Low GI foods in type 1 diabetes

An assortment of healthy foods

A healthy diet includes wholegrain bread, fruit, most vegetables, pasta, beans, nuts, lentils, fish, and oat- and bran-based cereals. Image: Shutterstock.com

The glycaemic index (GI) is a way of rating foods according to how quickly the glucose they contain is digested and released into the blood stream. The GI scale ranges from 0 to 100. Foods ranked 0–55 on the scale are considered ‘low GI’ and foods ranked 70–100 are considered ‘high GI’. GI numbers are a helpful guide, but not everyone who has diabetes will respond to the same foods in the same way.

Eating mostly high fibre, as well as low and intermediate GI foods, such as wholegrain bread, fruit, most vegetables, pasta, beans, lentils, and oat and bran-based cereals, and reducing the amount of high GI foods (e.g. potatoes and white bread) you eat as part of your diet can help to control blood glucose levels. This is because the glucose contained in low GI foods is released slowly into the blood after digestion, and this helps blood glucose levels to rise steadily, avoiding a glucose ‘high’. A dietitian can help advise people with diabetes about their diet.

For more information, visit the Glycemic Index and GI Database website.