This week we are looking at low GI foods - what are they and why are they important for helping to manage blood sugar levels. One of our favourite Diabetes Educators has written this helpful blog. Nikki Wallis says:
Q. What is the difference between low GI and low carb?
A. Low GI ‘diets’are more about the quality of the carbohydrate eaten, whereas low carb ‘diets’ are about the quantity of carbohydrates eaten.
The glycemic index (or GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100, according to how much they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after they’re eaten.
High GI foods are quickly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
Low GI foods (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and therefore usually, lower insulin levels too.
Low carb refers to the restriction of carbohydrates in the diet. There are three levels of low carbohydrate diet including very low, moderate and high carb. A very low carb diet has around ~50g or less of carbs per day and can lead to ketoacidosis.
Australian dietary guidelines recommend that for adults, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of our total energy intake, or 230g-310g of carbs per day.
It’s important for anyone with t1d who is looking to start a low carb eating plan, to speak with their healthcare team.