()

Updated on July 3, 2021

Glycemic Index Food for Diabetes Meal Planning

The aim of a good Diabetic Meal Plan is to help people with diabetes attain quality of life similar to healthy people by

  • making it easier to achieve blood glucose control
  • reducing dependency on more diabetic medication or insulin injections
  • reducing the risk of complications or hospital admission associated with diabetes
  • achieving the same lifespan as normal individuals

Click to watch Doctors Circle video on Glycemic Index

What is an ideal Diabetic Meal Plan?

There is no one perfect Meal Plan and each plan has to be evaluated and adjusted as necessary.  A good diabetic meal plan is one which can help you manage your blood glucose at normal level AND allow you to enjoy your food.  As food is the major influence on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, you must pay attention to the following;

Choose foods with lower Glycemic Index (GI) as these foods do not give you a sudden surge in blood glucose after eating.  GI is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed resulting in big surge in blood sugar levels immediately after a meal and is therefore NOT SUITABLE for diabetes.

High GI foods must be consumed in a smaller amount to reduce the glycaemic load which in turn will improve the postprandial glycaemic response. 

Examples of Glycemic Index of some common foods

Carbohydrate-rich foods can be classified into 3 categories which are high GI (GI > 70), moderate GI (GI 55-70), and low GI (GI < 55).  

Low GI carbohydrates produce smaller fluctuations and is therefore IDEAL for diabetes patients

RICE & GRAINSGI
Brown rice60
Basmati rice65
White rice79-90
RICE IN MIXED MEALGI
Fried white rice38-47
Fried rice kampung59
Coconut rice (lemak)66
BREAD & BREAD PRODUCTGI
Whole grain bread46
Brown bread56-66
Pita bread68
Bagel72
Waffle76
White bread82
White baguette100
NOODLE & PASTAGI
Spaghetti (whole meal)32
Noodle with chicken soup44
Spaghetti (white)46
Plain noodles55-60
Fried noodles59
Kway Teow85
Rice vermicelli99
CEREAL BASED FOODGI
Roti canai62
Flatbread63
Paratha71
STARCHY ROOT & TUBERGI
Sweet potato77
Potato82
Sago porridge116
TRADITIONAL KUIHGI
Roti jala49
Seri muka51
Curry puff54
Dumpling51-55
Cekodok Pisang56
Wajik57
Doughnut57
Keropok57
Cucur bilis58
Popiah63-78
DRINKSGI
Red wine15
Beer15
Soy milk35
Tomato juice38
Apple juice44
Yakult46
Coffee 3-in-151
Milo 3-in-158
Cola or fizzy drinks63
Teh tarik (sweetened)78
High energy drink78
FRUITSGI
Apple38
Pear38
Blueberry40
Strawberry40
Orange42
Peach42
Grape46
Kiwi47
Durian49
Banana52-55
Watermelon55
Papaya58
Dates62
Pineapple82
SWEETENERSGI
Stevia or artificial sweetener0
Fructose15
Palm sugar35
Honey59-65
Sucrose (table sugar)65
Glucose100
VEGETABLESGI
Kale5
Spinach6
Broccoli10
Cabbage10
Cauliflower12
Tomato15
Carrot47
Peas48
Corn on cob52
DAIRYGI
Butter0
Milk31
Yoghurt33
Chocolate milk40
Ice cream61
SNACKSGI
Peanuts13
Corn chips42
Chocolate bar50
Muffin59
Raisins64
Popcorn65
Donut76
Baked Potato76
Pretzel83

Factors which can affect GI Index in foods

  • The presence of fats or proteins and cooking methods in carbohydrate-rich foods can influence the GI values of foods. For example, fat produces a lower glycaemic response by delaying gastric emptying so fried rice has a lower GI than white rice alone
  • Starch from milled grains such as white rice has a high GI because it digests more easily than unpolished or brown rice
  • In fruits, the degree of ripeness also influence the GI index by being more sweet as it ripens 
  • Having more fibre in your diet is beneficial because it reduces the glucose absorption into your body
  • Drink enough water every day to prevent constipation

Glycemic Load

The Glycemic Load (GL) is obtained by multiplying the quality of carbohydrate in a given food (GI) by the amount of carbohydrate in a serving of that food.  Even though you may choose a low GI index food, you should also eat the food in moderation to prevent taking too much carbohydrates!

Summary

These are some suggested strategies for lowering dietary GL in a diabetes friendly diet;

  • Increasing the amount of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruit and non-starchy vegetables
  • Increasing the amount of fibre content
  • Reducing the amount of moderate to high GI foods like potatoes, white rice or white bread
  • Reducing the amount of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, sweets or sugary drinks

Self Monitoring

Despite being on treatment, it is estimated that over 30% of patients DO NOT achieve good glucose pressure control despite being on medication.  It is important to practice self monitoring to track your diabetes control. Healthcare practitioners also recommend lifestyle modification which includes 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Do connect with your Dietician, Nutritionist or Diabetic Educator to help you Monitor your Diabetes

Find and Book your nearest health professional below for Free!

No Listing Found!
TeleMe was built to provide the community with convenient & efficient ONLINE & OFFLINE access to healthcare.

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?