Learn more about glycemic index and how to make use of that information

By June 19, 2020 July 2nd, 2020 Health & Nutrition

Source with thanks from healthline.com

 

It’s a term that’s often bandied around when discussing health in general or diabetes in particular as it when the discussion veers around to weight loss. Here is an opportunity to understand what the glycemic index of a food signifies and what foods offer what levels of glycemic index. In the article below the author has provided a lot of useful information that you will find helps you on a daily basis. Team RetyrSmart

Learn more about glycemic index and how to make use of that information

What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels. Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100.

The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels (Here are the three GI ratings:

  • Low: 55 or less
  • Medium: 56–69
  • High: 70 or above

Foods high in refined carbs and sugar are digested more quickly and often have a high GI, while foods high in protein, fat, or fibre typically have a low GI. Foods that contain no carbs are not assigned a GI and include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.

Other factors that affect the GI of a food include the ripeness, cooking method, type of sugar it contains, and amount of processing it has undergone

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Low glycemic diet

The low glycemic diet involves swapping out foods with a high GI for those with a lower GI.

Benefits

Following a low glycemic diet may offer several health benefits, including:

  • Improved blood sugar regulation. Many studies have found that following a low GI diet may reduce blood sugar levels and improve blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Increased weight loss. Some research shows that following a low GI diet may increase short-term weight loss. More studies are needed to determine how it affects long-term weight management
  • Reduced cholesterol levels. Following a low GI diet may help lower levels of both total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, both of which are risk factors for heart disease

How to follow

A healthy, low glycemic diet should comprise mostly low GI foods, such as:

  • Fruits: apples, berries, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit
  • Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, tomatoes
  • Whole grains: quinoa, couscous, barley, buckwheat, farro, oats
  • Legumes: lentils, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans

Foods without a GI value or with a very low GI can also be enjoyed as part of a balanced low glycemic diet. They include:

  • Meat: beef, lamb, pork
  • Seafood: tuna, salmon, shrimp, mackerel, anchovies, sardines
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, goose
  • Oils: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil
  • Nuts: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pistachios
  • Seeds: chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, black pepper, cumin, dill, basil, rosemary, cinnamon

Although no foods are strictly off-limits on the diet, foods with a high GI should be limited.

Foods with a high GI include:

  • Bread: white bread, bagels, naan, pita bread
  • Rice: white rice, jasmine rice, arborio rice
  • Cereals: instant oats, breakfast cereals
  • Pasta and noodles: lasagna, spaghetti, ravioli, macaroni, fettuccine
  • Starchy vegetables: mashed potatoes, potatoes, french fries
  • Baked goods: cake, doughnuts, cookies, croissants, muffins
  • Snacks: chocolate, crackers, microwave popcorn, chips, pretzels
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, fruit juice, sports drinks

Ideally, try to replace these foods with foods that have a lower GI whenever possible.

Following a low glycemic diet involves swapping out foods that have a high GI with low GI alternatives. A low glycemic diet may help manage blood sugar levels, reduce your cholesterol, and boost short-term weight loss.

Glycemic index of foods

Here are the GI values for a few ingredients/foods

Fruits

  • Apples: 36
  • Strawberries: 41
  • Dates: 42
  • Oranges: 43
  • Banana: 51
  • Mango: 51
  • Blueberries: 53
  • Pineapple: 59
  • Watermelon: 76

Vegetables

  • Carrots (boiled): 39
  • Plantains (boiled): 66
  • Sweet potatoes (boiled): 63
  • Pumpkin (boiled): 74
  • Potatoes (boiled): 78

Grains

  • Barley: 28
  • Quinoa: 53
  • Rolled oats: 55
  • Couscous: 65
  • Popcorn: 65
  • Brown rice: 68
  • White rice: 73
  • Whole wheat bread: 74
  • White bread: 75

Legumes

  • Soybeans: 16
  • Kidney beans: 24
  • Chickpeas: 28
  • Lentils: 32

Dairy products and dairy alternatives

  • Soymilk: 34
  • Skim milk: 37
  • Whole milk: 39
  • Ice cream: 51
  • Rice milk: 86

Sweeteners

  • Fructose: 15
  • Coconut sugar: 54
  • Maple syrup: 54
  • Honey: 61
  • Table sugar: 65

Knowing where your favourite foods fall on the glycemic index can make it much easier to follow a low glycemic diet.

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Disclaimer: The content including advice on this website provides generic information only. Its not been customised for any particular individual or situation. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified and specific opinion whatever be the area viz. health, finances, retirement, lifestyle etc. Always consult a domain specialist for more information. The information is the viewpoint of the author/source and Retyrsmart does not claim responsibility for this information.
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