Control Diabetes with Low Glycemic Index Diet

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Jupitor Chakma
A doctor, passionate health blogger and internet enthusiast. There is no ending to learning (and I sincerely believe it). I write regularly at my health blog Visit my health blog to read the unique health contents.
Jupitor Chakma
Jupitor Chakma

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Diabetes is a common metabolic disorder and becoming more and more common. The number of diabetes patients, especially type-2 diabetes is growing everyday, may be due to lifestyle changes and eating habits as well as due to environmental and genetic causes. In many countries, such as India, the number of type-2 diabetes is more than 10% in urban areas, which is alarming.

There is common understanding about diet and diabetes, which is, eating high fiber diet, can control diabetes (type-2 diabetes) mellitus. Yes, this is true and high fiber diet is good for controlling type-2diabetes. But there is a better option available to type-2 diabetes patients, which is low glycemic index (GI) diet. Many studies has shown that a low glycemic index diet is better (significantly better) than high fiber diet for controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes. For type-II diabetes patients, it is better to have low glycemic index diet than having high fiber diet to control blood sugar levels and to prevent complications of diabetes. In addition, most of the low glycemic index foods are rich in fiber also.

What is glycemic index (GI)?

Glycemic index refers to how quickly a food can raise blood sugar level after eating it. The faster a food can raise blood sugar level the higher is the glycemic index. Foods with high glycemic index generally get digested (foods with high glycemic index are easily digestible) as well as absorbed from intestine very fast, hence can raise blood sugar level very fast.

High glycemic index means Glycemic Index (GI) range: 70 and higher.

Medium glycemic index means Glycemic Index (GI) range: 56-69

Low glycemic index means Glycemic Index (GI) range: 55 or lower.

Some examples of foods with high glycemic index (GI in bracket):

Potato (boiled 70, baked 98) is a good example of glycemic index food. This is the reason doctors ask diabetes patients not to eat potato or if eaten it should be very limited amount.  White breads (71), cooked rice (70, puffed rice 90) etc. are some other examples of foods with high glycemic index.

Some examples of low glycemic index foods (GI in bracket):

Lentils (29), soy beans (18), yogurt (14) and high fiber cereals (such as wheat, maize etc.) are examples of food with low glycemic index. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach and many more vegetables are also examples of low glycemic index diet. In general most of the vegetables have low glycemic index, with a few exceptions such as pumpkin. These foods produce gradual increase in blood sugar and help in controlling diabetes.

Fruits which are sweet, such as mango, grapes, apple etc. are examples of foods with medium glycemic index.

For better control of blood sugar in diabetes eat more of low glycemic index diet and avoid high glycemic index foods as much as possible.