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;
- Food components (particularly the choice of carbohydrates)
- Amount or portions eaten
- Timing of each meal every day
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 & GRAINS||GI|
|RICE IN MIXED MEAL||GI|
|Fried white rice||38-47|
|Fried rice kampung||59|
|Coconut rice (lemak)||66|
|BREAD & BREAD PRODUCT||GI|
|Whole grain bread||46|
|NOODLE & PASTA||GI|
|Spaghetti (whole meal)||32|
|Noodle with chicken soup||44|
|CEREAL BASED FOOD||GI|
|STARCHY ROOT & TUBER||GI|
|Cola or fizzy drinks||63|
|Teh tarik (sweetened)||78|
|High energy drink||78|
|Stevia or artificial sweetener||0|
|Sucrose (table sugar)||65|
|Corn on cob||52|
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
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!
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
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
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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.
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