The glycemic index (GI) is a value assigned to foods based on how quickly those foods raise blood sugar levels. Foods with low glycemic index (GI) help in weight loss and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Foods with a GI of 55 or less fall into the low range, foods with a GI of 56-69 fall into the medium range and foods with a GI of over 70 fall into the high range. Dieticians say that the lower the GI, the lesser the spike in blood sugar levels.
Dieticians also say that foods with a low glycemic index help prevent and treat diabetes, combat gestational diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, aid weight loss, and reduce cancer risk. reduce and prevent heart diseases. Consumption of foods with a low GI also helps one’s lipid profile by reducing cholesterol levels, which is also linked to the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Foods with a low GI are specifically associated with reducing belly fat because this usually happens with the consumption of foods that limit blood sugar spikes. So what are some high-GI foods that you can replace with low-GI ones? In answer to this question, dieticians say-
1. Eat sweet potato instead of potatoes. Although both have health benefits, sweet potatoes offer a lower GI than potatoes.
2. Use imitation grains such as quinoa, buckwheat or amaranth as a substitute for other grains at a meal.
3. Replace white bread with whole grain brown bread. Whole grain bread not only provides more nutrients, but also has a lower GI.
4. Replace instant oats with steel-cut oats.
5. Instead of eating packaged muesli/cornflakes, eat steel-cut oats as packaged foods are highly processed and loaded with sugar. Rolled oats have a very low GI and can be made salty or sweet according to your taste.
6. Brown rice can be used instead of white rice as it contains more fiber.
7. Instead of snacking, take fresh fruits, nuts and seeds instead of biscuits or cookies. Eating nuts or a handful of toasted seeds, such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, does not raise blood sugar levels as much as processed cookies.
Experts say that making these food swaps will vastly improve your health, leaving you feeling fitter and lighter.
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