Control Diabetes and Maintain Weight with Low-Glycaemic Index Foods

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 15, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Research shows various health benefits of eating a low-glycemic diet.
  • It is high in fiber and a good source of nutrients.
  • Low GI foods keep blood sugar levels under control.
  • They promote body's metabolism to induce weight loss.

FYI Time: Foods with low glycaemic index can keep your blood sugar levels in control and help your body metabolise fat more efficiently.  Glycaemic Index or GI evaluates the effect of a particular food on your blood glucose levels after you eat it. All the foods on the GI are measured against a standard rating of pure glucose, which is 100.

Depending on their effects on blood levels in the body, all other foods are measured on a scale of 0 to 100. Ideally, for a food to be categorised in the low glycaemic list should have a GI of 50 or less. Such foods are wholegrain chapattis or bread, legumes, barley, beans, non-starchy vegetables, apples, pears, citrus fruits, meat, fish, and eggs.

Low GI Diet

Health Benefits of Low Glycaemic Foods

There are various health benefits of low GI foods and we should aim at modifying our food choices to ensure a diet that is low in glycaemic index. Not only can it help you to live heart healthy, it may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which can increase your risk of having a heart attack or suffering a stroke.

Low Glycaemic Diet for Controlling Diabetes

It turns out that the glycaemic index was actually designed for people with diabetes to help them manage their sugar levels better. Though it is not exactly clear how the condition is caused, but we experts know that the metabolic syndrome itself can be triggered by a relative insulin resistance. This can lead to type 2 diabetes, elevated lipids or triglycerides, high blood pressure levels and elaborated waist circumference.

When you eat foods that have a low GI, they help you cut cravings and urges by limiting highs in your blood glucose which in turn triggers the release of insulin, which ultimately causes fat storage in body and weight gain.

Low GI foods will not let your blood sugar will not rise rapidly. Especially, low glycaemic index carbs produce a firmer rise in blood sugar, and the fibre in these foods helps you feel satiated longer. Even the American Diabetes Association acknowledges that low-glycaemic foods that are also high in fibre and a good source of nutrients can be part of an overall healthy diet.

Low Glycaemic Index Foods

Low Glycaemic Diet for Weight Management

One tool that can effectively be used for an overall weight-control and healthy-eating purposes is glycaemic index. All traditional and modern weight-loss programs, after bragging about their efficacy to help you shed kilos, come down to the ultimate truth- eating fewer calories.

But, there is more to weight loss than just counting calories and that is the way your body is digesting and metabolising the foods. This puts a large impact on your body weight and how you feel after eating. And this is where foods low on glycaemic index play their role.

You should incorporate a diet of selected low-GI foods or balancing out a high-glycaemic food choice with a low-glycaemic one. There is no one right way or a black-and-white approach to do so. Just use the information in the glycaemic index list to add additional healthy benefits to your food choices.

Weight Loss with Low GI Diet

Roasted and salted peanuts, low-fat yogurt, cherries, grapefruit, pearl barlet, red lentils, whole milk, dried apricots, butter beans, fruits, vegetables, and all bran are some examples of low-glycaemic foods. Medium-glycaemic foods are muesli, boiled potatoes, pitta bread, basmati rice, honey, digestive biscuits, shredded wheat, wholemeal bread.

You can add all these choices to your eating plan to take charge of your diabetes and weight gain, but you'll also need to watch your portion sizes, especially with the medium-glycaemic food options.

Image: Getty

Read more articles on Healthy Eating.

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