The Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating of carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100 depending on the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with GI of 70 and above are considered as high GI foods, 56-69 as medium GI foods, 55 and below as low GI foods.
High GI foods are those which are quickly digested and absorbed in to the blood stream and result in noticeable fluctuations in the blood sugar levels. Conversely, low GI foods, because of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in the blood sugar and insulin levels and have proven health benefits.
Benefits of GI diet
GI diet is nothing but eating lower GI foods. It is good for rapid weight loss and best diet for diabetics. One can easily plan their low GI diet by including healthy fats, good carbohydrates, and lean proteins all together. The least processed foods such as the vegetables, legumes and whole grain breads have low GI values. They make us feel fuller and avoid us from taking food quite often. In addition, they also help in controlling the blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
Following are some more benefits of GI diet
*Reduces hunger and keep us fuller for longer time – can manage and lose weight
*Increases body’s sensitivity to insulin
*Helps in diabetes management
*Reduces the risk of heart diseases
*Improves good cholesterol
*Provides prolonged physical endurance
Low GI foods
Rice is the major staple food for major population of India. Among different varieties of rice, Doongara – a unique variety of rice harvested in Australia was found to be the rice with lower Glycemic Index. It has a GI of 56 followed by Basmathi rice with the GI value of 58. The low GI of these varieties help people to stay fuller for longer and also provides sustained energy for physical endurance. It is a healthy choice for the people looking to boost energy levels and to lose weight. In fact, it is more helpful for diabetics.
The best example for low GI food which gives sustained energy is pasta. Pastas of any shape and size have a fairly low GI (30 to 60). Similarly Asian noodles such as hokkien, udon and rice vermicelli also have low to intermediate GI values.
How to include Low GI foods in our diet
*Avoid oily foods
*Add bread, oats and foods made of barley and bran in your breakfast. Breads made of whole grains, stone ground floor will have lower GI
*Try to use Doongara rice, steamed brown rice, noodles and pastas instead of the regular polished rice
*Enjoy all types of fruits and vegetables but try to avoid potatoes in your diet
*Switch to natural sweeteners like honey rather than regular sugars
With the growing concern of obesity and its effects, one can include foods with less Glycemic Index in his regular diet to improve his body functionality and well-being, besides reducing weight.