Wondering what’s Low GI? Look No Further than Quinoa!

Quinoa has the best combination of high fiber and protein to combat blood sugar spikes and help manage your diabetes. There are many recipes with quinoa that you can include in your diet to make it more diabetes-friendly.

Evidence suggests that eating more quinoa can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, and possibly prevent other conditions. In addition to eating it by itself, you can substitute quinoa in recipes that call for other grains. It’s also gluten-free. This makes it a healthy alternative for people who are sensitive to gluten found in wheat.

While it may be relatively new to supermarkets, quinoa has been a large part of the South American diet for many years. It dates back to the Incas, who called quinoa “the mother of all grains.” It grows in the Andes Mountains and is capable of surviving harsh conditions. While it’s eaten like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed.

There are more than 120 varieties. The most popular and widely sold are white, red, and black quinoa.

Only in the past three decades have researchers begun to discover its health benefits, this includes helping people manage their diabetes. Because of its high fiber and protein content, quinoa makes you feel full for longer and is perfect for those who have diabetes. There is also reason to believe that it can help lower your risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, although more research is needed.

The American Diabetes Association recommends picking grains with the highest nutritional value for your carbohydrate servings. Quinoa is a good option to help people manage their diabetes. Your daily or weekly serving may depend on whether you’re using the plate method, glycemic index, or the exchange or gram counting system to keep track of meals. Generally, 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa counts as one carbohydrate serving, or about 15 grams of carbohydrate. If you’re not sure how quinoa will fit into your meal plan, a dietitian can help.

Like many other grains, quinoa can be bought in packaged containers or from bulk bins. It naturally grows with a bitter coating to discourage pests. Most varieties sold in grocery stores have been prewashed to get rid of the bitter taste. A quick rinse at home with cold water and a strainer can remove any leftover residue.

If you can make rice, you can prepare quinoa. Just combine it with water, boil, and stir. Wait 10-15 minutes for it to become fluffy. You can tell it’s done when the small white ring separates from the grain. You can also make it in a rice cooker, which is a quick and easy way to prepare the grain.

Quinoa has a slight nutty flavor. This is made stronger by dry roasting it before cooking. Once you’ve cooked it, try adding:

  • fruits
  • nuts
  • veggies
  • seasonings

There are many healthy quinoa recipes for those who have diabetes that range from morning meals to main courses. These include:

  • pastas
  • breads
  • snack mixes
  • cookies
  • cakes

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