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Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Glycemic index (GI) is described as how quickly or slowly the carbohydrate content from food is broken down into glucose and ingested into the blood from the gut. Your body breaks the carbs down into glucose, which is then ingested into your bloodstream as you consume foods containing carbohydrates.

The higher the food's GI, the quicker it breaks down and increases your blood glucose (sugar). Foods containing high GI ratings digest quickly, and that may trigger the blood sugar to spike. This is why it's best to stick to low GI foods, as the low GI foods' carbohydrate intake can be digested slowly, causing blood glucose levels to rise more steadily.

Foods with a GI rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI and with a GI rating of 55 or less as a low GI.


Quinoa's GI score is 53, making it fall into the category of low GI foods. Quinoa provides a far higher proportion of protein than rice or barley. Quinoa may help if you don't get the required protein from your diet. Technically, it's a seed, so it's also rich in fiber, more than other grains. It's also gluten-free that makes it an excellent choice for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.


In many ways, bananas are a superfood. They have a good quantity of Vitamin C and are high in potassium and manganese. Their low GI score indicates that they are perfect for replenishing your energy after a workout.

They may conveniently be added to smoothies, cereals, or stored for a short snack. The less ripe the bananas are, the lower the sugar content. As one of the low GI items available in the market, it's a perfect addition to your everyday diet.


An apple's skin is a good source of pectin, an essential prebiotic that helps feed your gut's healthy bacteria. Apples often have a large concentration of polyphenols, which serve as antioxidants, and are rich in Vitamin C. For best results, it's better to eat them raw with their skin. Apples are one among a variety of fruits that contain a low glycemic index. When picking fruit, always look out for the natural sugars they contain, as most fruits have loads of them.


Barley, a cereal grain, can be consumed in many ways. It's a great source of B vitamins, including manganese, fiber, molybdenum, selenium, thiamin, niacin, and pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). It also includes beta-glucans, a form of fiber that may improve the gut's well-being and has been shown to decrease appetite and food consumption.

Please notice that barley contains gluten that makes it unsuitable for someone who has celiac or who's on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free substitutes might include buckwheat, quinoa, or millet.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pasadena, Calif.

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