When it comes to managing your blood sugar levels, there is no better tool than glycaemic index (my opinion at least!). People with Diabetes are often educated on glycaemic index, although really, it is a useful tool for everyone to use and understand. The Goodness Superfoods products all have a low glycaemic index, and for this reason can be very beneficial at helping people with diabetes or pre-diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. I am going to do my best to explain GI for you so that within about 5 minutes of reading this article you are clear on how to select the best choices for your body:
What is glycaemic index (GI)?
The glycaemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. All foods are measured against glucose which has a GI of 100 (so if something has a GI of 80 or 90- you know your blood sugars are going to jump up rapidly!)
Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health.
Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2).
They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance. By keeping your insulin levels slightly lower, you also program your body to not store fat quite as rapidly as if you constantly had high levels of insulin circulating your blood- now thats a bonus if you are trying to manage your weight!
How to Switch to a Low GI Diet?
The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply a “this for that” approach i.e. swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don’t need to count numbers or do any sort of mental arithmetic to make sure you are eating a healthy, low GI diet.
One important factor to note though is that even if you eat a low GI diet, it does not mean you can over eat. The total load of carbohydrates going into your system also plays a part, and therefore what is being said, is that for the same amount of carbohydrates in a food, if you choose the lower GI version, you will have a slower rise in your blood sugar levels, feel fuller for longer and be able to concentrate for longer too (hence less snacking and more supportive of weight loss).
Below is a table I put together which outlines the different food groups that contain carbohydrates in them, and outlines the high vs low GI options within the food group. Use this list as a starting point to get you on track to a lower GI diet and see the difference you feel!
For more detailed information on low, medium and high GI foods visit www.glycemicindex.com