Keep good control over your levels of blood sugar with low-glycemic foods.
Since low-glycemic foods have less sugar, regardless of the sugar being natural or added while the food is being processed, eating such foods will not increase blood sugar as much as those foods with more sugar content.
Particularly for diabetics, many studies concerning the benefits of consuming low-glycemic foods have been conducted. It has been found that when there are low-glycemic foods in the meal plan, sudden, big increases in blood sugar among type 1 diabetics can be overcome with these low-glycemic foods. So, just by adding some low glycemic foods into your present meal plan can assist you in controlling your blood sugar levels.
The Glycemic Index (GI)
As a result of studies on glycemic foods, the glycemic index came into being. This glycemic index positions the foods according to their effect on the levels of blood glucose. This index gives attention to the type of carbohydrates in foods and positions them comparatively from 0 – 100. Foods which are positioned higher have more carbohydrates which are more easily digested and sent into the bloodstream quicker to cause the levels of your blood glucose to be raised faster and higher.
Below is the normally accepted criterion for the glycemic positioning of foods:
- 70 to 100 High glycemic foods .
- 56 to 69 Medium glycemic foods.
- 0 to 55 Low glycemic foods .
Once foods have been given a glycemic index position, you should choose those within the low glycemic group positioned from 0 to 55.
Glycemic Load vs. Glycemic Index – Video Guide
For the glycemic index to be useful to you, you have to think of a food’s glycemic load. When we talk about the glycemic load of a food, we are referring to the amount of carbohydrates in that food. It also takes into account the size of the serving and the amount of carbohydrates in the particular serving. This provides you with a better way to estimate the impact of the food you eat on your levels of blood glucose.
How to calculate the glycemic load?
To calculate a certain food’s glycemic load, you multiply the number indicating the food’s position on the glycemic index by the quantity of the food’s carbohydrates, and then, have the result divided by 100.
With the glycemic load of the food calculated, you can have them placed low, medium or high:
- 20 or higher considered a high glycemic load.
- 11 to 19 considered a medium glycemic load.
- 0 to 10 considered a low glycemic load.
For instance, the glycemic index of an average-sized apple is 20 and has approximately 8 carbohydrates. If you multiply 20 by 8, you get 320. 320 is then divided by 100 to give you 3.2 as the glycemic load. So, an average-sized apple can be considered a food with a low glycemic load.
Below is information on certain foods’ glycemic index, the amount of carbohydrates and their glycemic load.
Low-glycemic superfoods List:
The superfoods given below are low glycemic and very nutritious.
- Split peas : A nutritious low glycemic food, split peas contains lots of dietary fiber as well as B vitamins. Half a cup of these cooked peas gives carbohydrates amounting to approximately 20 grams with a 10 for their glycemic load.
- Whole wheat pasta : Many people are surprised to be told that pasta can have a glycemic load of 10. However, this only applies to whole wheat pasta and the method of preparation. A cup of cooked firm whole wheat pasta contains carbohydrates amounting to 25g and a 10 for its glycemic load. Note that overcooked whole wheat pasta which is no longer firm to the bite has a higher glycemic load.
- Lentils : Lentils are widely used in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Besides being nutritious, they are cheap and possess a low glycemic load. Half a cup of lentils which have been cooked gives carbohydrates amounting to approximately 24 grams and a glycemic load as low as 7.
- Dried beans : There are various types of dried beans and obviously, each dried bean has a glycemic ranking different from the others. A third of a cup of dried beans which have been soaked as well as cooked will, on average, give carbohydrates amounting to approximately 21 grams and a glycemic load as low as 5.
- Chana Dal : It is one kind of chickpea which is popular among the Indians and people in the Mediterranean region. It is often used in soups and is among foods with the lowest glycemic rankings. From a three-quarter cup of chana dal which has been cooked, we get 25 grams of carbohydrate which is of good quality and a glycemic load that is as low as 3.