With diabetes we often come across the above mentioned two terms, Glycemic index (GI) and Food insulin index (FII).
What is Glycemic Index (GI)?
Glycemic Index ranks the carbohydrates from food items as to how they affect our blood glucose levels as carbohydrate in all foods is not equal. Low GI value (55 or less) of carbohydrates lead to a slower and lower rise of glucose & insulin level in blood, as they are more slowly absorbed and digested.
GI is classified in 3 levels:-
- Low: GI value 55 or less
- Moderate: GI value of 56 to 69
- High: GI value 70 to 100
An average GI of 55 or less is ideally what should be consumed to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases and to improve overall health.
Natural food like fruits and vegetables has lower GI than processed and refined food.
What is Food Insulin Index (FII)?
The GI measures only the carbohydrate containing food and not overall food to know the response of insulin. The Food Insulin Index (FII) studies the entire food or meal to know the amount of insulin released by the body including carbohydrates, proteins, fats etc. The pancreas release insulin in our body, when the blood glucose level rises. Insulin helps in absorption of glucose in blood stream which is then used by our body as an energy source or it can also be stored as glycogen. Food with lower FII can help reduce the insulin demand on the pancreas. Managing the blood glucose is difficult for people with type 2 diabetes.
Consuming fruits and vegetable low in FII should be consumed by people with diabetes, as they are full of vitamins and minerals. Meals should be balanced with salads, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins etc as they all help in stimulating an insulin response. High fibre grain bread and oats porridge should be chosen over processed cereals and breads. Processed meat items like sausages and bacon are low in FII but contain a very high saturated fat content making it an unhealthy choice for consumption. Chicken, lean meat, fish should be instead preferred.
Making clean and nutritious eating choices helps us to fight and reduce the risk of diabetes and helps us in maintaining a disease free and healthy life.