Managing Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is “the single biggest global health epidemic of our time” (Hyman, 2012, p. 7). It contributes to many other health problems including retinopathy, kidney disease, gastroparesis, neuropathy, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more. Managing blood sugar is a key to avoiding diabetes and the health problems that accompany it.

Glycemic Index 

The glycemic index (GI) is a way of measuring how quickly foods raise blood sugar (Cohen, 2010). Foods that are more slowly digested raise the blood sugar slowly, while foods that are quickly digested raise the blood sugar more quickly. The higher the number on the GI, the more that blood sugar will be increased. For those with Diabetes, managing blood sugar is key to managing Diabetes.

Glycemic Load

Glycemic load takes the glycemic index of the food and couples that information with the amount of that food, giving a more accurate prediction of how the blood sugar will respond. Glycemic load is considered to be a better tool when deciding what foods one should eat to manage blood sugar.

Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index

Food Serving Glycemic Load Glycemic Index
White bread 1 slice 10 70
Corn flakes 1 cup 21 81
Spelt Bread 1 slice 12 63
Rye Bread 1 slice 5 41
White rice 1 cup 23 64
Brown rice 1 cup 18 55
Baked Potato 1 medium 18 60
Sweet Potato 1 medium 11 25
Shredded Wheat 1 cup 17 83
Skim Milk 8 oz. 4 32
Oatmeal 1 cup 15 55
Banana 1 medium 11 42
Carrots, raw 3 oz. 1 16
Cashews 1 oz. 2 22
Lentils 1 cup 5 29
Pearl Barley 1 cup 11 25
Spaghetti 1 cup 23 48
Apple 1 medium 6 38
Orange 1 medium 5 42
Sucrose 2 tsp. 7 68

References:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.Bauman, E. (4/10/15). Personal Communication
Cohen, S. (2010). Diabetes without Drugs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, Inc.Hyman, M. (2012). The Blood Sugar Solution. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

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