A Diabetic’s Guide to Understanding the Glycemic Index

A Diabetic’s Guide to Understanding the Glycemic Index

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An Overview of the Glycemic Index and Diabetes

At Swee2ooth, we believe food and eating bring joy — that’s why we spend so much time making sure our Super Blends taste great!

But, the reality of living with Type 2 diabetes is that some foods can make your blood sugar shoot up very fast. So fast, in fact, that it can be difficult to determine what exactly caused these spikes to occur in the first place. Anyone with diabetes knows to limit carbohydrates in their diet, but how do you tell the difference between “good carbs” and “bad carbs”?

The glycemic index (GI) is your secret weapon for classifying carbs and maintaining a diabetic-friendly diet. This blog takes a closer look at the glycemic index and diabetes, including what it is and how you can use it to take control of your Type 2.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index is a tool used for blood sugar management that measures how a specific food will affect glucose levels. Using the glycemic index, foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 and classified as low, medium, or high. The higher the glycemic index, the more that food will spike your blood sugar levels — and vice versa.

As far as the glycemic index and diabetes goes, this tool can be a game changer! For someone with Type 2 diabetes, the glycemic index is a great resource that can help guide healthier food choices. Knowledge is power, and knowing which carbs are less likely to spike your blood sugar levels can do wonders for managing your diabetes. Keep reading to learn more about how to use the glycemic index and incorporate it into your daily routine.

How to Use the Glycemic Index

To maintain a healthy diet with diabetes, it is important to choose food with a low GI and avoid food with a higher GI. Here are the three glycemic index rankings:

Low Glycemic Index: 0 to 55

Medium Glycemic Index: 56 to 69

High Glycemic Index: 70 to 100

But, how exactly is this ranking assigned? First, it is important to know that the glycemic index only applies to food that contains carbohydrates. Therefore, food such as oils, fats, and meats are not assigned a GI — even though they can still affect your blood sugar.  

Food classified with a low GI ranking tends to release glucose slowly and steadily, which means it is less likely to spike your blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, food classified with a higher GI ranking tends to release glucose more rapidly — increasing the likelihood that your blood sugar will spike. Several other factors influence the glycemic index of food, including its ripeness, how it is prepared or cooked, and how long it’s stored.

As you look for ways to incorporate the glycemic index into your routine, choose low- or medium-glycemic foods and avoid anything with a high ranking. However, don’t forget to take into account how much carbs you’re eating, too. To see the best results, pay attention to the overall nutritional value of your food — not just the glycemic index — when planning your meals. 

The Glycemic Index of Certain Foods

Not all carbohydrates are created equally! To help you fully understand the glycemic index and diabetes, you need to know where certain foods fall on the scale.

Knowing the glycemic index of your favorite foods can help you make smarter, diabetic-friendly decisions in regards to your diet. There is a connection between diet and diabetes, and the glycemic index is just one resource to help you understand how what you’re eating impacts your glucose levels.

Below is a list of the glycemic index for popular fruits and veggies. As always, we recommend doing your own research and consulting with your doctor or a nutritionist for more information about your personal health.

The Glycemic Load: An Alternative to the GI

Although there’s no denying the glycemic index is a helpful tool for someone with diabetes, it isn’t a “one size fits all” ranking by itself. The glycemic index only applies for food when it’s consumed on an empty stomach without anything else — which isn’t necessarily a realistic portrayal of how we eat. It also does not account for how much of that specific food you are consuming. 

Because of this, it’s important to understand the glycemic load (GL), a formula that combines portion size and glycemic index into one number. To calculate the glycemic load, you’ll need to be ready for some basic math. First, multiply the food’s glycemic index by the carbohydrate content of the specific serving. Then, divide that number by 100 — and congrats, you’ve calculated the glycemic load! To put things in perspective, a GL that’s less than 10 is low, while anything above 20 is considered high.  

Fuel Your Journey With Swee2ooth

So, how are the glycemic index and diabetes related? The bottom line is that the glycemic index and glycemic load are both helpful tools for someone with Type 2 diabetes. Being able to determine how a certain food will impact your A1C can help you take control of your diabetes and get one step closer to reversing it altogether.

If you’re looking to manage your diabetes and lower your blood sugar, Swee2ooth is one more tool to help fuel your fight. Every serving contains 20g of protein, no added sugar, and less than 3.5 net carbs. And the best part? You don’t have to worry about a Swee2ooth shake or snack spiking your glucose levels. In fact, our Super Blends are proven to help lower your blood sugar! Click the button below to start your order.