Instant noodles cause a sharp sugar level spike because it's made of refined flour. Adding a bowl of vegetables to it will add fibres and will make the glucose release in bloodstream slower. It will also keep you full for a longer time and reduce cravings.
Any form of carbohydrates has to be broken down into simple units during digestion to derive energy from it. When you consume carbohydrates-containing food, first, the enzymes in your mouth break down the chains of carbohydrates. As the acid in the stomach prevents its further digestion, this food travels to your small intestines, where several enzymes continue your digestion process by breaking down carbohydrates into monosaccharides of glucose or fructose. These simple sugars are absorbed into your bloodstream and travel to different cells, where they are used and stored for energy. This glucose is used for energy, which your body needs for every single function. The amount of energy gained varies with the different foods you eat and how your body digests them. Besides, different forms of carbohydrates affect your metabolism differently.
In a nutshell, this whole process of producing and using energy is called metabolism. And interestingly, every step of carbohydrate (or any other food) digestion also needs energy. After the body exhausts its source of readily available glucose, it burns your fat, followed by muscle, converts it to glucose, and uses it to generate the required energy. So, once the amount of energy your body needs exceeds the amount obtained from the food you consume, you begin to burn stored fat to meet the energy requirements.
Carbohydrates are formed with long chains of individual units of simple sugars attached together. The carbohydrate category holds a plethora of different starches, sugars, and fibres, including legumes (beans and pulses), fruits, vegetables (potatoes), dairy, and grains. All these types of carbohydrates are digested differently and impact your metabolism distinctly.
Both the above forms fall into a category of simple carbs that enter our bloodstream almost instantly and can be effortlessly absorbed by our body and used as a source of energy. You burn negligible calories to use these carbs as fuel.
In a study, which compared the consumption of energy by the individuals on low-carb diets with those on high-carb diets, it was noted that those on a low-carb diet are associated with increased metabolism and burn a lot more energy.
Low-carb diets may help cut down your appetite and prevent fluctuations in your blood glucose levels. Besides, low-carb diets usually contain a high level of protein, which needs more energy for digestion, thereby helping you burn more calories and supporting your weight loss.
However, low-carb diets may not work for all, mainly because your metabolism depends on the quality or types of carbohydrates and your unique physiology. Every human body responds differently to foods containing the exact amount or type of carbohydrate.
Usually, the foods we eat comprise complex structures that need to be broken down or metabolised by our body to derive the energy stored in them. Some foods (with smaller thermic effects) require less energy to process food, implying your body doesn't have to spend more energy to burn them. While other foods (with larger thermal effects) require more energy to burn, which means your body consumes more calories to process them. So, the quality of carbohydrates matters. For instance, to get the sugar from an apple, our body has to break down its fibrous structure first. In contrast, our body needs no effort if you just eat a spoonful of sugar.
Usually, the more refined or processed (low quality) the food is, the easier it is to digest it. So, precisely, consuming a diet comprising highly-refined carbohydrates like bread or white rice will provide you a lot more energy when compared to consuming the exact amount of carbohydrates from (high quality) sources of legumes, fruits, or whole intact grains.
We have gone through the glycemic index values of hundreds of foods in this blog post, and we prepared a low GI food list for diabetes. It is also a helpful tool for anyone looking to lose weight or have more energy throughout the day.
The glycemic index (GI) is simply a system of eating foods containing carbohydrates. This rating indicates how quickly blood sugar levels will increase when one eats these foods independently. There are two types of GI rating foods, i.e., high GI rated foods and low GI rated foods. Foods with a high GI rating are broken down quickly by your body and rapidly increase blood sugar levels soon after.
Examples of high GI rating foods are:- white bread, potatoes, white rice, etc. Low or medium-GI foods take longer for the body to break down into simple sugars, which results in a gradual rise in blood sugar over time. Examples of low GI rating foods are:- fruits, vegetables, barley, brown rice, etc.
The glycemic index is a concept that essentially measures how much effect the food you eat has on your blood glucose levels. The higher the food's glycemic index, the more pronounced its effect on your body. There are many tables available that list types of foods and their GIs. These tables can give one a greater understanding of what options might be feasible to include in a diet. The GI of a food is considered low when it has a value of 55 or under; high when it has a value of 70 or more; and midrange when it has a value of 56 to 69.
A GI score of 55 makes rolled porridge oats a low-GI breakfast option. Oats also contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre with several health benefits. Steel-cut and rolled oats have the best health benefits and the lowest GI scores. Instant and quick oats are more processed and have a higher GI score.
Low-GI dairy products are healthy additions to morning porridge. Skimmed milk has a GI of 37, while full-fat milk has a score of 39. It is a good source of calcium, which supports bone health. Reduced-fat soy milk can have a GI of between 17 and 44, and full-fat soy milk may score 44.
GI scores will vary among brands. But you can also add it to smoothies that contain low GI fruits, such as apples, bananas, grapes, and mangoes.
Chickpeas provide a good amount of protein and fibre per cup, with 11.8 grams and 10.6 grams, respectively; they also contain calcium, potassium, and vitamin B-9. Chickpeas have a low GI score of 28, making them a low-carbohydrate source. Roasted chickpeas make a delicious and fast snack.
Carrots have a GI score of 39, making them the perfect alternative to bread when enjoying hummus as a dip. They offer a good source of beta-carotene and potassium without the high-fat content of olive oil or dairy cream. These are good for eye health.
Carrots are packed with antioxidants, making them essential to achieving body protection from free radicals.
5. Kidney Beans
The GI score of kidney beans is 24, making them a versatile low-GI food. They are also very high in protein and fibre, with 13.36g and 11g per cup. Kidney beans are also low in fat and high in potassium.
The glycemic index provides a classification of carbohydrate-containing foods based on their tendency to elevate your blood sugar levels. Foods with a higher glycemic index will raise your blood sugar significantly faster than those with a lower value. To manage your blood sugar properly, you can apply the basic principles of healthy eating, portion control, and counting carbohydrates.
Low Glycemic Index foods
High Glycemic Index foods
The glycemic index (GI) is just one method of analysing carbs. It has become very popular in the past two decades because it is a quick, easy, and cheap measure to process. However, earlier this year, a team of researchers came up with a new system for examining carbohydrates. The combined measurement known as glycemic load (GL) incorporates both the GI and the number of carbohydrates in each food item.
A formula calculates a food's glycemic load (GL).
Although low-carb diets are highly recommended for better health and weight loss, they may not be advisable or successful for everyone. This is because how these diets impact your metabolism depends on several factors like the type of carbohydrates and how your body works. Some carbohydrates (like fruits, legumes, or whole grains) are difficult to digest and consume more calories to release the inner nutrients.
Likewise, foods containing lots of fibre or complex carbohydrates are those that your body needs to process before they can be used by your body, burning more calories. Such high-quality carbs are always a better choice to lose weight or help maintain your health. On the other hand, foods like refined grains or simple sugars are easy to digest, implying you burn less calories while digesting them. Besides, whether the food increases your metabolism and assists you in losing weight depends on your own unique biology.
Many people with diabetes are interested in lowering their blood sugar after meals. In general, the lower a food's GI, the better it is for you. You can use this low GI food list for diabetes as a guideline to see which foods are best for you. If you are interested in learning more about how the GI of food can help you, feel free to read this blog post.
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