Glycemic Index & Diabetes: Is Low Glycemic Diet Good for Diabetics?

Diet is the most important way in which you can manage diabetes effectively. Hence, there are always speculations about the right type of diet for diabetes. In today’s article, we shall try to find answers to the question “Is Low Glycemic Diet Good For Diabetes?”

What is Glycemic Index?

Glycemic index is a rating which is used to demonstrate the rise in the blood glucose level after you eat food that contains carbohydrate. The ranking to the food is given from 0 to 100, depending upon the glycemic index the food carries. A food that has a high glycemic index raises the blood sugar level more as compared to food that has a lower glycemic index.

Benefits of Eating Low Glycemic Diet for Patients With Diabetes

LOW GI DIET

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  • There have been studies which clearly indicate that when you eat food that has a low glycemic load, there is a reduction in the levels of A1c, reduction in the blood pressure, and also a reduction in the blood glucose levels. All these are very effective in treating diabetes.
  • Besides, food with low glycemic index has also been known to reduce the risks of coronary heart diseases, something which is very common in diabetes patients.
  • When you eat such type of food, you tend to feel full for a longer period of time. This goes a long way in helping you to manage weight.

As seen above, there are a few benefits of including low glycemic diet in your daily routine if you want to manage diabetes effectively. However, there are a few other things that you need to know about low glycemic index food when it comes to managing diabetes.

The following paragraph tells us more facts that are necessary to know about low glycemic index food and their relationship with diabetes.

What You Should Know About the Relation Between Glycemic Index and Diabetes:

LOW GI Eating

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  • A diabetic patient is advised to count the total carbohydrates that he or she is taking while eating food. The reason is the total carbs intake in a day should not exceed the recommended quantity. Hence, eating low-glycemic foods is helpful when you combine the same with the other eating habits you develop for managing diabetes effectively.
  • The way one patient responds to glycemic index is different when compared to the other patients. Hence, you cannot be simply ignorant about the blood glucose levels if you are eating low glycemic-index food. You still need to check how the food affects the blood glucose or blood sugar levels.
  • There are various factors that can affect the glycemic-index of food. Some of these factors include:
  • How ripe the food is.
  • The method of food preparation
  • The length of time for which the food has been stored.
  • You simply cannot just rely on foods which contain a low glycemic-index for diabetes management. The reason being that there is a few food which although have low glycemic index, should be eaten with great precaution and only now and then. Examples of such food include ice-creams.
  • There have been studies which show that when you combine high-glycemic index food with the ones that have a low value of the glycemic index, your blood sugar level can be controlled from rising too high.

Hence, it will not be incorrect to say that just a single meal plan will not work for all the individuals in a similar way. The most important thing that will help to manage diabetes effectively is the fact that the meal plan should be customized as per the requirements of the patient, his or her lifestyle, age, the level of cholesterol in the body, blood pressure, amongst other things.

How to Follow a Low Glycemic Food Diet?

Low Glycemic Index Diet Chart

Low glycemic diet definitely helps in managing diabetes. Following are a few tips with above GI diet chart which will help a diabetic patient to follow a low glycemic food diet:

  • You should always make a note of the food that you are eating. That way you can better work out which are the foods that have a low glycemic index and as such, can be included in the daily diet.
  • Try to replace all those foods which have a high glycemic index with the ones that have a lower value of the glycemic
  • Also, make a choice of eating those foods which have a very high content of fiber as those are the ones that usually take longer to get digested and hence, the blood glucose rises only slowly.
  • From the above, we know that the combination of high-glycemic index food with the ones that have a low value of glycemic-index will help in neutralizing the effects of high glycemic index food items.
  • Include more of whole grains in your diet such as barley, brown rice, amongst others.
  • Choose non-starchy vegetables as they usually have a lower glycemic index value.
  • Avoid fruit juices and eat fruits instead.
  • Examples of a few food with low glycemic index include:
  • Sweet potato
  • Corn
  • Oatmeal
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Barley
  • Beans

We hope that the above post has been helpful in improving your understanding of the relationship between diabetes and food with low glycemic index. Although a low glycemic diet does help in managing diabetes, you need to monitor the effect of such a diet on your blood glucose levels as the total glycemic index depends on a host of other factors too!

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