What is Glycemic Index? Low GI food good for Diabetes

In simple terms, the Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure that ranks how quickly the carbohydrates in a particular food raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested and cause a quick spike in blood sugar, while those with a low GI are digested more slowly, resulting in a gradual and steadier increase in blood sugar levels. So it is better to go for Low GI food for a diabetes patient or any normal human being, to avoid risk of diabetes.

Here are examples of GI values for different types of foods:

Glycemic Index (GI value) means how fast the food we eat raises blood sugar levels
Glycemic Index of a food and Diabetes

Fruits:

  • Watermelon: High GI (around 76)
  • Pineapple: Medium to High GI (around 66)
  • Banana: Medium GI (around 51)
  • Apple: Low to Medium GI (around 36)

Grains:

  • White Bread: High GI (around 75)
  • Whole Wheat Bread: Medium GI (around 69)
  • Quinoa: Low to Medium GI (around 53)
  • Cassava flour: Medium GI (around 60)
  • Coconut Flour :Low GI (around 20)
  • Almond Flour :Low GI (around 10)

Rice Varieties:

  • White Rice: High GI (around 73)
  • Brown Rice: Medium GI (around 68)
  • Basmati Rice: Low to Medium GI (around 58)
  • Suwandal Rice (Sri Lankan traditional rice) : Low to Medium GI (around 58)

Swetener Varieties:

  1. Cane Sugar (Sucrose): High GI (around 65-70)
  2. White Sugar (Sucrose): High GI (around 65-70)
  3. Bee Honey: Medium GI (around 58)
  4. Maple Syrup: Medium GI (around 54)
  5. Coconut Sugar: Medium GI (around 54)
  6. Kithul Jaggery: Low to Medium GI (around 45)
  7. Agave Nectar: High GI (around 15-30, but can vary based on processing)
  8. Stevia: Very low GI (essentially zero, as it doesn’t impact blood sugar)
Glycemic Index of Food we eat
GI value comparison

Comparison:

  • High GI foods (70 and above) lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar.
  • Medium GI foods (56-69) cause a moderate increase in blood sugar.
  • Low GI foods (55 and below) result in a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar.

It’s important to note that the glycemic index can be influenced by various factors, including food preparation, ripeness, and the presence of other nutrients like fiber and fats. Combining high-GI foods with those that have a lower GI can help balance blood sugar responses. Additionally, the concept of glycemic load (GL), which considers both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a food, provides a more comprehensive view of its impact on blood sugar.

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