HOW TO REDUCE GLYCEMIC INDEX IN THE KITCHEN?

We have already seen what the glycemic index (GI) is and which factors influence it. Now we are going to see some practical examples for our meals to be slower in absorption, so that the glucose does not rise so suddenly in the blood.

Rice

  • Replace white rice (GI 89) for whole-grain (GI 40).
  • Use varieties with a lower GI, such as basmati (GI 50).
  • Apply little bake. Remember that the softer the rice, the more GI it has.
  • Combine it with vegetables, preferably chopped (not in sauce).
  • If you want to make paella, do not skimp on vegetables!

Pasta

  • Use extruded pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, spirals …) instead of fresh or laminated pasta.
  • Replace the white pasta variants for whole-grain pasta.
  • Cook it al dente, that is, a bit raw.
  • Combine it with vegetables, better chopped vegetables than mashed.
  • Consider the possibility of using other types of pasta, such as the spelt flour one.

Potato

  • Boil it without peeling.
  • Let it cool before eating, because the cooler the potato, the lower its GI level.
  • Choose varieties with lower GI than white potatoes, such as sweet potatoes.
  • Add a splash of olive oil to your food, so that the fat slows the absorption of glucose.
  • Try to avoid mashed potatoes. Remember that the more processed the food is, the faster it will be absorbed.

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Bread

  • Replace white bread with whole-grain.
  • Choose multi-grain breads, since cereal mixtures also help to slow down the absorption of glucose.
  • Freeze it. There are studies indicating that freezing the bread reduces its GI.
  • Toast it.
  • Add olive oil and vegetables to your sandwiches (tomato, avocado …).

Cereals and cookies

  • Avoid cereals or cookies with added sugars.
  • Try not to choose swelled flakes.
  • Consume preferably whole grains.
  • Choose whole grains and biscuits with high fiber content (GI 38), or muesli (GI 55).

Legumes

  • Combine them with lots of vegetables. They will help to reduce the GI…
  • Eat them cold, such as in salads with vinaigrette dressing.
  • Avoid purees: it is better a lentil salad than a puree.

Vegetables

  • Choose whole vegetables dishes (without crushing), for example: a soup with pieces of vegetables instead of a puree.
  • Steamed vegetables are better than boiled vegetables.

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Fruits

  • Eat them with skin: the fibre will help to slow-down glucose-absorption.
  • Avoid juices. If you really want one, choose a juice without added sugars and that contains fruits with a lower GI, such as apple, orange or peach.
  • Avoid compotes.
  • Be careful with its maturation: the riper the fruit is, the higher GI it has.

Some final tips to reduce GI in the kitchen:

  • Avoid foods that contain high percentages of corn starch for their preservation (for example, sausages).
  • Choose preferably organic and whole-grain foods and, in the case of fruits,try not to eat very ripe fruit.
  • Pair meals that have a high GI with healthy fats.
  • Avoid foods with added sugars.
  • Cool before eating those foods with a high percentage of amylopectin (cooked carrots, cooked potatoes …).
  • Avoid prolonged cooking and try to include fresh foods or a bit uncooked foods in your dishes.
  • Add vegetables to your dishes containing flour, rice, legumes…

One more thing: remember that feeding is essential in the management of many diseases. Play your part!

Updated: 31/08/2017

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