Dietary habits and food choices plays a major role in the journey of diabetes control. If you are concern about your blood sugar level, you must be familiar with sugar and carbohydrates. However, understanding sugar and carbohydrates are not enough, you should have learnt about Glycemic Index (GI) too. GI was invented by physicians David Jenkins and Thomas Wolever in 1981 by first plotting curves to show how a specific amount of glucose raised study participants' blood sugar over two hours. It ranks food from 0 to 100 scales and food are classified into low, moderate and high GI.
Here’s 5 things you need to know about Glycemic Index and your diabetes journey!
#1 HOW GLYCEMIC INDEX AFFECTS MY BLOOD SUGAR?
GI measures the degree of how rapidly a carbohydrate is digested and released as glucose into the bloodstream. This increase in glucose then causes a rise in blood sugar, and the release of insulin. The higher the GI simply means that, it spikes up blood sugar to a higher level, rapidly.
Controlling the amount of total carbohydrates intake is the gold standard in diabetes care but adhering to a low GI concept can even fine tune and stabilize your blood sugar level.
#2 GLYCEMIC INDEX CAN BE AFFECTED BY MANY FACTORS
Each food is categorized by low / medium / high GI, however the value can be affected by various external factors as below. Thus it’s not just about picking the low GI food in the list, but to consider these factors could have change the GI value and how it affected blood sugar level.
The cooking method. A soft texture spaghetti has higher GI value compare to a firm texture spaghetti.
Processing method. A packet of orange juice has higher GI compare to fresh orange juice.
Ripeness. A ripe banana has higher GI compare to a raw banana.
Fiber, fat, protein content. High fiber, fat, protein food has lower GI compare to low fiber, fat, protein food.
Acidity. Acid slows down the rate of digestion and absorption. Adding lemon juice and vinegar can lower GI of a food.
#3 MEAL PLAN OF LOW GI DIET
In our daily life, we eat multiple food group at a mealtime. So, when planning your meal with Low GI diet, try to do the swapping! Incorporating fibers, lean protein and good fat such as olive oils, avocado, virgin coconut oil into the food preparation can further lower the overall GI value of the food.
#4 LOW GI DIET CAN HELPS TO LOSS WEIGHT
Low-GI diets is useful for blood glucose control and weight reduction in people with prediabetes or diabetes. Wow, that sounds amazing right? If you are a weight watcher, controlling appetite is a key to master. When you are enjoying high GI food, you will easily feel hungry soonest after a meal. This is due to high GI food can be digested and converted to sugar more rapidly and thus spike up the after-meal blood sugar level. Contrary, when you incorporate low GI food in your meal plan, they are being digested way slower and it keeps blood sugar level stable even after a satisfying meal. Low GI diet provides prolonged sense of satiety, reduce food craving and aid in weight management.
#5 DO NOT JUST FOCUS ON GI VALUE UNLESS…
The amount of carbohydrates consumed has bigger effect on blood glucose level compared to GI alone. For example, brown rice (GI = 68) has lower GI than watermelon (GI = 72) but brown rice has higher carbohydrate compare to watermelon. If you eat similar amount of both food, brown rice will increase your blood glucose level higher than watermelon. So do not only focus on GI of a single food, as we eat multiple food at a time. Control food portion and opt for low GI food choices is an additional bonus in controlling blood sugar level. Unless you are taking a meal replacement with controlled amount of macronutrients, then the aspect of GI is very important here. The lower the GI value of diabetes specific formula gives a steadier after-meal blood sugar level. Learn more about low GI diabetes specific formula here. (hyperlink to metabolic sauver page)
Low GI diet has a numerous of potential health benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss, and lowering your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Take charge of your diabetes start from healthy food choices, carbs counting by incorporate low GI food.