15 Low Glycemic Index Foods that Diabetics Can Enjoy

15 Low Glycemic Index Foods that Diabetics Can Enjoy

Health disorders can affect your life in two ways. They may either impact your present or gradually threaten the future. Unfortunately, Diabetes lies in the second half of this equilibrium. What makes it worse is that one cannot avail a permanent cure for this condition. And where self-care is the best therapy, our food choices are the first sphere to be tested. Glycemic Index is a dietary scale that helps in transforming your daily meals into healthy preparations. As a leading tool used by dieticians, it has much to offer to Diabetes patients too. So, let’s have a look at its functions!

The Hidden Science Behind Glycemic Index
Food sugars are the biggest enemies to healthy Diabetes management. And they can easily find a way inside your body as the glycemic load. Curious about what this glycemic meaning could be? It is the medical term used to denote glucose i.e. the basic form of food sugars obtained after digestion. Even though they are the ultimate source of energy in the body, glucose can stay back in your blood, making it excessively thick and unhealthy. This is where Glycemic Index (GI) can be of great help.
It is a scientifically determined measure for foods that indicates the amount of glucose derived from an item after digestion. Values around or above 100 units denote high GI i.e. glucose content. Whereas, items with GI nearing to 0 are classified as low glycemic foods.


Glycemic Index Range:

  • High GI score: Above 70 units as per the scale.
  • Medium GI score: From 55 to 69 units.
  • Low GI score: Equal to or less than 55 units.

Practice After Theory: Uses of Glycemic Index
There are a diversity of ways in which GI scores can improve your diet and lifestyle. Besides assisting in Diabetes management, they help you increase the goodness of recipes by giving an insight about its nutritious potential. It is an added advantage that GI-based diet plans can be followed by all age groups, thereby making it a kitchen science for your entire family!

  • Caps Daily Diet Quotients: By controlling your intake of carbs, GI-oriented diets increase the amount of vitamins and minerals you consume per meal. This in turn may give you better satisfaction after indulging in eating.
  • Regulates Blood Cholesterol: High blood sugars are a silent cause of shooting cholesterol levels. But when you’re on a GI diet, both of these food elements are kept in double checks.
  • Helps to Maintain Body Weight: As an extension of the previous point, when your bad cholesterol levels are lowered, there is a significant decrease in stored body fat too. Which means following a Gi diet can bring you back in the shape that Diabetes has stolen from you!


Sneak Peek of High and Low GI Value Foods
Just because a food item doesn’t taste sweet, you cannot say that it's free from carbohydrates too. In fact, a large amount of calories can be hidden in a simple-looking vegetable, fruit or grain. Fretting, isn’t it? But the solution to your problem comes in the form of the ingenious Glycemic index food chart. It is a standardized table that compares and grades edibles as per their carb quantity. The higher the GI value of an item, the more it risks your health. By combining two or more low GI ingredients, you can make up a Diabetic-friendly meal for yourself which is as flavourful as healthy. Referring to this chart can also give you better cooking ideas for converting high GI foods into calorie-less delicacies at home. So, get your caps on and be creative!

Glycemic Index of Fruits:

Fruits

Glycemic Index

Banana

51

Mango

51

Papaya

60

Watermelon

76

Guava

11.3 – 12

Apples

36

Muskmelon

65

Pomegranate

18

Grapes

59

Orange

43

Dates

42

Pineapple

59 ± 8

Pear

30

Kiwi

39

Strawberry

49

 

Glycemic Index of Vegetables:

Vegetables

Glycemic Index

Pumpkin

75

Onion

10

Potato

78

Broccoli

10

Cabbage

0-10

Green Peas

22

Radish

8

Carrots

16

Jackfruit

50-60

Tomatoes

Less than 15

Beetroot

61

Brinjal

15

Lady finger

20

Cucumber

15

Peppers

15

 

Glycemic Index of Grains:

Grains

Glycemic Index

Rice

73

Wheat

74 ± 2

Oats

55

Barley

28

Sorghum

77

Foxtail Millet

54 – 68

Corn

52

Finger Millet

104 ± 13

Flattened Rice

Low GI

Peanuts

13

Quinoa

53

Chickpeas

28 ± 9

Couscous

65 ± 4

Muesli

57

Spaghetti

46

 

Glycemic Index of other Food Items:

Food Item

Glycemic Index

Noodles

53

Bread

75

Milk

39

Barley

28

Cheese

Very Low

Meat

0

Egg

0

 

Fruits with Low GI Value

  • One bite into a juicy fruit can refresh the energy of the day, especially if you’re a Diabetic struggling with mid-meal hunger pangs. So, here’s a list of fruits you can grab before opening that pack of biscuits!
  • Guava (G.I. 11.3-12): This is a go-to remedy for the bowel troubles induced by Diabetes like infrequent constipation and bloating. Where anxiety and stress are prevalent, biting into a Guava may ease your mind and prevent undue hormonal changes. Pro tip - Guava comes as the prime recommendation for heart patients.
  • Pomegranate (G.I. 18): Where you can count the benefits of other fruits on your fingertips, pomegranate can give you a challenge. It is rich in rare compounds like gallic, ursolic and oleanolic acids that curb blood sugar spikes. Consuming it regularly can also help to improve heart, brain and sensory functions.
  • Pear (G.I. 30): Besides being a nutrient package, pears are a low calorie therapy for your gut organs. They have anti-inflammatory agents that improve the nutrient absorption rate of intestines. With better GI health comes a great push in your metabolism and stamina.
  • Apples (G.I. 36): Leaving the unthreatening doctor aside, an apple a day can surely help you beat the risks of Diabetes. It improves the blood chemistry by eliminating free radicals like blood sugars, cholesterol etc. As red as they are, apples can give the blush of health to your heart too!
  • Kiwi (G.I. 39): Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps to break down sugar molecules. It is also a rejuvenating agent that protects your vital organs from damage by ageing or disease. Thanks to the low GI foods like Kiwi all these benefits are never inaccessible to Diabetics!

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Vegetables with Low GI Value

  • Not to limit your choices - but if you’re a Diabetic, then certain veggies like Brinjal, Onion, Broccoli etc. can become better companions of your health than the others. Here are some reasons why you can depend on them:
  • Onion (G.I. 10): Low Glycemic index of onion can give you the biggest reason to include this veggie in all of your meals. And for rest, the nourishing action of onions is enough to convince. Being a rich source of active compounds, onion helps to strengthen the soft tissues including those in the heart, joints and spine.
  • Broccoli (G.I. 10): Blame it on the bitter taste or Vitamin A content of broccoli, but this veggie can really help you control the blood sugar levels for good. It acts as a barrier between your body and food sugars, thereby promoting healthy gut activity.
  • Tomatoes (G.I. Less than 15): The tang of a tomato is enough to draw your attention towards its healthy features. It is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that ward off the mesh of troubles Diabetes may bring for you including skin troubles. Enough said!
  • Radish and Carrot (G.I. 8-16): Like tomatoes, both of these salad ingredients are rich in fibre. They cleanse the intestinal tract of fats, toxins and excess sugars that may enter through food. By the same virtue, they can help to prevent Diabetes-related complications like vision loss, heart issues etc.
  • Brinjal (G.I. 15): If gourds are the remedies against high blood sugars, brinjal is their master veggie! It affects all the vital organ systems including bones and metabolism to promote overall well-being. Furthermore, it helps to manage body weight in cases where obesity is the trigger for sugar spikes.

Grains with Low GI Value

  • Keeping tabs on the Glycemic index of grains can bring about two important changes in your lifestyle. Firstly, they encourage your weight loss plans. And secondly, they lighten the load of carbs in your plate - replacing it with essential minerals. Either way, it’s a win-win for you!
  • Flattened Rice (Low G.I.): This one’s so low in the GI charts that its carbs are barely countable! Rather, you can find a rich collection of antioxidants in this grain that cleanse the GI tract from top to bottom. It easily gels with your cooking styles to give you a great start every morning!
  • Peanuts (G.I. 13): If chewing peanuts at the park is your favourite pastime. We’ve got two words for ya - Chew more! Peanuts contain high amounts of unsaturated fats that channelize insulin flow throughout the body. In other words, it steers up the sugar burning process to pump up your energy with zero health risks.
  • Chickpeas (G.I. 28 ± 9): Consuming chickpeas is the latest trend in fitness circles - especially those aiming to beat Diabetes. You can consume this legume every day to put a natural cap on the blood sugar levels. Its proteins, fibre and antioxidants like Vitamin E are credited with reducing long term risks of Diabetes.
  • Spaghetti (G.I. 46): An exciting breakfast for kids, a healthy choice for adults. Spaghetti is a forkful of goodness in every bite. Since it stays in your stomach for a longer time, spaghetti can reduce the impact of food sugars, fats and salts on your body. Pair it with healthy veggies or sauces to double up its benefits!
  • Corn (G.I. 52): Before you climb too high on the GI ladder, corn can give you a reason to stop. This one grain that you can enjoy both as a snack and food ingredient. It provides natural vitamins, minerals and fibre to your body, building up its core strength. Take it every day to break the monotony of bread!

Miscellaneous Low GI Foods

  • Being aware about the Glycemic Index can draw you towards a fruitilicious and veggie-rich diet. Yet can these flavours sustain your interest for long? Definitely not! But thanks to the same healthy meter, you can identify a range of food assortments that can enrich your platter with mouthful colours, nutrients and tastes. All that without the worries for blood sugars!
  • Barley (G.I. 28): Don’t go on the looks of this one. Barley may not immediately please your eyes or tongue, but it's sure to rouse an excitement in your stomach! A number of research studies have shown that barley can be a sureshot remedy for Diabetes-related hunger pangs, metabolism issues and blood sugar spikes. Its molecules stick to the food sugars and inhibit its assimilation in the body. While this paves way for absorption of better minerals and fibre, it also gives you a colon detox every day!
  • Cheese (G.I. Very Low): The key to cracking a Diabetes-friendly diet is nutrient enrichment. And cheese can help you achieve that with every bite! Besides being rich with natural vitamins and minerals, cheese is also a fat-free alternative to dairy products. Where high blood sugar may eat up your bones, this one can save your agility!
  • Animal Proteins (G.I. 0): Can’t believe your eyes? Contrary to the common misconceptions, animal proteins like seafood, eggs etc. are a healthy addition to a Diabetic’s lunch. They’re a repository of healthy fats, proteins and minerals that ensure your metabolic energy never hits a low. Make sure to control the spices and oil you use in your meat preparations, if weight loss and sugar control are part of your end goals!

Conclusion:
Diabetes could bring a halt to the way you lived your life before. But this change can come for the better if you master the art of healthy cooking. Just spice up your life the right way and you’re ready to be a fitter person!

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