5 Low Glycemic Index Foods Diabetics Can Enjoy, As Per Our Expert

There is no consensus on what constitutes low, moderate, and high glycemic foods. Read ahead to know more.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaUpdated at: Dec 01, 2022 17:57 IST
5 Low Glycemic Index Foods Diabetics Can Enjoy, As Per Our Expert

The glycemic index measures how rapidly a food raises our blood sugar levels. The food we eat is rated on a scale of zero to 100. Food items which have a high glycemic index, or GI, digest and absorb fast, resulting in a rapid spike in blood sugar. These high-GI foods are frequently, but not always, heavy in processed carbs and sugars.

In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth, Dr. Vinoda Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jindal Naturecure Institute shares low GI food items for diabetics. Here is what she shared with us.

Low Glycemic Index Food Items For Diabetics

People use glycemic index (GI) to help them choose foods for meal planning. The glycemic index categorises carbohydrate-containing foods based on their ability to raise blood sugar levels. The ones with a high glycemic index value spike your blood sugar quickly and higher than foods with a lower value. The glycemic index may have certain advantages, but it may also have some disadvantages. Following them might be tricky. For one reason, there is no consensus on what constitutes low, moderate, and high glycemic foods. Packaged goods rarely disclose their GI rating on the label, making it difficult to guess what it might be.

Some of the low glycemic food are mentioned below:

1. Oats

With a GI of 55, rolled porridge oats are a low-GI breakfast choice. Oats also include beta-glucan, a type of fibre that has a number of health benefits. Steel-cut and rolled oats are the healthiest and have the lowest GI values. Instant and quick oats have a higher GI score since they are more processed.

2. Milk

Low-GI dairy products are nutritious additions to morning oatmeal. Skim milk has a GI of 37, whereas full-fat milk has a GI of 39. It is high in calcium, which promotes bone health. Reduced-fat soy milk has a GI of 17 to 44, whereas full-fat soy milk has a GI of 44. The GI ratings will differ between brands. However, it can also be used in smoothies with low GI fruits including apples, bananas, grapes, and mangoes.

Low Glycemic Index Food Items For Diabetics

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3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas have a high protein and fibre content per cup, with 11.8 grams and 10.6 grams, respectively; they also provide calcium, potassium, and vitamin B-9. Chickpeas have a GI of 28 and are therefore a low-carbohydrate source. Roasted chickpeas are a tasty and quick snack.

4. Carrots

Carrots have a GI of 39, making them an excellent substitute for bread when eating hummus as a dip. They contain beta-carotene and potassium but not the high-fat level of olive oil or dairy cream. These are beneficial to eye health. Carrots are high in antioxidants, making them crucial for protecting the body from free radicals.

5. Kidney Beans/Rajma

Kidney beans have a GI of 24, making them a versatile low-GI diet. They're also heavy in protein and fibre, with 13.36g and 11g per cup, respectively. Kidney beans are also high in potassium and low in fat.

Low glycemic index diets reduce both diabetic and healthy people’s risk of coronary heart disease. Low-glycemic index meals promote satiety and help limit food consumption in obese or overweight people. The low GI diet appears to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. High GI diets have also been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.