© comprock (Flickr) Vegetable stand
© comprock (Flickr)
What are low glycemic index foods?
Carbohydrates in food behave differently in our body, especially in the way in which they are able to raise blood sugar levels.
Glycemic index (GI) ranks carbs according to how they raise blood sugar levels and its effect on insulin release on a scale of 0 to 100.
Foods with a high GI (greater than 70) are those that are easily digested, absorbed and causes spikes in blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, carbohydrates with low glycemic index (less than 55) produce small fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels because of their higher fiber content, so that they are not easily digested and absorbed.
Other foods having a GI between 55 to 70 are considered to belong to the medium range index.
Examples of foods that reduce blood sugar
Most fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and fructose have a low GI.
Whole grain cereals, pasta and breads and insoluble fibers like bran have high fiber content and can bring about satiety.
This leads to a decrease in one’s appetite and prevents weight gain.
Food that lowers blood sugar levels
Other foods that can lower blood sugar count are:
Fruits: grapes, apples, oranges, cherries, grapefruit, peaches and plums
Vegetables: broccoli, mushrooms, lettuce, onions, cabbage, and peas
Nuts: walnuts, cashew, peanuts, almonds and pecans
Starchy vegetables: black beans, corn, lima beans, garbanzo beans, cooked kidney beans and carrots
Juice/Drinks: pineapple, apple, orange and grapefruit juice
Milk products: yoghurt, skim milk, soy milk and whole milk
Pasta: spaghetti, vermicelli, macaroni, fettuccini, linguini Glycemic load and blood sugar range
In addition to eating foods with low GI, one must consider consuming low glycemic load which refers to the actual amount (in grams) of carbohydrates taken.
Therefore, restricting one’s intake of carbohydrates also helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Even certain kinds of foods high in sugar, if eaten in small amount, may result in a relatively little glycemic response.
In summary, to be able to ensure stable blood sugar ranges, one must consume a diet which has a low glycemic index and low glycemic load.
Finding the right information on carbohydrate count and seeking the advice of dietitians and nutritionists are valuable in learning about foods that lower blood sugar.