Different carbohydrate foods have different effects on our body. The glycemic index of a food indicates its effect on the blood glucose levels. Glycemic index diet plans are generally recommended to individuals who are supposed to keep their sugar levels in check. This article provides a sample meal plan for the diet.
The glycemic index (GI) indicates the effect of carbohydrates on the blood sugar levels. When carbohydrates are consumed, they break down during digestion, and release glucose into the bloodstream. The GI is determined as high or low, depending on whether the glucose is released rapidly or slowly, respectively.
Around 1980, Dr. David J. Jenkins and his colleagues came up with the concept of glycemic index at the University of Toronto. They also conducted a research to list out foods that would help diabetics. This research helped many dietitians to chalk out GI diet plans.
Foods low in GI are considered very healthy. The slower rate of digestion, results in a slower rate of absorption of carbohydrates. This helps to balance the levels of glucose and blood lipids in the body. For categorizing foods under different GI ranges, the level of glucose it reaches in a particular span is used as a reference. Glycemic index is ranged on a scale of 1 to 100, and is measured at 50 grams of carbohydrate in a particular food, absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose.
|Classification||Glycemic Index Range||Associated Foods|
|High GI||Above 70||Baked potatoes, cornflakes, white bread, croissants, watermelon, direct glucose, etc.|
|Medium GI||56 – 69||Whole wheat products, white rice, sweet potato, sugar, etc.|
|Low GI||Below 55||Legumes, pastas, fruits, vegetables, grainy breads, milk, seafood, brown rice, etc.|
Sample Meal Plan
One can easily chalk out a diet plan by referring to a glycemic index diet chart. One should choose foods which are low in GI. Here is a sample plan.
• 1 bowl plain muesli
• ½ bowl low fat yogurt topped with nuts and fresh fruits
• 1 glass orange juice
Mid Morning Snack
1 glass fruit smoothie made with low fat milk
• 3 oz. chicken satay with peanut sauce, or grilled tuna
• Stir-fried vegetables
Mid Afternoon Snack:
• 1 bowl green salad
• 3 oz. lean roasted meat
• 1 baked sweet potato or 1 cup pasta
A Few Tips…
» Eat three low GI meals, with at least one meal which is a combination of high or medium GI foods.
» Eat more of brown, wild, or parboiled rice; and occasionally white rice.
» Add a variety of green leafy vegetables to the salad. Avoid salad dressings on them.
» Eat plenty of fruits throughout the day.
» Prefer eating sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Bake, grill, or boil them; avoid frying.
» Choose breads and other bakery products made of whole grains like oats, barley, wheat, barn, etc., instead of white flour.
» Eat unprocessed cereals like oats, muesli, cornflakes, cereals made with psyllium, etc., instead of sugar coated cereals.
» While eating meals, distribute the carbohydrate intake evenly throughout the day.
A low GI diet has proved to be very beneficial for patients suffering from diabetes. Besides that, it also helps in keeping body weight under control, reducing blood cholesterol levels, and increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. The slow continuous release of glucose into the blood stream also helps in keeping the energy levels high.