Glycemic load could be the key factor for maintaining a healthy diet for people with diabetes. It takes into account glycemic index of the food along with its carbohydrate content.
If you are diabetic, one of the ways to control the blood sugar levels in addition to medication and exercise is correctly dealing with the type of food that you can eat.
Certain foods like potato are high in glycemic load where as beans have low glycemic loads.
When a person is diabetic, either their pancreas does not produce insulin (Type 1) or there is not enough insulin, or the insulin is not able to do its job efficiently (Type II).
The job of insulin is to tell the body’s cells to absorb glucose (sugar) from the blood. When insulin is not able to do its job, it leads to very high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) which can over a period lead to several complications.
Use a clear shot of the ingredients for this recipe, prepped, and labeled if necessary. Insert the ingredients into the list below, omitting quantities.
Glycemic Index was first reported by David J. A. Jenkin and coworkers at University of Toronto and first published in 1981 in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Glycemic index (GI) is a value of carbohydrate-containing foods. It is based on how quickly and how high those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels.
The glycemic index is thus a measure of how quickly our blood sugar levels can rise after eating certain food.
If you are diabetic, eating certain foods can cause immediate rise the blood sugars fast, and thus the glycemic index can help to choose a combination of foods that will lead to a slow rise in blood sugar.
- Low – Foods that have value of 55 or low. These are mainly foods that are high in protein, fiber and moderate to low amount of carbohydrates.
- Medium – Foods with value between 56 – 69
- High - Foods with value higher than 70. These are mainly food high in carbohydrates and sugar.
Food that does not contain carbohydrates such as meat and poultry do not have a GI value.
Determination of GI value or food.
10 healthy non-diabetic subjects are given food containing 50 grams of carbohydrates followed by measuring their blood glucose levels for the next two hours.
Then the same 10 clinical subjects are fed a sugar glucose food and again have their blood glucose measured for 2 hours.
The glucose level for the test food sample (fruits and vegetables) is first determined. Next the glucose level of the reference food sample (glucose). GI is the glucose level of test food sample dived by that of reference food.
The GI value of a food is the average value of all the people who were part of the study group.
Problem with GI Index
One of the problems with only looking at GI is that it does not consider the amount of food that you consume.
And therefore, is not an accurate measure of what we eat and how quickly the blood sugar can rise.
The better way is to look at Glycemic Load (GL) which takes into account both GI and amount of food that is consumed.
The concept of Glycemic load (GL) was introduced by Salmeron and coworkers at Harvard University in 1997.
Glycemic load is a number based on the amount of carbohydrate in a portion of food along with its GI value to determine how quickly a food can raise blood glucose levels.
Watermelon, for example, has a high glycemic index of 72. But 100 g of watermelon has only 8 g of carbohydrate.
Glycemic Load = (GI x Carbohydrate amount) / 100
So, for 100 g of Watermelon, GL = (72 x 8) / 100 = 5.76 which is a low number.
Why Glycemic Load is important in a diabetic diet?
So, if we know the GI value of a food and its carbohydrate amount, then we can choose a combination of foods that is tasty and nutritious and that can give us a low Glycemic Load.
For choosing what we like to eat, taste is king. No matter how good a certain food is without a god taste we are highly unlikely to eat it regularly
1. Low Glycemic Load – A value of less than 10 is considered low.
2. High Glycemic Load – A value greater than 20 is considered high.
Do you want to read more about Glycemic load check here.
The importance of Fiber
Carbohydrates are of three types – Sugars, Starches and fiber. Sugars and starches are converted into glucose and gives the body the energy to function.
Fiber is not digested by the body and passes through the body undigested and help to regulate the body’s use of sugar.
A well-balanced diet
For choosing what we like to eat, taste is king. No matter how good a certain food is without a god taste we are highly unlikely to eat it regularly. We can look at a combination of foods that can give a good amount of fiber and a low glycemic load and good taste.
Eating more salads, fruits and less of processed food can turn out to be healthy way.
For less glycemic load salad recipes
This is not a medical advice, this is just information for educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Contact your health care providers or Nutritionist to adjust the diet according to their advice.13
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.