5 low glycemic index foods recommended by our expert for diabetics to enjoy

Different sources may vary in their classification of foods based on their glycemic index (GI), but generally, low GI foods have a score of 55 or less, moderate GI foods have a score between 56 and 69, and high GI foods have a score of 70 or above. However, it’s essential to consider individual factors like metabolism and insulin sensitivity when planning meals for diabetes management.

5 low glycemic index foods recommended by our expert for diabetics to enjoy

The glycemic index (GI) indicates how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels after consumption, rating foods on a scale from zero to 100. Foods with a high GI digest and absorb rapidly, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. These high-GI foods often contain processed carbohydrates and sugars.

In an exclusive interview with OnlyMyHealth, Dr. Vinoda Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Naturecure Institute, shared low GI food options for diabetics. Here’s what she recommended:

Food options with a low glycemic index suitable for individuals with diabetes

Many people rely on the glycemic index (GI) to guide their food choices when planning meals. This index categorizes carbohydrate-containing foods based on how they affect blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI value cause a rapid and significant increase in blood sugar levels compared to those with a lower value. While the GI can offer benefits, it also presents challenges. Determining which foods are low, moderate, or high on the GI scale lacks consensus. Additionally, packaged foods often do not disclose their GI rating on labels, complicating efforts to make informed choices.

Here are some examples of low glycemic foods:

1. Oats

Opting for rolled porridge oats with a GI of 55 makes for a low-GI breakfast option. These oats also contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber associated with various health benefits. Among oat varieties, steel-cut and rolled oats are the most nutritious, boasting the lowest GI values. Conversely, instant and quick oats tend to have higher GI scores due to their increased level of processing.

2. Milk

Incorporating low-GI dairy products into morning oatmeal enhances its nutritional value. Skim milk, with a GI of 37, and full-fat milk, with a GI of 39, provide calcium, essential for bone health. Reduced-fat soy milk typically ranges from a GI of 17 to 44, while full-fat soy milk has a GI of 44. It’s worth noting that GI ratings may vary among brands. Additionally, dairy products can be used in smoothies alongside low-GI fruits such as apples, bananas, grapes, and mangoes.


3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas contain a significant amount of protein and fiber per cup, with 11.8 grams and 10.6 grams, respectively. Additionally, they offer calcium, potassium, and vitamin B-9. With a GI of 28, chickpeas are considered a low-carbohydrate option. Roasted chickpeas make for a delicious and convenient snack.

4. Carrots

With a GI of 39, carrots serve as a great alternative to bread when enjoying hummus as a dip. They boast beta-carotene and potassium without the high fat content found in olive oil or dairy cream. These nutrients are particularly advantageous for maintaining good eye health. Carrots are rich in antioxidants, playing a vital role in shielding the body against free radicals.

5. Kidney Beans, also known as Rajma

Kidney beans boast a low GI of 24, making them a versatile option for a low-GI diet. They are rich in protein and fiber, containing 13.36g and 11g per cup, respectively. Additionally, kidney beans are high in potassium and low in fat.

Low-glycemic index diets have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in both diabetic and healthy individuals. Such meals promote satiety and help regulate food intake, particularly beneficial for those who are overweight or obese. For diabetics, low GI diets appear to effectively lower blood sugar levels. Conversely, diets high in GI have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.