A low-glycemic food has a low glycemic index. This means it causes minimal increases in blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a low glycemic index are often recommended for people with diabetes because they help to control blood sugar levels.
Incorporating low-glycemic foods into your diet can help you curb hunger, prevent overeating, manage blood sugar, and help you lose body fat.
The glycemic index was first developed in the 1970s by Dr. Joslin, looking for ways to help people with type 2 diabetes. The glycemic index is based on how much a person's blood sugar level rises after eating a particular food. The higher the number, the more likely the food is to cause blood sugar levels to spike.
The purpose of eating a low-glycemic-index diet is to eat more foods that have only a moderate, longer-lasting effect on blood sugar, as they are broken down more slowly and offer more sustainable energy.
A diet heavy in unhealthy fats, fried foods, and other processed foods might qualify as low-GI but are still unlikely to reduce blood sugar. Low-GI foods are more likely to help you maintain healthy levels of stable blood sugar. Some foods have a moderate glycemic index (usually about 56 to 69), so they are tolerable in moderation.
Controlling hormones is integral for managing pre-diabetes and diabetes by following a diet based on nutrient-dense, low-GI foods.
Choosing unprocessed foods with a low glycemic load--including lots of vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins--also helps you feel more energetic throughout the day. It makes it far less likely you will overeat because of carb cravings, moodiness, and blood sugar fluctuations.
Although it was initially developed to help people with diabetes pick the best foods to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, the Glycemic Index may also help carb-conscious eaters select what is called slow-burning carbohydrates, which are foods that help you avoid sudden drop-offs of energy that may make you craving nutrient-poor, sugary foods.
The low glycemic foods list
Foods containing protein and fat, such as animal proteins and oils, are rated as having a glycemic index of 0, while most non-starchy vegetables are set as having low GI. Low-glycemic foods can also include foods with a higher caloric or fat content, such as cakes, corn chips, or a Snickers bar.
Here are some of the best low-glycemic foods to include in your diet:
- Animal proteins
- Fish and shellfish
- Fruits, such as apples, pears, apricots, and berries
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dark leafy greens
The benefits of low glycemic foods
People with diabetes must be aware of the glycemic index (GI) when choosing foods. The GI measures how quickly a food spikes blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI are suitable for people with diabetes because they cause less damage to blood vessels. These foods include:
- Lean proteins
The Low Glycemic diet
The low-glycemic diet is based on the belief that if you select foods that are 55 or lower in glycemic index, you will be able to curb excess eating and maintain stable energy levels.
Foods with numbers of 55 or lower, like broccoli and apples, are considered low-GI foods, and low-glycemic diet adherents may choose most of their meals at or under this threshold.
Foods that may be regarded as low GI are those when the index shows several 55 or lower.
Low glycemic foods are a valuable tool for people who want to improve their blood sugar control.
Low glycemic foods work by keeping your blood sugar levels stable and supervised, which can help you reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or other related conditions.
Regarding food, there is no one-size-fits-all approach – what works for one person may not be suitable for another. By experimenting with different low-glycemic foods and learning about their effects on your body, you can find a few that will work well for you and help keep your blood sugar levels stable.