Blue Corn Chips: An Important Example of the Glycemic Index

Patient Expert

A study reported that colored "flatbreads" and chips are healthier — especially for diabetics. This means swapping your white corn tortilla chips for those deep blue ones — which are actually quite delicious, so this is a fair trade.

The study found that the blue tortillas had much less starch and a significantly lower glycemic index (GI) than white chips, along with 20 percent more protein.

Learning about the glycemic index of the foods you're eating is incredibly important and can have a huge impact on your blood sugar control. Foods with a lower GI are released more slowly into the bloodstream. The foods you're trying to avoid are: potatoes, cornflakes, candy, rice crackers, pretzels, potato chips, etc.

On the lower GI list of foods, choices like hummus, oatmeal, broccoli, and brown rice should be included in your diet (the list of healthy food goes on and on too).

When I recently focused on cutting starchy foods out of my diet, I really did notice a significant impact on my blood sugars. I was able to lower my daily dose of Lantus by 5 units, lost weight (also due to exercise), and simply had more energy. When you aren't spiking your blood sugar with French fries, you feel a lot better — it's inevitable.

Researching which foods are high and low on the glycemic index (GI) is easy. There are tons of sites: David Mendosa has covered the issue at length on The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also offers a good explanation of GI.

A GI of 70 or higher is considered HIGH. A GI between 69 and 56 is considered MEDIUM. And a GI of 55 and below is LOW.

Obviously it would be hard (and not very fun) to cut them out entirely, but if the majority of your food choices could consist of low GI foods, your body will thank you. And I honestly can't tell you how important it is to aim toward forgetting about french fries and mashed potatoes. Maybe at Thanksgiving you could help yourself to a heaping scoop, but when I see it on the menu coming alongside my meal, I've been asking them to replace it with the vegetable of the day — and they do — and my blood sugar is better for it.

See more helpful articles:

The 10 Best Low-Glycemic Foods

The Glycemic Index Still Matters for Diabetes

Naked Barley: The Best Grain