Recently, many diets depend their plans on foods with low glycemic index. However, foods with a low glycemic index may include fruits, vegetables, and foods high in protein like meat, chicken, milk, and legumes. But first, What is low glycemic index?
What glycemic index is considered low?
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly food can raise blood sugar levels, and this scale ranges from 0 to 100.
So foods low in the glycemic index tend to slowly and steadily raise the level of glucose in the blood are rich in fiber and protein like meat and legumes, besides fats.
On the other hand, foods high in the glycemic index increase blood glucose rapidly, and they contain large amounts of refined carbohydrates and sugars.
In fact, long-distance runners and athletes prefer foods with a high glycemic index. While diabetics need or prediabetics focus on low glycemic index foods.
In general, the glycemic index number is equal to the amount that the food raises the levels of glucose in the blood, compared to how pure glucose raises blood sugar, which has a glycemic index of 100.
Depending on how we classify foods on a glycemic index scale:
- Low-glycemic index foods: less than 55.
- Foods with a moderate glycemic index: 55 to 70.
- Foods high in the glycemic index: over 70.
Factors that affect the glycemic index
There are some factors that affect the glycemic index of foods, including the following:
Ripeness level and storage time:
The higher the ripeness, the higher the glycemic index of fruits and vegetables, and the higher the sugar content.
The food is raw or processed:
Fruit juice has a higher glycemic index than fresh fruit, mashed potatoes have a higher glycemic index than whole and baked potatoes.
Ground whole-wheat bread has a lower glycemic index than regular whole wheat bread.
For example, long-grain white boiled rice has a lower glycemic index than brown rice. But short-grain white rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice.
Preparation and cooking techniques can change the glycemic index. In general the longer the time we cook the food, the faster we digest it, and the body absorbs its sugar content, which raises its glycemic index.
The benefit of following a low glycemic index diet
The goal of a diet with a low glycemic index is to eat foods that contain carbohydrates that are less likely to raise blood sugar levels significantly, and this diet can be a good way to lose weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes and other diseases.
Check out Diabetic Diet For Type 2 Diabetes Tips
Heart and blood vessels, and many studies, have indicated that a low-glycemic index diet can help achieve these goals.
However a person may achieve these health benefits by following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising Sufficiently.
People follow a diet with a low glycemic index for several reasons, including:
- Maintaining regular blood sugar levels was part of a diabetes treatment plan.
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
- The need for a plan and a healthy eating plan.
Low glycemic index food list
Fortunately, low glycemic index food list includes dozens of food items. That is amazing as if you followed low glycemic diet you will be free to eat whatever you want.
Fruits with low glycemic index
- Blueberries & blackberries.
Vegetables with low glycemic index
- Bell pepper.
- Sweet potato.
- Most of the non-starchy vegetables.
Proteins with low glycemic index:
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts.
- Seeds like chia, quinoa & buckwheat.
- Peanut butter.
High glycemic index foods:
Definitely, sugar takes the first rank on high glycemic index foods. However, if you are following low GI diet you may substitute it with non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia.
Other foods on the list include bread, rice, pasta, dates, soft drinks, potatoes, and all baked foods.
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Low glycemic index meals;
Here are some low glycemic index meal ideas to help you form a complete plan:
- 1 cup of yogurt + 1 apple.
- 2 boiled eggs + 2tbsp feta cheese + 1 cucumber medium.
- Grilled chicken breast + 1/4 cup steamed peas + sliced carrot.
- 1tbsp peanut butter + 1 sliced medium apple.
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