Patients who are diagnosed with diabetes are aware of the negative impact that can be triggered by some foods. The blood sugar levels can increase ultimately fast as a result of wrong product consumption. The reason for this is an ability of carbohydrates to make changes in glucose. However, they are slowly digested and create a hard time for those, who require constant control of sugar levels. The glycemic index is an ultimate way to differentiate “good carbs” from the “bad carbs” you use. You can use this determiner to fine-tune the carb-counting and manage the levels of blood glucose.
Generally, the glycemic index is an ultimate way to realize how fast your organism can convert carbs received from the products you consume into glucose. Taking two products with a similar amount of carbohydrates, you can get a different glucose amount as a result, due to various glycemic index numbers they feature. The beneficial tendency is as follows: the lower the number, the less influence it has on glucose ranges. The glycemic index of the product has three main classifications:
- Low if it is less than 55;
- Medium, in case it varies from 56 to 69;
- High when it exceeds 70.
Patients with diabetes should check the glycemic index of all the products they buy. Keep in mind that natural products, like fruit and vegetables, usually have a low glycemic range.
Despite you purchase completely safe products with an average glycemic level, there are several factors that can contribute to its increase, including:
- Ripeness. It is typical mainly of fruit, as their levels go up when they ripen;
- Preparation. Acid, fiber and fat are the ingredients, which decrease the glycemic index, while long preparation time of starches can drastically increase it;
- Combinations. If you combine two products with quite high glycemic levels, you will not benefit from their use. Instead, choose products, which will balance your sugar level.
Besides, such issues as your age, intensity of daily activities, diet you eat, peculiarities of the metabolism can influence the reaction of your body to carbs.
Glycemic Index of Different Foods
Traditionally, the glycemic index is inevitable for carbohydrate counting based on the information about the food you consume. The higher GI, the faster the product boosts glucose levels in the body. Patients diagnosed with diabetes should pay due attention to this issue, as it is necessary for proper management of glucose levels. Mind the classification of the simplest and most frequently used products to avoid unwanted complications:
- Low GI products include sweet potatoes, yam, peas, stone-ground whole wheat, oatmeal, muesli, most fruit, carrots, pasta, barley, converted rice, legumes, and others;
- Medium glycemic index foods: quick oats, couscous, brown, basmati or wild rice, rye and whole wheat;
- High GI goods are melons, pineapples, corn flakes, rice pasta, white bread, russet potato, pretzels, instant oatmeals, pumpkin, and others.
Glycemic Index and Diabetes Diet
It is obvious that glycemic index plays a drastic role in choosing the products for people with diabetes. In fact, it should not be the only consideration since a low GI is not the synonym for being healthy and beneficial. Minerals, vitamins, and calories are still inevitable.
Besides, the size of the portion is to be considered. Irrespective of the carb type you use, the rule remains the same: the more you eat, the greater the influence on the blood sugar. There is no universal eating plan to work perfectly for patients with diabetes. Instead, each person should choose the food that works best for him/her, balance its amount and succeed in blood glucose management. Here are several tips which will help you get lower glycemic loads:
- Consume a smaller amount of sugary foods and beverages, such as cakes, cookies, candies, soda and other sweet drinks;
- Eat more legumes, vegetables, nuts, grains, and fruits;
- Reduce the consumption of foods with an ultimately high glycemic index, specifically white bread, white rice, and potatoes;
- Follow a healthy diet without cutting down on all the favorite products; just balance their amounts instead;
- Stay active, get enough sleep and start other healthy habits to help you manage blood sugar levels.