When you have diabetes it is essential to choose foods with a low glycemic index, which aim to not cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar. Low glycemic index foods contrast blood sugar spikes. But which are the best low glycemic index foods to prefer?
The results of numerous studies have shown that a low glycemic index diet can help reduce blood pressure. Not only that; a low-carbohydrate diet can also improve blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. So let’s see which are the best low glycemic index foods that should be included in the weekly diet.
First of all it is essential to know that, according to the guidelines, foods with a low glycemic index have a lower score 55. The glycemic index (IG) is conventionally formed by a scale from 1 to 100. Each food has its own score and, of course, the lower the score the longer it takes that certain food to increase blood sugar levels and therefore has a low glycemic index.
Essentially, IG indicates how fast carbohydrate-containing foods increase blood sugar levels, compared to pure glucose. Here is how the scale works: foods with a low glycemic index have a score lower than 55. Foods with a medium glycemic index have a score of 55-70. The food at the top Glycemic index have a score higher than 70
Below are six of the best low glycemic index foods, based on the international glycemic index tables and glycemic load values:
Oats: With a GI score of 55, oat flakes are a low-glycemic breakfast option. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with numerous health benefits that helps you feel fuller longer. Obviously, you need to choose pure oat flakes without added sugar. A good breakfast can be porridge, easy to prepare at home. Just mix the oats and milk and heat the mixture in a pan.
Milk: with a score between 37 and 39, milk is a dairy product with a low glycemic index. The IG score for skimmed milk is 37, while for whole milk it is 39. Milk is rich in calcium, which is important for bone health. Research suggests that drinking milk regularly can reduce the progression of knee osteoarthritis in women. Low-fat soy milk can have an IG score between 17 and 44 and whole soy milk can reach 44.
Chickpeas: chickpeas are low glycemic index legumes, with a score of 28 on the scale. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, with 11.8 grams and 10.6 grams per cup respectively. They also contain important nutrients such as calcium, potassium and vitamin B9 (or folate). Chickpeas can be eaten instead of potatoes or white rice, which have a very high glycemic index. A tasty way to eat chickpeas is to prepare hummus.
Carrots: With a GI of 39, carrots are a healthy alternative to bread to accompany hummus. Carrots contain beta-carotene , an excellent ally for eye health. They are also a great source of antioxidants, which help protect against free radicals. Carrots can be eaten raw, boiled or steamed as a side dish for any dish.
Beans: With a GI score of 24, beans are a versatile food with a low glycemic index. Beans are rich in protein and fiber, with 13.36 g and 11 g per cup. They also contain potassium and have a low fat content.
Lentils: with a score of 32 on the IG scale, lentils are an excellent low-GI choice for 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.