.
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Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.