Low-GI foods

Low-GI foods are foods that take longer to get into your system – which results in your blood sugar rising much more slowly – to the point where it matches the insulin you are taking, or may take longer to act than your insulin.

Low-GI tend to be starchy – breads, cereals and grains. Low GI foods tend to make us feel full for longer, and sustain us for a greater part of the day, giving us a slow release or ‘trickle’ of sugar because our body has more trouble converting the complex/starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars for our body to use.

If you don’t eat much sugary food, then you probably know the feeling of a sugar headache (similar to an ice-cream headache) as the sugar rush hits you. The idea with Low-GI foods is to try and balance the sugar onset of the food you eat with the insulin you use, which while rapid acting, is absorbed nowhere near as fast as the carbohydrate from the food you eat.

Jade Diabetes offers 5 different types of GI factor. Most often, you will use the middle setting, for Normal GI food. You can also change this default to Low GI foods if you are a low GI eater.

Icon GI Example Description
Very Low GI foods High fat pizza, chips, lasagne Very low GI foods are often junk foods with large amounts of fat. The fat results in carbohydrates being absorbed far more slowly, with the main carbohydrate hitting 2-3 hours after you eat. Many people with diabetes (PWD) have trouble with this kind of food because their insulin takes them low before the carbohydrate gets absorbed. They eat jelly beans to correct for the low blood sugar, and then end up high later on.
Low GI foods Brown rice, brown bread, unprocessed cereal, vegetables Low GI foods are perfect for PWD because they are absorbed slowly, allowing insulin to counteract their carbohydrates at the same rate they are absorbed.
Normal GI foods Wholemeal bread, fruit, milk This is the default setting, for the most common GI.
High GI foods Cake, biscuits A high GI food is absorbed quickly and the sugar spikes your blood sugar upwards, sometimes resulting in a ‘sugar rush’ feeling.
Very High GI foods Jelly beans, fruit juice, glucose tablets Used by PWD to increase their blood sugar quickly when it is too low.

* For accurate results, consult the GI tables for the foods you eat and choose the proper category.