Low GI Foods – “Step Up the Food Plate of Your Life”

What is GI?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement system that ranks foods according to their effect on your blood sugar levels. It was created in the early 1980s by Dr. David Jenkins, a Canadian professor. Pure glucose is used as a reference food and has a GI value of 100. Various foods are given GI value for the relative increase in blood sugar levels with respect to pure glucose. The three GI ratings are:

  • Low: 55 or fewer
  • Medium: 56–69
  • High: 70 or more

The table below provides examples of foods with low, medium, or high GI scores.

Below are six of the best low-GI food

Foods with a low GI value are the preferred choice for consumption. They are slowly digested and absorbed and cause a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, foods with a high GI value should be consumed in limited amounts. They are quickly digested and absorbed, and result in a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar level

1. Oats – 55

With a GI score of 55, rolled porridge oats are low-GI breakfast cereal option. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with several health benefits. Steel-cut and rolled oats have the best health benefits and the most favorable GI score. Quick and instant oats are more processed than steel-cut or rolled oats, and they have a higher GI score. Muesli that contains steel-cut or rolled oats can be a good option for people following a low-GI diet.

2. Milk – 37 to 39

A healthful addition to morning porridge, milk is a low-GI dairy product. The GI score for skimmed milk is 37, while full-fat milk has a score of 39.Milk is rich in calcium, which is important for bone health. Research suggests that drinking milk regularly may reduce the progression of knee osteoarthritis in women. Reduced-fat soy milk can have a GI score of between 17 and 44, and full-fat soy milk may score 44. The specific GI score will vary among brands.

3. Chickpeas – 28

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a low-GI legume, with a score of 28 on the scale. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, with 11.8 grams (g) and 10.6 g per cup, respectively. They also contain key nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin B-9, which is sometimes called folate. People can use chickpeas as a substitute for potatoes or white rice, which have high GI scores. Roasted chickpeas make a quick and easy snack.

4. Carrots – 39

With a GI score of 39, carrots are a healthful alternative to bread for dipping into hummus. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is good for eye health. They are also a great source of antioxidants, which help protect the body’s cells from damage. People can enjoy carrots boiled or steamed as a side vegetable with any dish.

5. Kidney beans – 24

With a GI score of 24, kidney beans are a versatile low-GI food. These beans are rich in protein and fiber, with 13.36 g and 11 g per cup, respectively. They also contain potassium and are very low in fat. Kidney beans make a great addition to meat-based or vegetarian chili.

6. Lentils – 32

Scoring 32 on the GI scale, lentils are a great low-GI addition to lunches and dinners. Lentils are rich in protein, with 17.86 g per cup, and fiber, with 15.6 g per cup. They are also a good source of phosphorus and potassium. An Indian dish called Dal is a wholesome and tasty way to enjoy lentils. Dal is also easy to make at home.

Many factors influence a food’s GI score, including:

  • Level of processing: More processed carbohydrates tend to have higher GI scores.
  • Ripeness: The sugar in fruit breaks down as the fruit ripens, increasing the GI score.
  • Preparation: The cooking process can break down carbohydrates, increasing the meal’s GI score.
  • Dressing: Using an acidic seasoning, such as lemon, lowers a meal’s GI score.
  • Type of starch: Amylose has a lower GI score than amylopectin.

People on a low-GI diet can also enjoy foods that do not contain carbohydrates, such as the following:

  1. Meat
  2. eggs
  3. fish
  4. seafood
  5. olive oil
  6. butter
  7. herbs
  8. spices
  9. nuts

Our body has an obligatory requirement for glucose dependent on metabolic demands of our body. It is usually 200 gm/day. Our brain completely depends upon oxygen and glucose. Maintaining a constant blood glucose level is important for our health and well-being. The scoring between 0 to 100 with glucose being the reference food with a GI food value fixed at 100. It is a new system of classifying carbohydrate containing foods, according to how quickly they raise the blood sugar levels in the body.

Reference –

  1. 8 principles of low-glycemic eating – Harvard Health
  2. Metabolic effects of low glycemic index diets (nih.gov)
  3. Sugars and Health Workshop: summary and conclusions | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
  4. The concept of low glycemic index and glycemic load foods as panacea for type 2 diabetes mellitus; prospects, challenges and solutions (nih.gov)
  5. https://cdn-prod.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/324/324871/low-glycemic-foods-lemon.jpg
  6. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.almased.com%2Fblog%2Fall-blogs%2Fdiabetes-health%2Fwhat-is-a-low-glycemic-high-protein-diet&psig=AOvVaw2EqRdG_gIp0ngk-jUbahPQ&ust=1618729504601000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIjkjr_bhPACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

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