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What is a Low Glycemic Index Diet?

By Lauren Robinson, 9:00 pm on

The phrase “low glycemic index” or “low g.i.” diet is used frequently, but many people are unsure of what the term actually means. Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it might sound. People who are on a low glycemic diet eat foods that break down more slowly in their bodies to avoid spikes or dips in the blood sugar, keeping it at an even level. While diabetics certainly benefit from a low glycemic index diet, New Hampshire senior care experts recommend this diet for all seniors and older adults to promote better overall health.

A low glycemic diet includes foods like lean meats, seafood, dairy products, nuts, beans such as garbanzo or black beans and whole grain products. Leafy green vegetables and vegetables such as cauliflower, mushrooms and tomatoes and fruits, particularly apples, bananas and berries, are also great options. These healthy foods not only offer high nutritional value, packed with numerous vitamins and antioxidants, and they take longer to break down and digest. This results in a steady blood sugar level for the senior throughout the day.

For New Hampshire seniors who are looking to add flavor to their meal, there are also a handful of spices and herbs that are considered to be low glycemic and are a great substitute for salt. Some of the most commonly used are black pepper, cilantro, dill, mustard seeds, oregano, parsley and rosemary. With so many options, it can be easy for seniors to turn their favorite protein, whether lean chicken or salmon, into flavor-packed meals.

There are also foods which can cause blood sugar to spike up, and then send it crashing down quickly when the energy is gone. Foods that cause this up-and-down cycle are foods high in sugar such as pastries, desserts and fruit juices. Seniors who are on a low glycemic diet should also limit products with refined flour such as white bread and white rice. Even some vegetables such as corn and potatoes are considered to have a high glycemic diet and should be avoided as well.

In addition to helping seniors with diabetes, low glycemic diets have been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, chronic kidney disease and cancers of the breasts, colon, prostate and pancreas. This type of diet also minimizes the chance that a senior may suffer a stroke and require specialized stroke care in New Hampshire. With possible protection against such a wide range of senior conditions, it seems like a no-brainer to try to incorporate at least a few low glycemic foods into one’s diet each day.

For more information about senior nutrition, health and wellness, reach out to the New Hampshire live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance. Available 24/7, we can answer your questions about senior health, elderly care and can help you schedule a free in-home consultation to further discuss specific home care needs. Call 603-471-3004 to speak with a friendly Care Manager today.