Picture an old - fashioned see saw, with plenty of ups and downs. That’s how our blood sugar level goes over the course of day. That all depends on how much carbs we eat and when! The highs that follow meals and snacks that drops it down. So, it’s better to eat carbs in the right amount, that makes your blood sugar level more like a kiddie see saw with gentle ups and downs and helps to make a healthy difference.
How can we conquer this variation and achieve a balance in our blood sugar level?
There is a perfect tool named Glycemic Index (GI) that would help to rate the foods containing carbohydrates by how much they boost the blood sugar level in our body – and that’s how we can keep our blood sugar level under control!
Basically, carbs are in three basic forms – sugars, starches and fiber. Whenever we eat or drink something with carbohydrates, our body breaks down the sugars and starches in the type of sugar called glucose, which is the main source of energy for cells in our body. Therefore, how carb containing food affects the blood sugar level depends upon how quickly our digestive system can break the food into its components.
Have you ever wondered why fruits are considered as a healthy option despite being containing sugar and why does refined or processed food considered unhealthy?
This is because refined and processed foods have a high Glycemic Index because they are bereft of any fiber and cannot resist digestive enzymes at all. However, in fruits the sugar is fructose which takes longer to break down in the body making fruits healthy with lower Glycemic Index. Low GI diets have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases as well. People suffering from diabetes should always rely on foods having low Glycemic Index. Adding fat and acid lowers the food Glycemic Index, that is why adding ghee, lemon or pickle to your meal is healthy.
How to use this tool?
Using Glycemic Index to make the diet healthy is much easier than we might think, just swap high GI foods with low GI foods. There are three categories of carbohydrate containing foods:
Low Glycemic Index (GI of 55 or less): Most of the fruits, green vegetables, minimally processed grains, bran breakfast cereals, pasta, low fat dairy foods and nuts.
Moderate Glycemic Index (GI 56 to 69): Sweet Potato, raisins, bananas, raw pineapple, sweet corn, oat cereals
High Glycemic Index (GI of 70 or higher): White bread. rice cakes, donuts, croissant, most packaged breakfast cereals.
Swaps for lowering Glycemic Index
- Brown Rice instead of White Rice.
- Steel cut oats instead of Instant Oatmeal.
- Bran Flakes instead of Cornflakes.
- Pasta instead of Baked Potatoes.
- Whole Grain Bread instead of White Bread.
- Peas or leafy greens instead of Corn.
Comparing these values can help you to guide healthier food choices. However, you can’t rely on Glycemic Index always for choosing your particular diet plan because of some exceptions like watermelon – Watermelon have a high glycemic index, but its effect on blood sugar level is very low because the serving contains little carb. And alike watermelon there are many more exceptions. Therefore, GI isn’t a go to guide for choosing a health plan. But it offers useful information that helps to choose foods that have gentle effects on blood sugar.
You can shop for foods with Low Glycemic Index in our vegetables, fruits and exotic categories and start your healthy journey with us.
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