Best low glycemic index foods
Inside: Eating low glycemic index foods is a great way to maintain your blood sugar levels, lose weight, and feel energized. Here are some of the best low-GI foods for you to enjoy!
From weight issues to blood sugar problems, every issue in our body is linked to various factors. One such factor that influences many health issues is the glycemic index or GI.
Many studies have concluded that the glycemic index has a significant role to play in body weight, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
A low glycemic index has been claimed to give many health benefits. In this article, let's look at why it is important to know about the glycemic index and what are the best low glycemic index foods that you can take.
What is Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic index or GI is a measure of how quickly a certain type of food containing carbohydrates raises blood glucose levels.
It is an important tool for those looking to regulate their blood sugar levels and make healthier eating choices.
It ranks carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 based on how quickly they are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Higher GI foods, such as white bread and sugars, cause a rapid spike in blood glucose levels as they are broken down quickly.
At the other end of the scale is low-GI foods that release glucose slowly, causing smaller fluctuations in blood sugar level.
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What is glycemic load?
Glycemic load is an important concept when it comes to low glycemic index foods. It is the measure of how much carbohydrate-containing food will raise your blood glucose levels.
It takes into account both the amount and type of carbohydrate consumed in a given meal or snack.
So, actually, glycemic index (GI) measures the quality of carbohydrates in foods, while glycemic load (GL) looks at the quantity.
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Why You Should Know About Low Glycemic Index?
We live in an era where foods are not organic as they used to be. Healthy issues due to food are becoming increasingly common.
Thus, having a deeper knowledge of the food we eat can help us in making healthier choices.
In this case, understanding the glycemic index gives you information about which foods will raise your blood sugar faster than others.
Eating too many high-GI foods can increase your risk of developing diabetes or other metabolic diseases, so it’s important to know which ones to avoid.
Low-GI foods tend to be more nutritious and filling, making them better choices for people who are actively trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight.
Some people even find that tracking their glycemic index helps them keep track of how certain foods affect their energy levels throughout the day.
For example, if someone notices that eating a particular food makes them feel tired or sluggish shortly after eating it, they may choose to avoid that food in the future because it has a higher GI than other options available.
Conversely, if someone notices that they always feel energized after eating one particular type of food, they may choose to prioritize that food in their diet because it has a lower GI rating than other similar options on the market.
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What are low glycemic index foods?
Now that you know about the glycemic index, it is important to know what is considered low or high with respect to the glycemic index.
- GI less than 55 - Low GI food
- GI between 56 and 69 - Moderate GI food
- GI more than 70 - High GI food
Based on this scale, some of the best low glycemic index foods to include in your diet are as follows:
Most fruits are low GI.
Low GI fruits
Moderate GI fruits
High GI fruits
- Over-ripe bananas
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Grains are the best source of energy for your body.
Low GI grains
Most whole grains are low GI like
- Rolled or steel-cut oats
- Brown rice
Minimally processed grains and grain-based foods.
- Oats or whole grain cereals
- Whole grain bread
- Sourdough bread
- Short-grain white rice
- Puffed rice
- White bread
- Cereal bars
- Cow milk
- Most nut milk like almond milk
- Cottage cheese
- Rice milk
- Fruit yogurts
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- Sweet corn
- Beans & legumes: All beans including kidney beans, green beans, chickpeas, snow peas, and black-eyed peas
- Pulses & lentils
- Dark chocolate
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Trail mix
- Processed chips
- Sugary soft drinks
Additionally, in the case of some packaged items, you can look up nutrition labels to find the GI index. Many manufacturers include this information on their labels now so consumers can make informed decisions about what they’re buying.
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Factors Affecting Glycemic Index of a food
While a food's glycemic index can give you an idea of how quickly it will raise your blood sugar, there are certain factors that can affect the GI rating of a particular food.
Fat slows down digestion and absorption of food, resulting in lower GI values for foods with higher fat content.
For example, ice cream has a lower GI than white bread because it contains more fat than bread does.
Fiber has been found to slow down digestion by adding bulk to food and slowing the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. Foods with higher fiber content tend to have lower GIs than those without any fiber at all.
For example, whole-grain bread typically has a lower GI than white bread because it contains more fiber.
Ripe fruits tend to have higher GIs than unripe ones because they contain more sugars that are easily released into the bloodstream during digestion.
This means that unripe fruits like green bananas typically have lower GIs than ripe bananas do.
Cooking or Processing
Cooking or processing can also affect the GI of food because these methods break down starch molecules into smaller pieces that are easier for our bodies to digest quickly.
This results in an increase in GI values for foods that have been cooked or processed before being eaten (such as mashed potatoes).
Depending on these and other factors, different types of the same food can have different GI indices.
If you’re ever unsure whether a particular food item or a mixed recipe has a high or low GI rating—especially when dining out at restaurants—it’s best to stick with whole grains and vegetables. These tend to have lower ratings than processed carbohydrates like white bread or pasta dishes made with white flour noodles.
By familiarizing yourself with the glycemic index and knowing which foods to prioritize in your diet, you will be able to make better decisions about what you eat and ultimately maintain a healthier lifestyle.
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