Type 2 diabetes means that your body doesn’t make enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar – the main type of sugar in the blood – can harm the body if it increases in an uncontrolled manner. The resulting damage is the first noticeable warning sign of type 2 diabetes for most people. Fortunately, a person can minimize their risk by following the low GI diet. What is it?
A study published in the National Institutes of Health of the US National Library of Medicine analyzed low glycemic index diets for type 2 diabetes.
The study searched the PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and clinical trials registries for published and unpublished studies on GI diets and their ability to control blood sugar levels through March 1, 2019.
The results showed that low GI diets were effective in reducing glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting glucose, BMI, total cholesterol, and LDL, but had no effect on fasting insulin, triglyceride, or insulin needs.
The decrease in fasting glucose and HbA1c correlated inversely with body weight.
The greatest reductions in fasting blood sugar were seen in the studies with the longest duration.
“Low GI diets can be useful for controlling blood sugar and reducing body weight in people with prediabetes or diabetes,” the study concluded.
Another study with the National Institutes of Health of the US National Library of Medicine analyzed the glycemic index in the diet of European outpatients with diabetes.
The study states: “The relationship of GI to serum cholesterol (total, LDL and HDL) and fasting triacylglycerol was analyzed in 2,810 people with type 1 diabetes.”
It concluded that the study in European patients with type 1 diabetes showed that a lower dietary GI, regardless of fiber intake, was related to lower Hb A (1c) levels.
What is the glycemic index in food?
The glycemic index (GI) indicates whether a type of food increases blood sugar levels quickly, moderately or slowly.
This means that it can be useful for a person with diabetes.
Certain carbohydrates are digested and absorbed at different rates, and the GI is a measure of how quickly each carbohydrate-based food or drink affects blood sugar levels.
The GI index ranges from 0 to 100 and usually uses pure glucose with a GI of around 100 as a reference.
Slowly absorbed carbohydrates have a low GI value. These include fruits and vegetables, unsweetened milk, nuts, legumes, and some whole grains and breads.
When it comes to foods that have a low GI and help keep blood sugar down, avocados are among the best.
Medical News Today said, “Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are important parts of a healthy blood sugar diet, and avocados may help improve insulin sensitivity.”
Other foods include tuna and fish, sour cherries, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, almonds, whole grains, and eggs.
High GI foods that are best avoided when living with type 2 diabetes include sugar and sugary foods, white bread, white rice, and potatoes.