Most people consume plant-based food for their health benefits and their ability to prevent or manage diseases like heart issues and diabetes. This is because of their lower calorie content compared to animal-based food. One of the important factors that must be considered when choosing any diet, especially for diabetes is the glycaemic index of foods; people with diabetes must consume foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Read on to know more about low glycaemic plant-based foods.
What Is Glycaemic Index (GI)?
Glycaemic index is a measure of the quickness with which carbohydrates enter the bloodstream after you eat the food. This concept can be applied to one food or a meal.
Listed below are the GI values based on which foods are classified:
- GI = 100 for glucose
- If GI is above 70, it is high a glycaemic food
- If GI is between 55 to 70, it is a medium glycaemic food
- If GI is less than 55, it is a low glycaemic food
Plant-Based Food And Their GI Scores
Low GI Foods
- Rolled oats
- Butter beans and peas
- Barely, bulgar
- Sweet potatoes
- Most fruits
- Non-starchy vegetables
Medium GI Foods
- Basmati rice and brown rice
- Wholemeal bread
- Quick oats
- Orange juice
- Rye bread
High GI Foods
- White bread
- Breakfast cereals
- Russet potatoes
- White rice
- Instant pasta
- Melons and pineapples
Factors Affecting GI Score
Listed below are the important factors that affect the GI score of plant-based food:
- Processing: The more you process a food, the higher its GI score. This is the reason white rice has a higher GI score than normal rice.
- Preparation: Cooking increases the GI score of food as the carbohydrates can be easily broken down by the body.
- Ripeness: As fruits ripen, the sugars in them break down, and this increases their GI score.
- Type Of Starch: Amylopectin has a higher GI score than amylose.
- Dressing: The GI score of a dish can be reduced by using an acidic seasoning like lemon.
Food With Low GI Score To Include In Your Plant-Based Meal
Oats have a GI score of 55, and this makes it an ideal low GI breakfast cereal. It has high amounts of fiber, especially beta-glucan that has many health benefits like it helps to maintain better cholesterol levels.
Lentils have a GI score of 32, and this makes it an ideal food to be included in a plant-based meal. Besides, it is a good source of proteins and fiber, i.e. 17.86 g and 15.6 g per cup. It also contains minerals like potassium and phosphorus.
Carrots have a GI score of 39, and it contains beta carotene, which is good for eyes.
We hope that the details shared above clarified your doubts about the concept of glycaemic index (GI) in plant-based food.