Foods with a low glycemic index tend to release glucose slowly, so they are good for controlling blood sugar levels for diabetics. There are many types of foods with a low glycemic index and they are easy to find around you.
The glycemic index is a system of assigning numbers to foods that contain carbohydrates, to show how quickly these foods affect blood sugar levels in the body. This figure can be a guide for diabetics or those who are on a diet in choosing food.
The calculation of the glycemic index is based on the fact that not all carbohydrates with the same weight will react the same in the body. This calculation was first discovered in the early 1980s by a professor from Canada named Dr. David Jenkins.
This glycemic index (GI) measure is available in the 1–100 range. Foods with a low glycemic index have a GI value of less than 55. Meanwhile, foods with a moderate glycemic index are 56–69, and foods with a high glycemic index are more than 70.
Various Types of Foods with Low Glycemic Index
Foods with a low glycemic index are needed by diabetics to control blood sugar levels. In addition, the glycemic index is also a reference for those who want to lose weight or prevent chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular disease.
There are several factors that make the glycemic index level in a food low, including:
- Sour food
- Fast cooking process
- Foods that are high in fiber
- Foods that are minimally processed
- Undercooked fruits and vegetables
- Foods that are high in protein
To make it easier for you to determine foods with a low glycemic index, the following are some types of foods that can be included in the daily menu:
A variety of vegetables are included in foods with a low glycemic index because they are rich in fiber. Following are some of them:
In addition, a variety of tubers and vegetables that contain starch can also be an intake of foods with a low glycemic index. These foods include corn, sweet potatoes, yams, and pumpkin.
Fruit can be a healthy snack that is rich in nutrients. The following are fruits that are classified as foods with a low glycemic index:
Try to choose fruit that is not too ripe. This is because the more ripe the fruit, the sweeter it is and the higher the glycemic index.
A variety of nuts, such as peas, almonds, walnuts, cashews, green beans, kidney beans, peanuts, and chickpeas, can be a choice of foods with a low glycemic index.
For whole grains, choose whole grains that are minimally processed, such as quinoa, whole wheat, and oats. In addition, processed products from whole grains which include whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, sourdough breadand wheat tortillas are also included in foods with a low glycemic index.
If you want to eat rice, some choices with a low glycemic index are basmati rice, brown rice, and long-grain rice (long grain).
High protein content can lower the glycemic index number in food. You can get this high protein from fish and seafood, such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, and sardines, or beef, chicken, and eggs.
Not only that, foods with a low glycemic index that are rich in protein can also be cow’s milk and its processed products, such as cheese and yogurt, as well as soy milk and almond milk.
6. Healthy fats
Just like protein, fat content in food can also lower the glycemic index number. Some examples of healthy fats that are included in foods with a low glycemic index are chocolate, olive oil, canola oil, and butter.
Although high-fat foods have a low glycemic index, make sure the number of calories you consume remains in accordance with the daily needs of the body, especially if you have diabetes.
In eating foods with a low glycemic index, you still have to pay attention to other nutritional needs, such as calories, fat, fiber, and vitamins.
Eat a balanced nutritious diet, increase physical activity and exercise, and stop unhealthy habits such as smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages so that your body is always healthy and your weight is maintained.
You can also consult a doctor about what other foods with a low glycemic index are, and the portions that are suitable for your health condition.