Glycemic Diet

Your physician was quick to suggest a glycemic diet when your blood sugar levels shot up. Sure there are several parameters to watch for. It would be equally reasonable and wise to add to your knowledge of nutrition, what’s good for you and what’s not in your diet. It would also be smart of you to evaluate your own food choice while consulting your doctor on `Glycemic’ diet.

A holistic, well balanced nutrition guide to choose a reasonable diet chart that is expected to keep diabetes under control is Glycemic diet. Diabetes is known to speed up the development of clogging and hardening the arteries. This increases the risk of being susceptible to heart diseases and stroke. Enough to say, a diabetic has to be diet-conscious.

So when you follow a holistic glycemic diet, you are actually i) lowering your blood sugar levels (lowering your HBA1C), ii) you are losing weight iii) you are reducing the risk of heart diseases and stroke. With a focus on healthy balanced food and fixed meal time, you are certain to see a dip in your blood sugar reading.

Considering the availability of food, what you want to eat and what is tasty for you, your diet must be easy to follow. Ideally, your glycemic diet chart should comprise a balanced mix of healthy carbohydrates, fiber rich foods, low-fat foods, lean meat and fish. It is then easier to discuss with your physician or your dietitian about your glycemic food options.

Carbohydrates must be the main component of your meal. Among healthiest carbohydrates, there are fruits, vegetables, legumes such as lentils, beans and peas, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Doctors suggest consumption of the same proportion of good carbohydrates everyday. You may be eating the right type of carbohydrates but if you falter in the proportion everyday, you are actually creating a fluctuation in your blood sugar levels. Overeating increases carbohydrate intake. It is sensible to space out your daily meals. Otherwise you tend to give in to temptations.

Fiber rich foods such as peas, beans, citrus fruits, carrots, oats, barley, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables are very healthy components for your glycemic diet. The American Diabetes Association recommends a daily intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are good for diabetics.

According to the American Diabetic Association, saturated fatty foods are okay but have to be kept at a minimum. “Not more than 7 percent of the daily calorie intake must come from saturated fat,” they warn. Trans- fat is a complete no-no. They suggest mono-saturated fats such as olive oil or canola oil instead of the regular vegetable oil or groundnut oil. Salsa or low-fat yogurt is better than fats. Consumption of fats, in general, has to be watched for as any type of fat is high in calories.

Fish is considered to be a very good component in glycemic diet. They are very good sources of omega-3-fatty acids which are essential to promote a healthy heart by lowering triglycerides. Fish may be consumed at least twice a week. Frying may be avoided. Any other method of fish preparation is alright.

You can manage to cut cholesterol by avoiding organ meat, egg yolks and whole milk products. Instead, egg substitutes, skimmed milk and lean meat (no skin) are consumable. Cholesterol rich foods can be kept to a minimum consumption of 200 mg a day.

So this is how you create your own glycemic diet. There are plenty of food types available to control diabetes and depending on what and how you want to eat out of it, your physician can give you the final word.
Some institutions also recommend what they call `Low Glycemic Index’ diet. It is essentially a guide to select your food. Each food item you consume (especially of good carbohydrates) has an index that will assess whether your food has a low glycemic index or high glycemic index. Blood sugar levels are known to show a faster and higher reading with high glycemic index. So lower the glycemic index the better for you.

Several diabetic associations in the world including Canada, Australia, England and a few other European countries have endorsed the `Low Glycemic Index Diet’. They say the concept is to strike a good balance of what you eat including healthy fats and protein rich foods that will ultimately help you lose weight. Some are even of that opinion that this concept works better than low-fat diet. They feel that the low Glycemic Index diet has a better effect in reducing triglyceride and PAI-1 LEVELS, which is directly linked with the increased risk of heart attacks, stroke or severe angina.

The American Diabetic Association, however, has expressed some reservations in endorsing the Low Glycemic Index diet as it feels that the theory is a bit complicated. “Many factors affect the GI value of a specific food item including how the food is prepared and what is eaten with it. Also GI values of some foods are unknown,’’ the association opines.

Whether you follow the GI index diet or plain glycemic diet, one thing is certain. Only a knack to indulge in the right kind of food type and keep tab of your blood sugar reading can save you from life threatening situations.

Author: Paawana Poonacha Cariappa

About the author or the publisher
Byline articles for publications,PR content for corporates, syndicated articles for bigwigs, rhymes and short stories for children, and poetry for the like-minded…taking forward over 10 years experience as journalist/writer, presently working as Content Head for a Mumbai-based communications firm. You can view my bylines as “Paawana Poonacha” or “Paawana Poonacha Cariappa”.