Glycemic index refers to the speed at which certain food products that are rich in carbohydrates break down to secrete glucose in blood stream. A low glycemic index is refers to the index which is at 55 or less. Glucose is needed to feed the various organs, brains and muscle, and food that digests glucose quickly have a high index, and the food products that digest slowly have a low index. Low index diet is recommended by physician to people who are suffering from diabetes or heart diseases because it helps in reducing blood sugar level. It is also helpful in reducing weight and it is mostly found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
The main components of low GI index diet include the substances which can raise the blood sugar level very slowly. In this diet fruits are considered to be better than juices. Whole grain diet, fresh vegetables, fruits, beans are preferred in this diet but in vegetables potatoes should be avoided. One can take various things in a diet in a day and following food items can be included in the day’s meals.
1. Oat and bran can be taken in breakfast. It contains some of the lowest amount of glycemic index. Breads of soy and linseed, mixed grain bread or rye bread can be taken.
2. In staples, spaghetti and, eat ravioli can be taken. Instant noodles, barley, white long grain rice and Egg Fettuccini are allowed to be taken.
3. Legumes such as chick peas, lentils, navy beans and yellow split beans have medium index which varies from 40 to 50.
4. In snacks one can take slim fast meal replacements, peanuts, walnuts and cashew nuts, which are low in sugar content.
5. Whole grain and wheat products are considered to be better than refined grain breads. The commercial bread which is sold as the whole grain bread may not contain a good amount of whole grain and fiber content which is needed by the diet, therefore one should be cautious.
Food products which are allowed are
1. Frozen green peas, cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, raw carrots, lettuce, pepper, green beans and onion are allowed.
2. In fruits cherries, grapefruits, apples, peaches, plums and dried apricots have a low GI.
3. The blood sugar level is not affected by intake of fats or proteins and there are no restrictions on it.
4. Rye has a low glycemic index.
5. Other food products which are allowed are brown rice, oatmeal, legumes, low fat unsweetened yoghurt, fresh vegetables and fruits.
6. Syrups and canned food products and fruits juices should be avoided.
7. Corn has a high glycemic index, therefore, for cooking – olive oil can be used.
Food products which should not be taken are
1. The whole grain breads which actually contain low quantity of fiber should be avoided.
2. White rice and potatoes have a high glycemic index, and it should be avoided. Both the products quickly digested and raise the level of glucose in body.
3. The products made from refined flour such as biscuits, donuts and pancakes should be avoided.
4. Candy and fresh grapes should be avoided.
5. Cooked carrots, ripe bananas and cooked pasta should not be taken.