Understanding the Benefits of Glycemic Index in Your Diet

With all the food in the world today, we’ll never know what’s healthy for us or not. For people who are looking to balance their diets, they usually look out for the carbohydrates that they take in. But all these carbohydrates are not created equally; some are high in glycemic index, and other is low.34795278_l

What is a glycemic index? Glycemic index, or also known as GI, ranks the effects of carbohydrates in any food on the levels of blood glucose. It compares the carbohydrates from food to food per gram so that people may know what produces high GI and what food produces low GI.

Carbohydrates that easily breaks down means that it has low glycemic index because it is gradually being released into your blood stream. This also means that you absorbed and digest in a slower rate of the starches and sugars in the food. This indicates your periphery and liver will have greater extraction in digesting carbohydrates of all the products.

Some of the foods that are considered to have low GI include:359476_l

  • Artichoke
  • Peanuts
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Chickpeas
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Cherries18818325_l
  • Green beans
  • Grapefruit
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Lettuce of all varieties
  • Nuts (brazil, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
  • Peppers of all varieties
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Soy-beans
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes

Click here for a full List of Low GI Foods 

Benefits of Eating Low GI Foods

19690043_lIf you’re looking to have a healthy diet, it’s important that you eat carbohydrates with low GI. High GI foods can mean pushing your endocrine system to its limits and raising your blood sugar in a fast way. This is especially true for people who are sedentary and overweight.

Switching to foods that have low GI carbohydrates gives you a lot of benefits because it slowly releases glucose into your blood stream. Other benefits you may get are the following:

  • Increases the sensitivity of your body to insulin
  • Improves your control for diabetes
  • Reduces the risks of heart disease
  • Reduces the levels of your blood cholesterol
  • Keeps you full for longer periods of time
  • Prolongs your endurance in physical activities
  • Control your weight better for people who are on a diet
  • Minimises your cravings
  • Helps minimise your body energy crashes

If you’re currently eating foods that have high carbohydrates and want to switch to low GI, then you don’t need to worry about the transition. It’s as simple as choosing the right food for your everyday meal.18282249_l

10978542_lHere are some quick tips that you can use when switching:

  • Choose breakfast cereals made with oats, bran or barley instead of your usual sugary boxes.
  • Choose bread made with sourdough, spelt, whole grains or stone-ground flour instead of white bread.
  • Choose sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.
  • Choose the basmati rice instead of white rice.
  • Eat vegetable salads with the dressing of vinaigrette.
  • Instead of eating watermelons, choose peaches, cherries, bananas or grapefruit.

*Mix the Low Gi diet with moderate exercise and consult with your doctor if you have any health issues.

Low Gi Recipe 

Healthy chickpea, egg and dhal curry9248480_l

  • A can of chickpeas
  • One diced medium to large onion
  • ½ to ¾ of a cup of red lentils
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1 heaped tbsp curry powder14214317_l
  • 1 heaped tbsp coriander powder
  • Crushed chilli (a few flakes)
  • A hand full of Fresh coriander
  • 3 to 4 boiled eggs
  • Enough water to cover the curry when all the ingredients have been added
  • The juice of one whole Lime or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp of a healthy sugar alternative, stevia, xylitol or coconut sugar
  • 1 t0 2  tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ of a whole of crushed garlic and two tbsp of crushed ginger
  • 5 -10 mini fresh tomatoesolive-oil-1-1477831

Method

  1. Fry one diced onion and garlic and ginger in 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Continue to cook the dish at a medium heat until otherwise instructed.
  3. When onions are golden a heaped teaspoon of curry and coriander powder with a drop of water in case it’s too dry.
  4. Add tomato puree and a drop of water again if too dry.
  5. Add half a teaspoon of salt.
  6. After five minutes, add the chickpeas, red lentils and enough water to cover the ingredients,
  7. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice
  8. 1/2 tablespoon of a healthy sugar alternative, stevia, xylitol or coconut sugar.
  9. Simmer at a low heat until the lentils are soft and cooked but don’t allow it to get too dry so add water if needed.

To Garnish

Add the 5- 10 fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh coriander and whole or sliced boiled egg to garnish

Asian Mums Network Health Top Tip

Serve with either pilau rice, grains, couscous, spelt, quinoa or bulgar wheat or why not try and a mix with basmati, quinoa, and dhal. You can choose wholemeal options to make it healthier if you want.

You can choose wholemeal options to make it healthier if you want.

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Author: Asian Mums Network Blogger

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