Foods with a low glycemic index 2023
Foods with a low glycemic index: a table for diabetics and losing weight 2023
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Delving into the basics of proper nutrition, people learn to evaluate not only the appearance and taste of dishes but also their effect on the body. Many of them sooner or later come to the conclusion that one of the most important components of a healthy diet is foods with a low glycemic index (GI). Everyone who monitors their health should know about them, especially those with diabetes.
General characteristics of the glycemic index
In the bloodstream, through the processes of self-regulation, a certain concentration of glucose is maintained, which is necessary for the normal functioning of the body. After eating carbohydrate foods, blood sugar levels increase. The glycemic index (GI) indicates the amount of glucose in the bloodstream half an hour after a meal.
Empirically, the GIs of all products were established, and the rate of glucose breakdown was taken as absolute 100%. Based on the data obtained, 3 food groups were formed with a high, medium, and low glycemic index. It is worth noting that the sooner the carbohydrates that make up the product are digested, the higher its GI.
The use of foods with a high index contributes to instant energy gain and strength, but they also have their drawbacks:
- contribute to the formation of subcutaneous fat;
- provoke the imminent appearance of hunger;
- contraindicated for diabetics.
For the convenience of determining the GI of products, special tables have been created. Their use is indispensable for weight loss and for maintaining a stable blood sugar concentration in people with diabetes. Alas, the packaging of most products in stores does not indicate their GI, but only BJU data, which, however, does not make it possible to get a complete picture of the benefits of the product.
The value of the indicator in diabetes mellitus
The GI indicator is of paramount importance for people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. It is knowledge about the GI of food that helps them control the concentration of glucose in the blood. The glycemic index was originally developed primarily for patients with diabetes, so for a long time, the GI had a second name – the insulin index.
However, medicine did not stop at the issue of studying the GI, and it turned out that there is a slight difference between the glycemic and insulin index. Their correlation coefficient is 0.75. It turns out that carbohydrate-free or low-carbohydrate foods, when digested, can also provoke an insulin response.
The concept of the insulin index (AI) was introduced by Australian professor Janet Brand-Mille as an indicator that characterizes products in terms of their effect on the release of insulin into the blood. This approach opened up new possibilities (for example, the precise definition of an insulin injection helped to compile a list of products with the most and least pronounced properties for simulating insulin synthesis).
However, GI remains a fundamental factor in creating an optimal menu for diabetics. Therefore, the importance of the need to determine the index before forming a diet for diabetics is undeniable.
Do not forget that an increased glycemic load can negate the effect of a whole complex of drugs.
List of low glycemic foods
The low glycemic foods shown in the table below are ideal for weight loss and diabetic menus due to their ability to supply the body with energy slowly and evenly. So, many fruits have not only a low GI, but also contain L-carnitine, which provides additional fat burning.
It can be seen that meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products are almost not represented in the table. This is due to the low content of carbohydrates in them, which turns them into products with virtually zero GI. Therefore, ideally, combine proteins with products that have a low GI. This approach is used in many diets and has long been shown to be effective and safe.
But you should not refrain from products with an average GI, in particular:
- from oatmeal and orange juice (65);
- boiled and stewed beets (64);
- potatoes “in uniform” (64);
- rye and whole grain bread (63);
- canned vegetables (63);
- parboiled rice (60);
- melon and banana (60);
- spaghetti (55);
- persimmons and kiwi (50).
But what foods it is better to abstain from are refined rice, white bread and rolls, mashed potatoes, sugar, and all kinds of sweets. These foods pose a danger to diabetics and interfere with weight loss results.
Factors influencing changes in index indicators
The most important factor influencing the increase or decrease in GI is the level of processing of products. So, refined foods (sugar, white flour, and rice) and food that has undergone prolonged heat treatment almost always have an increased index. For example, the GI of raw carrots is 34, and boiled – is 86.
Foods that contain a lot of fiber and fibers that need to be digested for a long time often have a low GI. So, if fresh apples have an index of 29, then already made juice from them, will be 39. Also, foods containing complex (slow) carbohydrates often have a low GI.
Dishes with protein and fat components also have a low index, since such components slow down the absorption of starches and increase the time for their complete digestion. Foods containing resistant starches also have a lower GI. In addition, it is worth remembering that the degree of ripeness of the fruit can affect the index (green banana – 29, ripe – 80).
In addition, acidic foods often have a lower GI. This is explained by the action of its constituent acids, which slow down the absorption of starches. At the same time, salt has the opposite effect and significantly increases the GI. It affects the index and the degree of grinding of products: the finer the vegetables are cut, the higher their GI. The digestion of crushed food takes less time, so the sugars included in its composition are absorbed more quickly.
Pros and cons of products with a low index
The specificity of products with a low GI is that they release energy gradually, over several hours. As a result, glucose enters the bloodstream in small portions and is used for the current needs of the body, without being stored in the form of fat. After eating such foods, a person does not feel hungry for a long time, so nutritionists strongly recommend that people who lose weight include them in their diet.
Accordingly, the consumption of such products has the following advantages:
- prevent the development of undesirable complications of diabetes mellitus;
- provide a gradual release of glucose throughout the day;
- promote gradual weight loss;
- help control appetite;
- are the prevention of obesity.
However, do not forget about the disadvantages of such products. So, if a person’s diet consists purely of products with a minimum index, then his body’s resistance to physical activity decreases. In addition, most low-GI dishes are quite difficult to prepare.
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
The correct definition of GI is a very difficult task. Its results often fluctuate and depend on many factors, for example, on the individual state of the organism. Close attention should be paid to the calculation of GI when forming a dietary menu for diabetics. In this case, the glycemic load (GL) is also calculated. This indicator indicates which of the foods provokes the longest increase in blood glucose levels. It is calculated according to the following formula:
GL \u003d product m (grams) * its GI / 100
In the future, in order to assess the usefulness of nutrition, the following GN scale is used:
- up to 80 – low level;
- 81-119 – medium;
- more than 120 – high.
Patients with diabetes need to follow a diet with low and medium GL. There is an opinion that the daily norm for them is no more than 100 units. But this value is an average. With certain characteristics of the body, it can be both higher and lower.
In the end, we hope that you found what you are looking for, and do not forget to consult a doctor. Thank you