Diabetics can determine the goodness of foods by looking at their glycemic index. It is an excellent way to select healthy foods that fit into your diabetic routines.
The glycemic index is an appropriate measure of knowing how the carbohydrates of food can influence your blood glucose levels. Here is a list of 35 low glycemic index foods for you.
35 low glycemic index foods list
Refer to the following table to know the glycemic categories:
|Sl. No.||Glycemic Index categories||Glycemic Index ranges|
|Low Glycemic Index (safe for diabetics)||0 to 55|
|Moderate Glycemic Index (safe when taken in limited quantities)||55 to 69|
|High Glycemic Index (unsafe for diabetics)||From 70 and above|
Hence, you should look for food items with a glycemic index ranging from 0 to 55. They are classified as low GI foods, which are diabetic-safe.
Here are some healthy choices that you can make:
1. Chia seeds
Chia seeds have a glycemic index of 1. It is a source of enriching nutrients but hardly has any calories. Chia seeds are helpful in weight loss. They are added to fruit salads, yogurts, etc., to increase the overall nourishment and add fiber and reduce the GI of the dish.
Spinach has a GI of only 15. This is a green leafy vegetable full of vitamins and minerals. Spinach is an excellent recommendation to diabetics. They supply you with plenty of vitamin A, calcium, potassium, etc., that act as immunity boosters.
The glycemic index of eggs is below 15. They are a healthy source of animal protein and can be incorporated in a variety of ways. The presence of Vitamin B12 also helps in nourishing the body.
Carrots have a glycemic index value of only 16. They are fiber-rich vegetables that have low starch and fit perfectly in any diabetic diet. Carrots are also filled with vitamin A that helps with improving eyesight. It is a healthy veggie choice for diabetics, be it raw or cooked.
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With a GI of 15, broccoli is a diabetes super-food. It is green, nutritious, and rich in fiber. The abundance of vitamins C and K makes it very healthy for the management of diabetes and offers protection to the body as well.
With a low glycemic index of 7, peanuts make a very healthy snack. It is high in healthy fat that helps to keep the cholesterol levels steady. Moreover, they can induce insulin sensitivity that assists in better diabetes management.
Chicken is a source of white lean fats that also adds animal proteins. This is a beneficial item for diabetics. In addition to this, chicken has a glycemic index of 0, indicating the absence of any carbohydrates.
This tasty chickpea dip is also a nutritious addition to health. It is good with different snack combinations as a side dip or spread. Hummus only has a GI of 6. It is a rich source of minerals, essential vitamins, and fiber.
9. Bengal gram
This is one of the healthiest lentil choices that add protein to the diet. Being low in GI with a score of only 11, the Bengal gram is safe for you.
Yogurt is often a better and healthier snack choice over anything sugary. It has a GI of only 21. Low-fat yogurt also helps with improving the digestive system.
11. Lima beans
With a GI score of only 28, lima beans can be an almost regular addition to your diet. Besides protein, fiber, and iron, they also have essential nutrients like – manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus.
12. Soya beans
Soya beans have a Glycemic index of only 15. They are also well-known for reducing cardiovascular risks that can be experienced by diabetics as well.
Pears are healthy diabetic fruits that have a GI score of 30. They are popular for their citrus values and also fiber content.
14. Moringa leaves
Moringa is a magical food item, and its leaves are equally healthy. With a GI of 0, chewing these leaves can lead to direct betterment in lowering the diabetic blood sugar levels.
15. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are healthy snacks with a low GI of 2. They are nutritious and have several benefits for diabetic health. They are also good for weight management.
16. Black olives
Adding black olives in your salads, as dish toppings, in curries, etc., can enhance flavor and nutrition. They have a safe glycemic score of 15.
Among berries, raspberries are a good fruit choice for diabetic individuals. They have a lot of nutrients, especially vitamin C, that strengthen immunity. The glycemic index of raspberry is 32.
18. Summer squash
With a GI of 25, summer squash is a perfect fit for your diabetes-safe diets. They are rich in nutrients like – fiber, magnesium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, etc.
Among the many safe nut choices, pistachios are one too. Their GI score is 18, and they do not lead to any spikes in blood sugar levels.
20. Unripe bananas
The unripe versions of bananas are used in several cuisines. They have lower calories and carbs because they are not yet sweet. Unripe bananas have a Glycemic index of 30, almost 20 points less than a ripe banana.
21. Tuna fish
If you are looking for preferable seafood options, tuna is a good choice. This is a healthy fat and protein item with 0 carbs and 0 GI. The presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in tuna fish helps to lower LDL cholesterol and enhance heart health.
22. Bell peppers
Bell peppers are vegetables recommended to diabetic patients. They have a lot of nutrients that can help with lowering blood sugar levels in the body. They have a Glycemic index of only 15. Green bell peppers are the healthiest of the lot. They supply you with plenty of vitamin C.
The glycemic index of kale is 32. It is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are filled with vitamin C. It has a lot of antioxidants as well that boost functioning and protects the body.
Eggplants are also great vegetables that offer a good amount of fiber. The fiber in the body helps slow down the pace of digestion, due to which blood sugar levels also do not rise significantly. The glycemic index of eggplant is 10. You can easily have this vegetable without worrying about your diabetic health.
With a glycemic index of only 20, lemons make a great citrus fruit choice. They also provide you with many antioxidants that help the body combat the free radicals in the body. Having lemons are also good for your skin and hair.
With a glycemic index of 15, tofu is a good source of protein for the body. It is low in calories and carbs. Tofu also helps keep the body’s weight in check and lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
Mushrooms are a diabetic must-have because of their many healthy nutrients. It is also low in glycemic index, with a score of just 10. This proves that eating mushrooms would not raise the blood glucose levels of the body. It offers many fiber and antioxidants and is also known to reduce negative impacts on the heart.
If you are searching for some healthy fruit options, apricots are good choices too. Their glycemic index is 34. Apricots are also rich in vitamins A and C, which are vital for the body’s immunity.
With a GI of just 15, peaches are also healthy fruit options. They have lower carbohydrate content and don’t raise blood glucose. It also has many vitamins that nourish health and significantly improve the skin by providing hydration.
This tropical fruit has a GI score of 12. This is low as compared to many other high-carb fruits. Guava is also known to aid weight loss and diabetes control. However, you must stay away from guava juice, as they are usually available with added sugars and preservatives.
Cauliflower is a great vegetable for anyone, especially for those with diabetes. It has a Glycemic Index of only 10. Cauliflowers are low in calories and help with blood sugar management. They also assist in better digestion.
Chickpeas have a GI of 28 only. They can enhance diabetes control by adding more proteins and fiber to your body.
Onions form a common ingredient in our everyday diets. They are also safe and nutritious for diabetics with a GI of just 10.
34. Brown rice
If you want to include rice in your diet, it is better to go with a low-carb and low-calorie option. Brown rice serves as a great option as a grain and has a GI of 50, where white rice has a GI of around 73.
They have a GI value of 15. Tomatoes are low-calorie veggies that can be included in curries, sauces, sandwiches, salads, soups, and almost everywhere. It has many helpful minerals and vitamins. Moreover, tomato juice is also a good diabetes-controlling agent.