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The Importance of Knowing the Difference Between High and Low-Glycemic Foods for Diabetics


Introduction

Understanding the Glycemic Index

Importance of Low-Glycemic Foods for Diabetics

Glycemic Index of Common Foods

Food

Glycemic Index

​Low GI Foods (55 or Less)

Apple

36

Banana

51

Carrots, boiled

39

Chickpeas

28

Ice cream

51

Kidney beans

24

Lentils

32

Mango

51

Orange

43

Rice noodles

53

Rolled oats

55

Skim milk

37

Soya beans

16

Spaghetti, white

49

Sweet corn

52

Medium GI Foods (56 to 69)

Brown rice, boiled

68

Couscous

65

French fries

63

Pineapple

59

Popcorn

65

Potato chips

56

Sweet potato, boiled

63

Wheat flake biscuits cereal

69

High GI Foods (70 to 100)

Cornflakes

81

Instant oatmeal

79

Potato, boiled

78

Potatoes, instant mashed

87

Rice milk

86

Rice porridge

78

Rice cackers

87

Unleavened wheat bread

70

Watermelon

76

White rice, boiled

73

White bread (wheat)

75

Whole wheat bread

74

Meal Plan for Diabetics

For a month-long meal plan, you can rotate a variety of meals that fit this plan. For example, for breakfast, you can have rolled oats with a side of fruit and skim milk. For lunch, you can have a salad with lean protein like chicken or tofu, and for dinner, you can have a serving of whole grain pasta with a side of non-starchy vegetables. Remember to also include healthy snacks in between meals, such as nuts or a piece of fruit.


A 7-day meal plan that is low in fat, calories, and carbs, and rich in nutrients, fiber, and protein:

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Rolled oats with a side of fruit and skim milk

  • Lunch: Salad with lean protein like chicken or tofu

  • Dinner: Whole grain pasta with a side of non-starchy vegetables

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds

  • Lunch: Quinoa salad with mixed vegetables and a hard-boiled egg

  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with a side of broccoli and brown rice

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach and whole grain toast

  • Lunch: Lentil soup with a side of mixed greens

  • Dinner: Baked chicken breast with quinoa and steamed carrots

Day 4:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie made with spinach, banana, blueberries, and almond milk

  • Lunch: Chickpea salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese

  • Dinner: Stir-fried tofu with mixed vegetables and brown rice

Day 5:

  • Breakfast: Whole grain cereal with skim milk and a side of fruit

  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a side of carrot sticks

  • Dinner: Baked fish with a side of sweet potato and green beans

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: Omelets with mushrooms, bell peppers, and low-fat cheese

  • Lunch: Vegetable soup with a side of whole-grain bread

  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with a side of quinoa and steamed broccoli

Day 7:

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of granola and a side of fruit

  • Lunch: Tuna salad with mixed greens and a hard-boiled egg

  • Dinner: Baked turkey with a side of brown rice and mixed vegetables


  1. Popcorn: It’s a whole grain and a good source of fiber.

  2. Trail Mix: A combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit can be a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

  3. Nutreat: This is a brand of snack bars that are made with whole grains and nuts.

  4. Veggies and Hummus: Raw green vegetables paired with hummus can be a satisfying and nutritious snack.

  5. Raw Carrots: They are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins.

  6. Kidney Beans: They are high in fiber and protein, which can help control blood sugar.

  7. Chickpeas: They are a good source of protein and fiber.

  8. Lentils: They are high in fiber and protein, and they have a low GI.

  9. Bran Breakfast Cereals: These cereals are high in fiber and have a low GI.

  10. SimplyProtein Bars and Snacks: These are high-protein, low-sugar snacks.

  11. Whole Grain, Multigrain, Rye, or Sourdough Bread: These types of bread have a lower GI than white bread.

  12. Steel Cut Oats: They are high in fiber and have a lower GI than instant oats.

  13. Apples, Strawberries, Apricots, Peaches, Plums, Pears, Kiwi, Tomatoes: These fruits have a low GI and are a good source of vitamins and fiber.

  14. Leafy Greens like Spinach and Kale: They are low in calories and high in vitamins and fiber.

Conclusion

Understanding the glycemic index and incorporating low-GI foods into your diet is a powerful tool for managing diabetes. It allows for better control of blood sugar levels, can aid in weight loss, and can reduce the risk of developing further complications associated with diabetes. By being mindful of the GI of the foods we eat, we can make informed decisions that benefit our health in the long run. Always remember to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian to create a meal plan that suits your individual needs and goals.


References:

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Kimberly Marsh
Kimberly Marsh
Nov 25, 2023

Great information.

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