Glycemic index gives an idea of the rate at which glucose is released from a particular food into the bloodstream. | Photo credit: iStock images
- Patients with type 2 diabetes struggle with elevated blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance, and patients with type 1 diabetes have no insulin at all to maintain blood sugar balance.
- Glucose is taken as a reference point that has a glycemic index of 100.
- Besides being a rich source of fiber, tomatoes are relatively high in lycopene and vitamin C, which are amazing immune boosters.
New Delhi: We are days away from World Diabetes Day, and it is the time of year when experts across the globe are working to spread more awareness about the condition – from its signs and symptoms to prevention and treatment. As sad as it is, diabetes comes without a cure and requires changes in diet, lifestyle and sometimes surgery.
Diabetes refers to a condition in which the body becomes insulin resistant or loses its sensitivity to the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Insulin, which is released by the pancreas, helps sugar to be absorbed by the cells and regular glucose levels. Patients with type 2 diabetes struggle with elevated blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance, and patients with type 1 diabetes have no insulin at all to maintain blood sugar balance.
In the midst of this, it is recommended to follow a diet low in carbohydrates, high in protein and high in fiber along with a decent amount of exercise to keep body weight under control. And while we’re talking about diet, there are a number of vegetables that come with a low glycemic index (glycemic score) – a variable that defines the rate at which glucose is released from a particular food into the bloodstream.
To learn more about the best and healthiest low GI vegetables for diabetic patients, Times Now Digital is contacting Ms. Sweedal Trinidade, HOD of Dietary Services at PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC. The expert revealed the respective glycemic score, calorie content and health benefits.
“Glycemic index gives an idea of the rate at which glucose is released from a particular food into the bloodstream. Depending on this, foods can be classified as foods with low, medium and high glycemic index. Glucose is taken as the reference point, which has a glycemic index of 100. Along with GI, GL or glycemic load on food is very important, that is, the rate at which sugar is released from the total carbohydrate present in the food portion consumed. ” Mrs Trinidade explained
How are foods with low, medium and high glycemic index classified?
- Foods with a glycemic index of less than 55 are foods with a low glycemic index.
- 56 to 69 are foods with moderate glycemic index.
- 70 or more are foods with high glycemic index.
Take a look at a few vegetables with a glycemic index of less than 55.
- Cabbage (GI 10): The anti-inflammatory reaction to consuming good amounts of cabbage can be attributed to Sulforaphane, kaempferol and other antioxidants present in it. It is rich in friendly insoluble fiber, serving prebiotics (food for gut bacteria lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) helps with digestion and immune function. It is a rich source of vitamin K, also known as a coagulation factor. Therefore, you should be taken with caution if you are on anticoagulants or blood-thinning medications.
- Cauliflower (GI 10): It is a rich source of antioxidants such as glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. The content of insoluble fibers is relatively high, which promotes a feeling of satiety. One of the lesser known facts about cauliflower is in the vegetarian diet that it is a good source of choline which helps with the production of neurotransmitters and also the development of the brain.
- Tomato (GI 15): Besides being a rich source of fiber, it is relatively high in lycopene and vitamin C, which are amazing immune boosters. Tomatoes are a good source of potassium, which helps deal with hypertension. However, it should be taken with caution by patients dealing with kidney problems.
- Okra (GI 20): Okra or bhindi is a low GI vegetable, rich in fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, carotenoids and magnesium. It helps maintain low homocysteine levels and prevents chances of progression to neuropathy. The fiber content of okra not only helps with digestion but also maintains a good glycemic control of the meal. The content of micronutrients also helps increase immunity.
- French Beans (GI 15): French beans are rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid ingested in all ethnic groups and suitable in a wide variety of recipes around the world. Vitamin K helps in the absorption of calcium in the bones and reduces the urinary excretion of calcium.
Although the above vegetables have a low glycemic index, it is noteworthy that portion sizes need to be monitored. Cooking, processing, changes in pH and maturation will affect the glycemic index of meals; Still, seeing the relationship is crucial.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a fitness program or making changes to your diet.
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