Type 2 diabetics have a greater risk of heart disease and developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. The low-GI diet is rated as one of the best diets to follow as it measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar glucose. It is a measure that ranks foods according to their effect of the blood sugar levels and was created in the early 1980s by a Canadian professor named Doctor David Jenkins. The low-GI diet looks at how fat and fibre tend to lower the GI of a food and as a general rule, the more cooked or processed the food, the higher the GI.
Studies have shown that the low-GI diet may result in weight loss, reduce blood sugar levels and lower the risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes – a win-win situation for type 2 diabetics.
It works by putting a rate at different foods raise the blood sugar levels and are ranked in comparison with the absorption of 50 grams of pure glucose, which is used as a reference food and has a GI value of 100.
A food with a low GI decreases glucose less than a food with a high GI.
As diabetics struggle to process sugars effectively, the low-GI diet works effectively at reducing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, according to studies.
There are other elements that affect the GI of foods.
Ripeness and storage time, the cooking method and processing are all things to be aware of when trying to follow a low-GI diet.
Foods to consume when following a low-GI diet:
- Whole grain bread
- Vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots
- Fruits including peaches, plums, apples and strawberries
- Grains including barley, quinoa and couscous
- Dairy including cheese, soy milk and yogurt.
Protein is also essential for balancing blood sugar levels, so adding nuts and seeds to porridge overnight is an easy way to create a more balanced meal
It is also advisable to watch your carbohydrate intake. Research shows that both the amount and the type of carbohydrate in food affect blood glucose levels.
Studies show that the total amount of carbohydrate in food is a strong predictor of blood glucose response than the GI.
Consuming less carbohydrates and more protein have many health benefits.
Leading nutritionist, Yasmin Muswell said: “Protein is vital for growth and repair of the tissues and muscle, but also vital for our skin, hair and nails. Protein post-workout is vital to replenish stores and help muscles grown and repair.
“Protein is also essential for balancing blood sugar levels, so adding nuts and seeds to porridge overnight is an easy way to create a more balanced meal.”
Eating a low GI diet and watching your carb intake is the best diet you can follow for type 2 diabetes.
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