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4 Benefits of a Low Glycemic Diet and How to Apply It

KOMPAS.com – The glycemic index (GI) is a number that can give an idea of ​​how quickly the body converts carbohydrates in food into glucose.

Two foods with the same number of carbohydrates can have different glycemic index numbers.

Therefore, the glycemic index can be used to improve carbohydrate counting and help keep blood sugar more stable.

Also read: How Carbohydrates Can Cause Diabates?

Launch WebMDSeveral factors can affect the glycemic index value of a food.

This includes:

  • Nutritional composition
  • How to cook
  • Maturity
  • The amount of processing done

Foods can then be classified as foods with a low, medium, or high glycemic index, and are ranked on a scale of 0–100.

Here are three glycemic index ratings:

  • Low: 55 or less
  • Medium: 56–69
  • Height: 70 or more

The smaller the glycemic index number, the smaller the impact of food on blood sugar in the body.

Also read: 12 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism to Help Lose Weight

A low glycemic diet is a diet that is implemented by involving the exchange of foods with a high glycemic index with foods with a low glycemic index.

Launch Health Line, following this low glycemic diet may offer a number of health benefits.

Here are some of them:

1. Better blood sugar regulation

Many studies have found that following a low glycemic index diet can lower blood sugar levels and improve blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes.

2. Increase weight loss

Several studies have shown that following a low GI diet can promote short-term weight loss and help maintain weight loss.

Also read: 17 Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat Naturally

However, more research is needed to determine how it might affect long-term weight management.

3. Reducing cholesterol levels

Following a low glycemic diet can help lower total cholesterol levels and levels of bad or bad cholesterol low-density lipoprotein (LDL), both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

4. Control your appetite

One theory about the effects of a low glycemic diet is appetite control.

The conceptual idea is that foods with a high glycemic index can cause a rapid rise in blood glucose, a rapid insulin response and a subsequent rapid return to hunger.

Therefore, low glycemic foods will in turn delay feelings of hunger.

Meanwhile, if a low GI diet suppresses appetite, the long-term effect is that such a diet will make people more likely to choose to eat less and be able to manage their weight better.

Also read: 6 Dangers of Low Carb Diet

So, how do you follow a low glycemic diet?

A healthy, low glycemic diet should consist of mostly low GI foods, such as:

  • Fruits: apples, berries, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit
  • Non-starchy vegetables (non-stratchy): broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, tomatoes
  • Whole grains: quinoa, couscous, barley, buckwheat, farro, oats
  • Nuts: lentils, black beans, green beans, kidney beans

Foods without a glycemic index value or foods with a very low glycemic index can also be enjoyed as part of a balanced low glycemic diet.

Some of the foods that fall into this category include:

  • Meat: beef, lamb, pork
  • Seafood: tuna, salmon, shrimp, mackerel, anchovies, sardines
  • Poultry: chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese
  • Oil: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil
  • Nuts: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pistachios
  • Seeds: chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, flax seeds
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, black pepper, cumin, dill, basil, rosemary, cinnamon

Also read: 7 Herbal Plants to Increase Endurance

Meanwhile, some foods with a high glycemic index that need to be limited in consumption when applying a low-glycemic diet include:

  • Bread: white bread, bagels, pita bread
  • Rice: white rice, jasmine rice, arborio rice
  • Cereals: instant wheat, breakfast cereals
  • Pasta and noodles: lasagna, spaghetti, ravioli, macaroni, fettuccine
  • Starchy vegetables: mashed potatoes, potatoes, french fries
  • Baked foods: cakes, donuts, biscuits, croissants, muffins
  • Snacks: chocolate, biscuits, microwave popcorn, chips, pretzels
  • Sugar-sweetened drinks: soda, fruit juice, sports drinks

Ideally, try to replace these foods with foods that have a lower glycemic index whenever possible.

Keep in mind that the glycemic index is different from the glycemic load (GL).

In contrast to the glycemic index, which does not take into account the amount of food eaten, factors in the glycemic load in the amount of carbohydrates in a serving of food to determine how it can affect blood sugar levels.

For this reason, it’s important to consider your glycemic index and glycemic load when choosing foods to help support healthy blood sugar levels.

Also read: 13 Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

Effects of cooking and ripening

For certain foods, the cooking method used can affect the glycemic index.

For example, fried foods tend to be high in fat, which can slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and lower the glycemic index.

Meanwhile, roasting and baking can break down resistant starch, which is a type of starch that inhibits digestion and is usually found in foods such as beans, potatoes, and wheat, thereby increasing the glycemic index.

On the other hand, boiling is thought to help retain more resistant starch and cause a lower glycemic index compared to other cooking methods.

Also read: 4 Dangers of Excessive Fried Food for Health

The longer you cook foods such as pasta or rice, the greater the starch’s digestibility, so the higher the glycemic index value.

Therefore, it is best to cook these foods only until they are still firm to the bite.

In addition to the cooking method used, the level of maturity can also affect the GI of some fruits, including bananas.

This is because the amount of resistant starch decreases during the ripening process, leading to a higher GI.

For example, a ripe banana has a glycemic index of 51, while an underripe banana has a glycemic index of only 30.