You may already know that every food that contains carbohydrates can raise blood sugar. From white rice to pain au chocolat, you have to avoid any food with a high glycemic index. However, there are tricks that help lower the glycemic index. Discover them in the following lines.
First of all, know that the human body reacts differently to each food. Thus, a gram of carbohydrates from one type of food can affect blood sugar very differently from a gram that comes from another type of food. This is why the glycemic index is used to assess the effect of a particular food on blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index, the more likely blood sugar will rise after a meal. Potatoes, for example, have a higher glycemic index than brown rice. Experts recommend that 45-65% of all calories come from carbohydrates. This means that you should consume between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal if you are a woman, and between 60 and 75 grams if you are a man. So you can get 60 grams of carbs with a cup of pasta and a little fruit.
Low glycemic index foods
Tips for lowering the glycemic index
You can lower the glycemic index of your meals by following a few simple steps.
Note that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are low glycemic index foods. As a general rule, the more fiber a food contains, the lower its glycemic index. Thus, a serving of white rice or a slice of white bread will raise blood sugar a little more than a serving of brown rice or a slice of wholemeal bread. So eating high-fiber whole-grain bread rather than low-fiber white bread is definitely a step in the right direction.
Avoid foods with a high glycemic index
Consider avoiding foods that have a glycemic index of over 70, as well as processed foods. This is because food processing tends to raise the glycemic index by making carbohydrates easier to digest. So, give preference to oatmeal over cereal. Keep in mind the rule of thumb: the closer a food is to its natural state, the better.
Avoid processed foods
Pay attention to potato consumption
Since potatoes are full of carbohydrates that quickly turn into sugar and end up in the bloodstream, it is best to be careful about consuming this vegetable. If you want to add them to your meal, avoid crushing them. Mashing potatoes can increase the glycemic index by 25%.
Bet on vinegar
Keep in mind that anything acidic helps lower the glycemic index of a meal. If you can, add a little vinegar or lemon juice to your dishes.
Add vinegar to your dishes
Be aware that there are several food combinations that can significantly lower the glycemic index of potatoes. That is, you have the opportunity to slow down the pace of digestion when eating this vegetable, combining it with other foods. Here are the foods to pair with potatoes:
Here’s how to lower the glycemic index of potatoes
- Fats, such as olive oil, butter, sour cream and avocados, lower the GI (glycemic index) of potatoes.
- Vinegar, citrus or salsa work the same way.
- Protein also lowers the GI. Consider combining potatoes with poultry or fish.
- Adding fiber-rich foods also lowers the GI. Eat a vegetable salad with the potatoes to enjoy the benefits of fiber.
- Eating the skin of potatoes provides not only vitamin C, but also fiber which contributes to the reduction of the glycemic index.
- A study found that cooking and then cooling potatoes before consumption also lowers the glycemic index of vegetables.
- Boiling potatoes is another way to lower their glycemic index.
Lemon juice helps lower the glycemic index of foods
Rice can quickly raise your blood sugar levels due to its high glycemic index. However, you can use these methods to lower its GI so you can consume it.
- Add coconut oil which contains healthy fats and helps lower blood sugar levels.
- Eating rice with protein lowers the GI. So consider adding tofu, chicken, fish, or other meats to your meal to lower the total glycemic index.
Eat rice with protein
What kind of rice has the lowest GI?
While white rice is a high glycemic index food, there are varieties of rice that are low in carbs and high in fiber. These varieties do not cause blood sugar spikes.
- Brown rice – Compared to white rice, the glycemic index of brown rice is very low. Along with its low glycemic index, brown rice is also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that help boost your health.
- Whole grain basmati rice has the lowest glycemic index.
- Red rice is full of nutrients and natural goodness. Along with having a low glycemic index, red rice is also rich in body-strengthening antioxidants and magnesium.
- Black rice – Its glycemic index is closer to that of red rice and it contains similar nutrients. The only difference is that red rice has a better supply of nutrients. Black rice also contains essential vitamins and nutrients like zinc and riboflavin.
- Wild rice can be a good addition to a diabetic diet. It has a low glycemic index and is full of nutrients. Additionally, wild rice is a good source of essential amino acids and vitamins.
In order to lower the glycemic index of an entire meal, consider following the methods below:
- Studies show that consuming tomato juice, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar with meals can help lower the glycemic index.
- Cook the pasta and rice al dente. If the pasta or rice is overcooked, the glycemic index increases.
- Lightly steam your vegetables or eat them raw to maintain their fiber content.
- Choose firm fruits that are not overripe. The riper the fruit, the higher the amount of natural sugars.
- Soups made from lentils or other legumes are excellent choices due to the high fiber content and low glycemic value of beans.
- For dessert, prefer berries to pineapple and bananas, as they have a low glycemic index and are higher in fiber and antioxidants.
- Dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate because it is lower in sugar and is a very good source of health-promoting antioxidants. But remember, just one small square is enough to reap these health benefits!
Dark chocolate is a very good source of antioxidants
Grandma’s remedy to lower blood sugar
Here are some home remedies that will help you lower blood sugar.
- Avoid sitting and lying down right after eating.
- Besides avoiding the couch, there’s something you can do to improve your blood sugar levels after a meal. Put on your sneakers and go for a walk to further balance your blood sugar levels. You may even be able to eliminate some of those calories, which is an added benefit.
- Do not skip breakfast as this can have a significant impact on blood sugar levels throughout the day.
- Getting enough sleep is vitally important for overall health and well-being, but especially for blood sugar control. Additionally, not getting enough quality sleep can trigger stress hormones that raise blood sugar.
- Focus on fiber-rich foods that will promote the presence of healthy bacteria in the intestine, which, in turn, will help balance blood sugar levels, while maintaining the regularity of the digestive system. Fiber-rich foods include fruits with skins, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
Choose fiber-rich foods
How much water to drink to control blood sugar?
Drinking enough water can help your body eliminate excess glucose. Experts recommend that adult men drink about 13 cups, or 3 liters, of water per day and women about 9 cups, or about 2 liters.
Drink enough water
Low glycemic index foods
Focus on good snacks