Diabetics can develop hyperglycaemia (excessively high blood sugar) if they are not careful about foods that they eat. According to the American Diabetes Association, the glycemic index (GI) is a scale from 0-100 that measures the affect of foods containing carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Blood glucose increases faster after consuming foods closer to 100 and slower after consuming foods closer to 0 on the glycemic index. Your diabetic diet should consist of foods with low GI levels, preferably below 50. Vegetables, some nuts, some fruits and dairy products should be included because of their low GI ratings.
You need to be cautious when eating fruit because some fruits have extremely high GI ratings. However, there are many varieties of fruit that are considered safe for diabetics. According to The GI Diet, fruits with GI ratings under 50 include cherries, prunes, strawberries, oranges, kiwis, plums, grapefruit, peaches, apples, pears, dried apricots, grapes and coconuts. These fruits can be combined to make a fruit salad for your diet. Fruits with abnormally high GI ratings include dates and watermelon and should be avoided.
Vegetables have extremely low GI ratings, which make them the perfect food item to include in a diabetic diet. According to The GI Diet, vegetables with GI ratings under 50 include frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, raw carrots, boiled carrots, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, chillies, green beans, lettuce, onions and red peppers. These vegetables can be combined to make a salad that's perfect for a diabetic diet. Vegetables are also high in fibre, providing a more filling meal.
Peanuts and walnuts have GI ratings under 20 and make a great midday diabetic snack. Alternatively, you can add some nuts to your vegetable salad. However, be careful not to consume too many nuts because they are high in fat and calories.
Most dairy products have low GI ratings and are high in protein, so they are the perfect addition to a diabetic diet. Dairy products with low GI ratings include soy milk, custard, artificially sweetened yoghurt, sweetened yoghurt, chocolate milk, whole milk and skimmed milk. Ice cream has a GI rating of 62 and is one dairy product to avoid. If you incorporate these foods into your diet then you will be able to maintain safe blood sugar levels without starving yourself.