What Is The Glycemic Index Scale
Have you ever wondered why certain foods make you feel full, while others leave you feeling hungry? The Glycemic Index scale is a measure of how quickly glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream.
High GI foods have a higher carbohydrate content which enter your system quickly and cause rapid rises in blood sugar levels, which are followed by drops that could leave you wanting another sweet or starchy treat. The GI scale was developed by researchers at the University of Toronto in 1981 to help people manage blood sugar levels and combat diabetes .
Low GI foods are slowly digested, releasing glucose into the bloodstream gradually, leaving you feeling fuller for longer .
There is no universal definition of what constitutes a low or high food on the GI scale it all depends on the type and amount of carbohydrate present within a particular food.
For example, boiled potatoes usuall have a higher glycemic index than mashed potatoes because theres more carbohydrate in them likewise, fruit juice has a higher GI rating than pieces of whole fruit because it contains more carbohydrates per serving. Some protein-based foods like dairy products also have a significant impact on the overall rating certain foods have.
Weight Loss For Diabetics
Losing weight can make a big difference for people with diabetesit can lower glucose levels in the blood, which may decrease the effects of diabetes and make the condition more manageable. But there are added complications and risks, too. For example, making big changes to your diet can cause serious problems. One of these is hypoglycemia, when your blood sugar goes so low that you risk the danger of going into a diabetic coma. If you have diabetes, you have to be especially careful about your weight loss plan.
Glycemic Index: Benefits And Tips To Follow A Low Gi Diet
The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 based on their effect on blood sugar levels.
Foods with a high glycemic index are quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar.
On the other hand, foods with a low glycemic index are slowly digested and absorbed, resulting in slow rise in blood sugar.
If you are interested in learning more about the glycemic index, you have come to the right place. Lets talk more about the glycemic index here.
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A Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet May Be Your Answer To Ill Health
Reactive hypoglycemia is sometimes referred to as postprandial hypoglycemia. These terms refer to a condition in which an individual who does not have diabetes experiences symptoms of hypoglycemia within a few hours of consuming a meal rich in carbohydrates. It is thought that the carbohydrates trigger a flood of insulin that continues beyond digestion and metabolism of glucose from the meal. The most effective treatment for this condition is to follow a reactive hypoglycemia diet, which involves eating several small meals consisting of high-fiber and starchy foods, limiting sugar, and regular exercise.
It is difficult to say how many people are affected by this condition, as there is not one standard defined diagnostic criteria. The US National Institutes of Health defines reactive hypoglycemia as hypoglycemic symptoms accompanied by blood glucose levels below 70 mg/dL, that are relieved by eating. Some doctors use the HbA1c test to measure blood sugar averages over the course of a couple of months, or a six hour glucose tolerance test. However, regardless of diagnosis, symptoms can be easily avoided by following a reactive hypoglycemia diet.
Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level
If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:
- Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
- Use a continuous glucose monitor or flash monitor to see how your blood sugar levels are changing. Ask your diabetes care team about getting a monitor if you do not already have one.
- Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
- Do not skip meals.
- Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
- Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
- Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep .
If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.
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A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms âmale,â âfemale,â or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
Other dietary recommendations include:
- Focus on whole foods: As much as possible, avoid highly processed foods.
- Minimize the rise in blood sugar that results from eating carbohydrates: To help prevent or reduce this spike, eat carbohydrates with foods containing fiber, protein, or âgoodâ fat, such as avocados and olives. For instance, eating whole fruit is more beneficial for blood sugar than drinking fruit juice because it includes fiber.
- Watch carbohydrates: Eat approximately the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal. Counting and setting a limit on them can help control blood sugar.
- Limit portion size: Since most restaurant meals contain very large portions, wrap up half of the meals to take home and eat later.
Planning meals that meet a personâs health needs and budget may pose a challenge, so consulting with a registered dietitian can be helpful. Another option involves asking a doctor for a referral to a
CDC . This causes blood sugar to rise because insufficient insulin is available to allow it to enter the cells.
As in type 2 diabetes, because the body cannot get enough of the glucose it needs for energy, it breaks down body fat to use as energy. This can cause weight loss.
If You Dont Have Diabetes
Your blood sugar can fall if you wait too long to eat, such as if youâre fasting. It can also happen about 4 hours after a meal. This is reactive hypoglycemia. Or you might have symptoms similar to hypoglycemia if you have postprandial syndrome. This syndrome happens if you eat a lot of simple carbs and your body releases too much insulin to deal with it.
Use these tips to avoid having your blood sugar drop too low from either cause:
Eat small meals and snacks spread throughout the day. Aim for every 3-4 hours.
Stick with healthy eating habits. This should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and sources of lean protein. The fiber in plant foods, along with lean protein, will give you lasting energy and wonât crash your blood sugar. If you plan to eat or drink something sweet, do so as part of a balanced meal.
Limit caffeine. Its effects can mimic hypoglycemia symptoms.
Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, especially if you have a drink without eating something. If you drink, keep it moderate: no more than one serving a day for women or two for men. A serving is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. And donât drink on an empty stomach.
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Calories In/calories Out Is A Flawed Model
The process of gaining weight isnt as simple as one might think. The model of calories in/calories out that many of us are familiar with is flawed and doesnt consider the complex hormonal and biochemical pathways involved in energy balance, weight gain, and weight loss in the body.
The flaws of the calorie deficit model of weight loss can be pictured by imagining the human body as a car: The engine is our cells, the fuel tank is our fat stores, and the fuel within the tank is provided by the food we eat. As we drive the car along, the engine burns fuel to keep the car moving. By consuming food, we refill the tank as we go, preventing it from running dry. In this analogy, if we want to deplete our fuel tank , we can put less fuel in the tank or drive the car faster .
Different types of foods eaten at different times of the day and in different combinations can lead to unique hormonal responses in the body.
The original thought experiment now seems a lot more complex. What happens if we drive this more realistic car, except this time debris has clogged the air filter, preventing oxygen from entering and making conditions impossible for the fuel to burn efficiently? What if the engine oil is depleted and there is excessive friction and wear on the engine parts? This is a more accurate representation of the human body and the hormonal mechanisms of weight and energy balance.
How Can I Prevent Low Blood Glucose
Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.
Monitoring blood glucose, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood glucose, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood glucose levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.
If you can, check often!
- Check before and after meals.
- Check before and after exercise .
- Check before bed.
- After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
- Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.
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Best Methods To Lose Fat Quickly
There are really 3 main keys to healthy, long-term fat loss and I’m going to simplify it for you.
I Eat Carbs Evenly Throughout The Day
Ive tried following very low-carb diets where I go down to less than 60 grams of carbs per day, expecting to feel much better. But I found that I still had low blood sugar and ended up needing to eat fast-burning carbs anyways to bounce back from hypoglycemic episodes. Instead of cutting out carbs, I stick with lower glycemic index carbs and spread them out evenly throughout the day. I try to have about 30 grams of carbs at every small meal. That way Im never eating too many carbs at once, and its never too long before my blood sugar gets a boost again. What does 30 grams of carbs look like? Its about 2 thin slices of whole grain bread, half a cup of cooked steel cut oats, or a large banana.
Eating 30 grams of carbs every 3-4 hours along with protein and fat keeps my blood sugar levels steady so I can exercise without relying on eating extra food to prevent hypoglycemia. When I cut down my carbohydrate portions at dinner slightly , I replaced those calories with lean sources of protein. I found that I felt more satisfied and didnt have to worry about my blood sugar levels as much. This was a huge help in getting to a healthy weight.
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Weight Loss Can Normalize Blood Sugar
For DiRECT, the researchers recruited participants who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 6 years from the start of the trial.
For the study, the volunteers were randomly split into two groups: some were assigned best-practice care, acting as the control group, while others joined an intensive weight management program while still receiving appropriate care for diabetes.
After 1 year from the start of the trial, 46 percent of those assigned to the weight loss program had managed to recover and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
According to the researchers, the participants in the second group who did not achieve these results had not lost enough weight to do so, but still it remained unclear why their metabolisms had not responded to the regimen in the same way.
Now, Taylor and team suggest that the people who responded well to the weight loss program showed early, sustained improvement in the functioning of a type of pancreatic cell known as beta cells, which are tasked with the production, storage, and release of insulin.
And in this idea lies a new challenge to previously held beliefs specialists had always thought that, in type 2 diabetes, pancreatic beta cells are destroyed, contributing to the development of the condition.
This observation carries potentially important implications for the initial clinical approach to management, notes Taylor.
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Hypoglycemia: The Potentially Limiting Factor In Glycemic Management Of Type 2 Dm
Hypoglycemia is a serious concern that limits the feasibility of intense glucose control in real-world practice. Several factors may increase the risk of hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 DM: use of insulin secretagogues, missed meals, advanced age, duration of disease, and unawareness of hypoglycemia.53 On the basis of the United Kingdom Hypoglycemia Study, the rates of mild, moderate, and severe hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 DM were comparable for patients treated with sulfonylureas and with insulin for less than 2 years.54 Fear of iatrogenic hypoglycemia when managing patients with type 2 DM may result in suboptimal glycemic control that increases the risk of macrovascular and microvascular complications.55 Hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 DM may be associated with increased symptoms of chest pain and electrocardiographic abnormalities and may account for sudden death.56–58 The acute severity of hypoglycemia can be exemplified in an average of 380,000 emergency department visits each year based on an estimate of approximately 5 million visits between 1993 and 2005.59 Hypoglycemia is also associated with detrimental effects on cognitive function and mood changes.60
From Int J Clin Pract,62 with permission from Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Getting Blood Sugar Back To Normal
The good news: When we shed the body fat, insulin often starts working again. Thats because our bodys cells often start working again. Their doors kick open when insulin comes calling. Once again, insulin can ferry glucose out of the bloodstream and into our cells. As a result, blood glucose falls into healthy, normal ranges.
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Low Blood Sugar Weight Loss Solutions In Diabetics
All the points listed above hold good for Diabetics looking to shed a few pounds from their weight. Additionally, the following tips or precautions are also important.
1. Remember your anti-diabetic medications
Anti-diabetic agents, especially insulin, can play spoilsport when a weight loss plan is initiated in a diabetic individual. Dieticians may suggest low-carb diets but when insulin is administered, it might actually trigger a hypoglycemic attack.
It is always better to discuss diet and weight concerns with a specialist, preferably the consultant physician or a weight loss expert and dietician to achieve optimum results despite being diabetic.
2. The restriction is important to reach your goal
As mentioned earlier, the diet for a hypoglycemic prone diabetic individual should ideally be a low-carb, low-calorie and low-fat diet with plenty of fiber-rich foods. These foods should be taken at short intervals with snack options being either milkshakes or proteins.
Moderation is the key. A slight deviation once in a while wont hurt. Dont overdo the same by stopping intake altogether. This might prove to be detrimental and counter-productive. Instead, aim for a full tummy with fiber-rich foods and healthy proteins and oils.
3. Physical activity is a must
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A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes
A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.
Possible causes include:
- a gastric bypass
- other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
- some medicines, including quinine
See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.
Always Eat Breakfast With A Good Source Of Protein
Whether or not youre a breakfast person, its always best to make sure your first meal of the day contains a good source of protein. Protein is the primary nutrient that keeps your appetite satisfied its slow to digest and keeps blood-sugar levels stabilized. . Start your day with protein, which will keep your blood-sugar levels stable.
A few blood-sugar-balancing Paleo breakfast ideas include:
- 3 organic eggs with tomatoes, avocado, and turkey bacon
- A ham and spinach frittata
- A protein shake with berries, almond milk, and Paleo-friendly protein powder
- Smoked salmon and sweet-potato hash browns
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