GLYCEMIC INDEX: A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
The Glycemic Index is a number associated with the carbohydrates in a particular type of food that indicates the effect of these carbohydrates on a person’s blood glucose level.
A value of 100 on this scale represents the standard which is an equivalent amount of pure glucose.
People who are diabetic have the low ability to fight against insulin and this response of the body (less or more receptive towards insulin) makes them suffer from prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 people are also affected due to this insulin problem which is still associated with a mystery as to why it happens and why it affects certain people.
Let us understand what actually happens to the body while we eat food. Eating food generally rich in carbs and glucose leads the body to have spiked up blood glucose levels. Pancreas creates insulin to fight against this more than normal level of glucose in the bloodstream. In case of people suffering from diabetes, the pancreas becomes insufficient or incapable to fight with the elevated levels of blood glucose. This falling off of the insulin resistance mechanism affects the body and makes it diabetic. The insulin produced impairs the body’s tolerance mechanism to glucose and the hormone in the body becomes less effective. Over time, it only wears out the body’s capability to fight against glucose. The most problematic is the fact that this insufficiency is linked with heart diseases and the most dreaded and seriously common heart attacks.
Thus, we can easily relate how the Glycemic Index and its knowledge is associated with the effects it has on the insulin resistance in our body. The foods we eat have particular Glycemic indexes associated with them and thus we need to acknowledge the importance of GI on blood glucose and insulin levels.
Thus, we need to watch what we eat and where we can discuss some food items which have low glycemic indices associated with them.
The lower the GI score, the more slowly the rise in blood sugar levels and thus the better choice for the management of postmeal and body betterment changes.
Whole Fruits have low to moderate levels of GI. Also, most importantly are the associated levels of fiber and the good vitamins like A and C in these fruits. Thus, they should be a good choice for dietary components and foods. Foods containing no carbs like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, herbs, and spices are not included on the GI list. Foods with a high GI should be consumed in limited quantities.
The GI of a food or meal is influenced by a number of factors like the level of starch and ripeness, also depending on the cooking method. However, it has some drawbacks too.
Carbohydrates are not totally bad for the body. Since a no carb food is not included in the GI, we have another list by the name of Glycemic Load index.
The Glycemic Load Index is a measure of how a carbohydrate affects blood sugar levels, taking both the type (GI) and quantity of the food substance into account. GL is also classified into low, medium and high categories.
GI is a very important index when following low GI diet however, GL is used to keep the daily consumption of GL below 100. Thus, the easiest way to is to choose foods low on GI and GL, both.
A low GL diet definitely affects the diabetic patients to regulate their conditions and so does it help the people who may be prone to diabetes. A diet low on GL helps people avoid complications related to worsening of diabetes and also severs the gestational period of pregnant women. It is no wonder that type 2 diabetes poses long term problems in terms of cardiovascular health. Thus, it becomes necessary to regulate the diet and keep a check on the food intake specifically.
A low GL diet also affects cholesterol levels apart from weight loss. It may also reduce the risk of cancer.
While managing a low GI diet, we should basically swap high GI foods for low ones. A preferred choice of foods is bread-like multigrain and wholesome loaves, fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice, starchy vegetables, grains (quinoa, barley, etc.) and dairy. The following foods have a negligible amount of carbohydrates and therefore are not even a part of the GI index. Thus, they are perfect as low GI diet items. Also, items like fish, seafood, nuts, fats and oils like olive oil and salt, garlic and basil are amongst other choices based on a low or no GI index.
Swapping high GI items like white bread with whole grain; fruits like watermelon with apples, apricots, strawberries; vegetables like potatoes and rice with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. All these choices lead us to a healthier way of life and avoid the much dreaded diabetic way of life.
Hence, consuming foods which have low GI can be extremely beneficial for people who are struggling with Type 2 Diabetes and also obesity. These foods also promote weight-loss and keep you full for a longer duration helping in keeping hunger pangs at bay.