July 7, 2021
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Get to know low GI foods
“I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and the doctor asked me to take note of the Glycemic Index of the foods I eat. Does that mean I have to start taking sugar-free foods?”
CheckCheckCin: Glycemic Index (GI) is used to measure the effects of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) on blood sugar levels. Once the carbohydrates enter the digestive tract, they will be broken down into glucose that can enter the bloodstream, causing an increase in the blood sugar levels.
Different foods will convert to glucose at different rates. Foods with higher GI can be digested and turned into glucose more easily. They are normally lower in fiber, high in refined carbs, and are easily mashed. These include rice, porridge, bread, cake, pumpkin, mashed potato, fruit juice, and sugar. They might cause blood sugar levels to spike.
On the contrary, foods with a lower GI have lower refined carbs and rich in fiber and protein. Some examples are brown rice, oats, whole wheat bread, spaghetti, apple, corn, white lentils, kidney bean, milk, and cheese. These foods can keep us full for a longer period. Hence, they are effective in controlling our blood sugar levels.
From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, foods with lower GI are generally coarse grains, and Chinese medicine practitioner recommend consuming them on a regular basis. These includes all types of whole grains such as oat, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, corn, grain rice, and whole-wheat flour.
Do note that the longer you cook these foods, the higher the GI readings you will get, as they become mashed. This will also shorten the digestion time, causing the blood sugar levels to rise.
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