If you have diabetes, the chances are you’ve heard of the Glycemic Index, or GI. But do you know how to use GI to control your blood sugar levels? Today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about low glycemic index foods, including what GI is, and a handy list of low glycemic foods and meals with a low glycemic index. We’ll even dive into the limitations of GI, and how best to lower your blood sugar naturally.
Glycemic Index is just one tool to add to your arsenal to help you manage your diabetes. GI assigns carbohydrate foods a score, according to how much it increases blood sugar levels. Foods are classified as having low (0-55), medium (56-69) or high (70-100) GI.
If you’re wondering how to lower your blood sugar levels, it’s easy to see why a knowledge of the glycemic index is helpful. You can incorporate low GI foods and reduce high GI foods in order to avoid blood glucose spikes after meals.
Not even close.
Understanding the glycemic index, and identifying low GI foods that work in your diet, is a great start. However, everyone responds differently to the same foods, and what causes a blood sugar spike for you might not cause a spike in the next person.
In reality, blood glucose levels depend on a whole lot more than just the GI score of your food: it also depends on how much food you eat, plus factors like exercise, sleep and stress. New research even suggests that your unique microbiome makeup affects how you respond to specific foods.
To truly understand how your body responds to food, use a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) in conjunction with an app like SNAQ. CGMs replace finger pricks, taking readings of your blood sugar over regular intervals. Connect your CGM with SNAQ - take a photo of your food on the SNAQ app to understand how your individual blood glucose levels react to different foods.
With SNAQ, you can even make better choices and predict your glucose curve, with insights on your current meal, based on how you responded to past, similar meals.
We’ve covered that the glycemic index is a helpful measuring stick, rather than a full solution for managing your blood glucose levels. With that in mind, here’s a helpful list of foods with a low glycemic index, that can keep your blood glucose levels in check after meals.
Remember: only carbs are included on the glycemic index. There are plenty of other foods that usually have a limited effect on your blood sugar levels, like meat and fish.
When’s the last time you ate a tomato or a corn tortilla on its own?
GI is great for identifying key ingredients to base your meal around, but it would be incredibly time-consuming to work out the GI of each meal, given that home-cooked and restaurant meals have many different ingredients in.
Here are some examples of low-GI meals you can cook at home yourself:
If you want to stop following the recipe book for low-GI meals, and gain ultimate control over your food decisions, download SNAQ.
Instead of working out the GI score for a meal - and then accounting for all the other factors that affect blood glucose level - just snap a photo of your meal. SNAQ’s advanced food recognition AI understands the food that’s on your plate with very little effort.
By syncing SNAQ with your CGM, you can see how meals affect your body - because it’s different to everyone else’s, even if they have the same type of diabetes as you. Then, you can make smart decisions about the food you actually eat, finding meals that help you to avoid blood sugar spikes.
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