When we eat, in the digestive process, sugar is produced. Sugar finds its way from the digestive system into the blood, where insulin released from the pancreas helps break it down to release energy. This energy then becomes available to the body for its survival and other functions.

Excess sugar not required by us is converted into fats and stored in the liver. This stored fat is broken down into energy and made available when demand exceeds supply

Insulin plays a blood sugar regulatory role. It prevents blood sugar levels from either rising too high. When blood sugar levels get too high, such a condition is called hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia, on the other hand, is a low blood sugar condition.

High glycemic index foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. The body does not have the ability to convert this excess blood sugar into the blood. This sugar circulates in the blood and the kidneys try to filter out this sugar from the bloodstream. The kidneys get overloaded and in time their functioning gets disturbed.

Foods with a low GI, on the other hand, help in glycemic control in diabetes and lipid management. Most fruits and vegetables, beans, dairy, and some grain are low-glycemic foods with a 55 or lower glycemic load.

Bananas, sweet potatoes, raisins have a glycemic index of 56 to 69. These are medium glycemic foods, while high-glycemic foods like sugar, ice cream, heavily processed food rich in calories and fat, and watermelon have a value ranging from 70 and above. Watermelon is 70 on the glycemic index putting the fruit in the high-glycemic category.

On the other hand, bananas, apples, grapes, and oranges (raw) all are in the medium Glycemic Index category, with values being 47, 40, 43, and 48, respectively.

Legumes are low-fat foods and have a role in weight management and obesity control. The legume family of plants includes pulses, which are the dried seed of legumes. Some of the more popular legumes with low-fat content include chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans of multiple types – red kidney beans, black-eyed beans, navy beans, adzuki beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, etc.

Mushrooms are an excellent food for diabetes and weight loss. They are low in calories, contain nearly zero fat, and generally rich in protein and minerals. They provide various minerals and trace elements such as potassium, copper, vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, and folates. Mushrooms are widely used in Chinese medicine. (Cheung, 2010)

Consumption of whole-grain products results in a more significant reduction in the percentage of fat mass. Lipid profile improvement in diets rich in whole wheat indicates a cardioprotective role. (Kristensen et al., 2012)

Additional readings:

  1. Natural Solutions for Diabetes
  2. Natural Solutions for Obesity
  3. Nutrition Facts- a guide to good health

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