NUTRITION CORNER: “Low GI” kamote, gabi, ube, good for diabetics

Based on a study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), starchy root crops such as sweet potato, cassava, taro and yam locally known as kamote, kamoteng kahoy, gabi, and ube, were found to be low glycemic index (GI) foods equivalent to less than or equal to 55.

GI is a classification of food based on the blood glucose response to a food relative to a standard glucose solution. Low glycemic foods control the release of glucose into our bloodstreams at a steady and sustained rate, keeping our body’s metabolic processes and energy levels balanced.

People with low glycemic diets or eat low glycemic foods are said to have lower risk of getting coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For those already suffering from diabetes, low GI foods can help in the proper control and management of diabetes mellitus.

These foods also improve physical endurance, as blood glucose levels are kept at a moderate level, instead of dipping drastically due to sudden insulin production, for a more sustained period of time. Moreover, they help control glucose levels in the blood, lower and control triglyceride and lipid levels in the blood, and help with weight loss and maintenance of healthy weight.

Starchy roots and tubers contain other nutrients, like protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. Yellow kamote has a relatively high level of beta-carotene while cassava and sweet potato are relatively good sources of vitamin C.#