Why Low GI Foods should be included in your diet diary in 2017?

India is referred to as the diabetes capital of the world with 60 million people diagnosed with the disease where one in every two adult with diabetes goes undiagnosed. It is the fastest growing disease in the country and a matter of serious concern as this invariably also impacts the overall economy.

A low GI diet leads tohealthy metabolism and weight management both of which effectively helps tomanage blood sugar. It is thus important to elevate our understanding of whatLow GI means and the role it plays in our overall wellbeing. Glycemic Index orGI is a scale that ranks food we eat by the amount of blood sugar released inthe body. Protein or fiber rich foods have low GI and are better regulators ofblood sugar and hence an understanding of Glycemic Index helps us makehealthier food choices.

How does one understand the numbers on a glycemic index scale? Theindex is quite simple to understand- foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100.

Number on GI


55 or less

Low (good)

56- 69


70 or higher

High (bad)

The GI rating system

Knowing the GI value of foods gives one enhanced control on one’sdiet. Examples of low GI foods are apple, banana,grapes, chana dal, urad dal, rajma, boiled peas, and carrots and sweet potato.Also wheat forms a major part of the Indian staple diet, replacing normal wheatflour with Low GI atta helps in managing diabetes. One must however bring in a balance of low and high GI foods andeat a well-balanced meal.

Apart from diet, there are several other factors that affect theway the body responds to carbohydrates. Age, activity levels and the body’smetabolism play an essential role in determining how carbohydrates areprocessed. Also, the way a particular food is prepared can change its GI value.

All the above factors, combined with diet and exercise, help inmanaging total LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes andheart disease.

By - Dr. Shivprasad C, DM in Endocrinology, Apollo Medical Centre,Marathahalli, Bangalore

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