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What is a Glycemic Index and what to consider in Glycemic foods for diabetes?

There are many things to consider in your diet generally too, but if you are a diabetic patient that consideration becomes all the more serious. A Glycemic Index is a very important aspect to consider for diabetes. People with diabetes need to consider the ingredient breakdown of all foods they consume, and GI is one process that helps you understand the most important one.

This article will be focused on breaking down how the GI works, what it means in different foods and Glycemic foods for diabetes. It is aimed at helping you understand how you can manage your diet around the index to ensure that you keep all your precautions and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We will answer some commonly asked questions that will explain everything you need to know about it.

1. What is the Glycemic Index?

For those unaware, if you ever come across GI or Glycemic Index on or regarding a food and find yourself in the unknown, learning how it works in your body can help you navigate it for your diet. The process of your body converting carbs from any food to glucose which is used for energy, is known as the Glycemic Index of that food. Only foods with carbohydrates have a GI scale, because only those have the sugar components that make glucose in your body.

However, different food items work differently with carbs. This is why it is important to learn why a low or high carb diet affects you when you are diabetic. GI is an easy way to remember what food is good enough for what time, as well as in what proportion. Foods that have a high GI quickly raise the blood sugar levels in your body because they are easy to digest with fewer things to slow down the process. Meanwhile, foods with low GI slowly but consistently raise the blood sugar, which is most often preferred and recommended to diabetes patients.

2. What are some low GI foods?

If you or someone you know is diabetic, it is much better to stock up on foods with low GI, as it helps your body maintain a good enough amount of glucose that you need for energy, but not too much so it does not prove harmful to you. Usually, any food with 55 or less GI is considered a low glycemic food. 56- 69 is a balanced medium, but below 55 GI is still preferred. Here are some Glycemic foods for diabetes with a low GI that are good for people with diabetes most of the time.

  • Pasta
  • Non-starchy vegetables and fruits
  • Nuts and beans
  • Yogurt
  • Barley
  • Quinoa
  • High-fiber bran food
  • Oranges, grapefruits, apples, blackberries etc
  • Milk
3. What are some high GI foods?

Something you need to consider for foods with a high GI is the fact that they fast forward your metabolism and are too quick to convert any carbs from the food to energy, in the form of blood sugar. It can be helpful and dangerous depending upon your use and how smart you are about the proportions of the food. Diabetes usually has the tendency to be very complicated to go around, as it is often fluctuating, between highs and lows in your body.

This is why if you are low on blood sugar, getting a decent serving of a high GI food can help you replenish your body’s blood sugar levels rapidly. But for major health reasons, diabetic patients are recommended to consume mostly medium to low GI foods in order to maintain a slow and steady stream of blood sugar in their body. Here are some common foods which have a high GI.

  • Potatoes
  • Raw sugar
  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Pineapple and watermelon in fruits
  • Snack foods that have high sugar content
  • Honey
  • Foods with high corn syrup
  • Cereals and instant oatmeal
4. What are some other considerations to know about GI in foods?

Often people who have navigated living with diabetes for a while get used to the ups and downs that are a part of the chronic disease. For example, often diabetic people who do consume high GI foods balance it out with low GI foods throughout their meals and the day. In itself, a high GI food can be harmful for you if you have diabetes, but if it has other items that makes the breakdown of carbs to glucose slower, you can maintain your blood sugar levels.

Other than that, portion size of the meal you are consuming matters a lot. Often a very small portion of a particular food item has more GI than a larger serving of another food item with lower GI. This means you need to learn the components and ingredients of food items along with their beneficial serving or proportion size. In general, foods that have high fiber and fat have a lower GI.

The freshn to processed scale of a food item also hinders its GI scale, for example with fruits, the canned, dried, or juice of a certain fruit has higher GI than fresh whole fruit. This is because processed foods have added sugar most of the time, and fruits don’t have the fiber to mediate your digestive system.

This is why you need to consider Glycemic foods for diabetes, including the portions that are good for you and those that you can use during different times. Culturally, we have a lot of high GI foods as part of our routine, but if you or someone in your household is diabetic make sure you use this information to keep them off from certain foods that are harmful for them. Precautions in your diet and health can help you keep off from any medical intervention. 

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