If you have insulin resistance or diabetes, your menu should include mostly food that have a low glycemic index (GI). However, sometimes you can combine food that have a different glycemic index without endangering your health.
What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index is a measure that indicates the speed and intensity at which blood glucose levels rise after the intake of a certain type of food. To be specific, after the consumption of carbohydrates, our body will break them down into simpler sugar molecules, glucose, which it will then use as fuel. Glucose enters the bloodstream and raises blood sugar levels. The pancreas then secretes the hormone insulin to help glucose pass from the blood into the body’s cells, and the body then uses it to produce energy.
The speed at which carbohydrates are broken down into small glucose molecules varies, depending primarily on the type of carbohydrate, as well as other foods which are consumed with the carbohydrates. For example, industrial fruit juices, which consist almost entirely of glucose, enter the bloodstream very quickly, leading to a sudden rise in blood sugar. While, on the other hand, complex carbs such as whole grains have a more complicated structure (apart from sugar, they contain fiber and starch), so they break down much more slowly into glucose, which ultimately slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. As a result, these foods lead to a gradual change in blood sugar levels. Thus, simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by the body, which causes a sudden rise in blood sugar, and complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly, thus do not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar.
The perfect combination of foods includes those with low glycemic indexes
In order to prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar, it is best to include foods with a low glycemic index in your diet. Maintaining optimal blood glucose levels is crucial for the proper functioning of hormones.
Best time to consume
In addition to combining food and types of food, it is also important at what time you eat.1. Eat 1 hour after waking up.2. Let 5-6 hours pass between two meals.3. Do not eat before bed.4. Do not eat between dinner and breakfast.5. Drink plenty of water, but not during meals.
Proper food combination
Practicing a diet that supports and controls blood sugar is recommended for everyone, regardless of whether you have diabetes and insulin resistance or not. All you need to remember to ensure a stable blood sugar level is this formula: proteins + complex carbohydrates + healthy fats + fiber. For example, consuming only whole grain cereals can lead to changes in blood sugar levels, which can eventually cause a drop in mood and energy. By adding a portion of protein and healthy fats, you will provide a stable blood sugar level, and thus a stable energy level. Are you ready to try?
These simple food combinations include all three macronutrients:
Salad + meat
When preparing salads, avoid dressings which contain trans fats. To ensure that your salad is a complete meal, in addition to one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar, add low-fat protein such as grilled chicken, turkey, or steak.
Salad + fish
A similar combination is when you serve fish instead of meat with salad. In addition to fish, include seafood such as shrimp, squid or octopus. Pour a tablespoon of unrefined oil over the salad, with a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
Pasta + protein
When consuming pasta, you need to pay attention to the type of pasta you eat, the way you prepare it, the portion size and with which foods you combine it. First of all, choose whole grain cereal or gluten-free pasta. Pasta should be cooked “al dente” because overcooked raises blood sugar levels faster. Combine it with vegetables, tofu cheese, seafood or meat, with a portion of salad.
Crackers + avocado
Choosing healthy fats instead of unhealthy saturated and trans fats can help lower cholesterol levels while maintaining stable blood sugar levels. For a perfect snack, ideal is to choose two whole wheat crackers with a slice of avocado or two tablespoons of guacamole spread, made from avocado, lime juice and primrose. Proteins and fats help slow down the release of glucose (from carbohydrates) into the bloodstream. If you eat only carbohydrates, they will be absorbed faster into the bloodstream and suddenly raise blood sugar.
Apple + peanut butter + dark chocolate
For a sweet snack, Granny Smith apples with all-natural nut butter (peanuts, almonds, cashews) and vegan dark chocolate crumbs are a perfect pick. Soluble apple fiber lowers cholesterol and slows gastric emptying, so it can lead to a more moderate rise in blood glucose, while peanut butter provides an excellent balance of protein and monounsaturated fats, which help control blood sugar. A few crumbs of vegan dark chocolate will satisfy your craving for sweets without sudden blood sugar juices.
Do you know why you should avoid refined sugar?
For Klub Zdravih Navika: Tatjana Popović, Totally Wellness.