People with diabetes should perform an almost daily control of food to keep track of blood glucose levels. That is to say, to establish a control of the possible rises and falls of the values of glucose in blood. Physical exercise is another of the main factors that affect episodes of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
There are two main factors to be taken into account with respect to food. One is the glycemic index value and the other is the amount of carbohydrates it contains. Specifically, it is the glycemic load that is the differential value. In other words, it is the element that gives the best insight into how a food affects blood glucose levels.
Foods that increase glycemia the most
Although it may seem strange, people with diabetes are not prohibited from eating any type of food. However, there are a number of foods that, due to their characteristics, should be limited in any diet or consumed as little as possible.
Thus, we find a wide variety of everyday foods that can contribute to increase blood glucose levels at high speed, especially harmful for people with diabetes. These include the following:
Refined wheat flour
Corn starch, cassava
Bakery and confectionery products
Dulce de leche
All of these foods should be limited as much as possible in the daily life of people with diabetes. Fortunately, there are now numerous substitute foods available with similar flavors.
Nutrients that lower blood glucose
On the other hand, we also find different food groups, nutrients and products that lower blood glucose levels. These are more beneficial for people with diabetes, although it is not advisable to abuse them, because it can lead to episodes of hypoglycemia.
Combination of proteins: Cheese, eggs, lean meats or dairy products.
Combination of fats from vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, etc.).
Fiber: This micronutrient is found in fruits with skin, vegetable salads, wheat bran, oatmeal or whole grains.
In order not to increase blood glucose levels, it is advisable to avoid processed foods such as purees or smoothies.
If potatoes or sweet potatoes are consumed, it is advisable to cool them before eating.
Why is the glycemic index important?
The glycemic index is a term that has been used for some years in the food industry to determine the capacity of a food to increaseglycemia. It is an element of great importance for people with diabetes.
On the other hand, another differentiating factor in foods for people with diabetes is the level of carbohydrates that a food product can provide. Taking both factors into account, what is known as the glycemic load was created.
The glycemic load arises from multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the carbohydrates in the serving and dividing it by 100.
In short, the glycemic load is a key element in determining whether a food produces a rapid rise in blood glucose levels or not.
It can happen that a food has a high glycemic index, but the blood glucose peak is not really that high. This phenomenon occurs mainly in some fruits, which may have a high glycemic index but low carbohydrate levels.