Low Glycemic Food List

Low Glycemic Index foods refer to a  certain group of foods (usually wholegrains, lentils, pulses, nuts, seeds, fats and vegetables) that release their sugars slowly into the bloodstream over a sustained period.

This Low Glycemic Food List will give you the best foods to eat to keep your blood sugar stable, and avoid the kind of insulin response that encourages the body to store fat.

 

WHAT IS INSULIN?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is released in response to high sugar levels in the blood. This hormone then signals to the muscle, liver and fat cells to uptake these sugars from the bloodstream to be either used as energy OR stored as fat

It is also designed to keep blood sugar levels stable. Too high can cause hyperglycemia and too low can cause hypoglycemia, both of which can be dangerous conditions if left untreated.

 

Insulin and Fat Storage:

Insulin promotes fat storage and is part of our survival mechanism ready for times of need, but we rarely need this mechanism these days as many of us live in a world of food abundance.

Every time we eat refined carbohydrates such as white sugar, flour, rice, pastries, cakes and confectionery, the sugars in those foods will hit the bloodstream quickly causing a rapid insulin response.

 

Belly fat is the most dangerous kind

stop eating junk sign

 

Unless you are about to run a marathon or do a hard workout then these high calorie sugars will not be needed for energy. And if they’re not burnt off they end up being metabolised and then pushed into fat cells to be stored as fat.

Unfortunately, this sugar usually goes on as dangerous belly fat which increases your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Fiber slows this process down which is why low GI foods such as wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, low fat dairy products, sweet potatoes, whole fruits, leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds should all be eaten in abundance on the low GI diet.

 

HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

Getting off the adequately termed ‘sugar train‘ can be difficult for many people as we all have some level of sugar addiction going on. The very best you can do to keep your sugar levels stable is to always eat as low GI as possible, AND to food combine correctly.

 

For instance, eating low GI foods with equal amounts of protein and a little fat will help slow down the sugar release and keep you full and satiated for hours. This in itself is a great weight loss tool that will help stop sugar cravings and snacking.

 

Example of Low GI Eating:

An example of low GI food combining would be something like oatcakes, or fruit with sugar free peanut butter. Oatcakes are a wholegrain that is full of satiating fiber, and when combined with peanut butter which is high in protein and heart healthy monounsaturated fat, makes for a perfect low GI snack.

 

Clearing the junk out of your life!

Clearing your life (and your kitchen cupboards) from unhealthy and high GI foods is something you may need help with to tackle and should be done one step at a time. New habits work much more effectively if they are taken in bite size chunks (excuse the pun). 

To make these changes in a smooth and easy manner then please check out my post 10 Easy Steps To Clean Eating. This will give you tips and strategies to get you on your clean, healthy, plant based lifestyle that could be the start of a journey change your life FOREVER.

 

OTHER BENEFITS OF A LOW GI DIET

1. MOODS

You will start to notice a big difference in your mood because low GI foods will keep you stable, and are therefore fantastic for those who suffer anxiety, depression, PMS and any other mood disorders.

 

2. ANTI AGING

Every time you have an insulin response from high GI foods your cells will go into accelerated aging mode, making not only your skin more wrinkly, but everything else on the inside and out will age more rapidly too.

There are many other things you can do to help slow down the aging process, check out these best anti aging supplements to see if you find any suitable for you. When it comes to anti aging I believe every little helps and needs to be hit from many different angles to truly be effective.

 

 

3. KEEPING DIABETES AND OTHER DISEASES AT BAY

A low GI diet will keep your blood sugar stable, and can help treat and stave off diabetes, heart disease and obesity. AND these diseases also have a long list of side effects in themselves, so it’s easy to see how  absolutely vital a low GI diet is for long term health.

 

LOW GLYCEMIC FOOD LIST:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Fruits
  • Green Leafy Vegetables 
  • Avocados
  • Brown Rice
  • Wholewheat/Spelt/ Brown Rice/ Corn or Buckwheat Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Oat Cakes/ Wholegrain Rice Cakes/ Rye Crackers
  • No Added Refined Sugar Breakfast Cereals, Including Oats/ Wheatabix*/ Some Granola’s and Muesli’s/ Shredded Wheat
  • Flours – Wholemeal/ Spelt/ Buckwheat, Brown Rice/ Quinoa
  • Low Sugar Baked Beans
  • Green and Red Lentils, either Canned or Died
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Borlotti Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Butte Beans
  • Aduki Beans
  • Wholegrain Bread
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Rye Bread
  • Marmite or Vegemite
  • Any kind of No Added Sugar Nut Butter 
  • Nuts of all kinds, preferably RAW
  • Seeds – Pumpkin, Sunflower, Sesame, Flax, Hemp
  • Tofu or Tempeh
  • Any Dried Fruits – No Added Sugar 
  • Hummus
  • Tahini
  • Milks – Soy/ Rice/ Almond/ Coconut
  • Fats for Cooking – Coconut Oil/ Olive Oil/ Avocado Oil/ Canola Oil/ Safflower Oil/ Peanut Oil/ Sesame Oil
  • Cold Pressed Oils for Dressings and Salads – Extra Virgin Olive Oil/ Avocado Oil (also can be used for cooking)/ Flax Oil
  • MEAT AND DAIRY IS NOT ON THE GI RATING SCALE AS IT DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY CARBOHYDRATES, BUT IN ESSENCE THEY ARE LOW GI.

 

 

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Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

12 Comments

hong · 15/11/2017 at 11:00 pm

Thank you for such an informative post. This post can definitely benefit many people with diabetes as well as people that like to have a healthier diet. I love sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Avocado is my favorite fruit of all and I make avocado salad on a weekly basis. It is delicious. I will be sharing this post to my friends that have diabetes.

    Stefanie Taylor · 16/11/2017 at 9:25 am

    Hi Hong, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that would be great if you could share with your friends who have diabetes as it would be of fantastic help to them I am sure. Yes, I love all those foods too, especially avocados, they must be one of the healthiest foods around in terms of blood sugar control, weight loss and good monounsaturated fats. Can’t recommend them enough and I make sure to have at least half an avocado a day.

Monika · 17/11/2017 at 8:59 pm

Hi Stefanie,
Great information on low glycemic eating. I have a few people in my family that have just discovered they are in onset of diabetes and I will be passing this information on to them.
I have already changed my eating habits to include many items on your list. You have done a good job of explaining the benefits and I feel what we eat can make a big difference in our health.

    Stefanie Taylor · 17/11/2017 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Monika, I am so glad this list has helped you and yes they can probably reverse the onset of diabetes if they start to eat like this as soon as possible. I really hope you can convince them to change their eating habits. This can be tough though, especially when there is a life time of conditioned thinking about food. It’s something that may need to be tackled one step at a time which is why I also created this post How To Eat Clean – 10 Easy Steps.

    Please also show them this as it may be of a big help.

    Wishing you and all your family all the best for their health and the future, and I would be happy to help if you have any more questions. Just drop me a line!

Jorge · 18/11/2017 at 12:37 pm

Great information. Thanks so much for sharing. Education is key. People can only take action and make changes when they have the information and motivation to take action. Would love your input on my recent weightloss app thinvested.com
I have the link to an article below Too. Best!

    Stefanie Taylor · 18/11/2017 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Jorge, You are absolutely right, education is definitely key. I’m often surprised to see how many people, even with all the information out there, still have little idea about nutrition and are walking around sick and depressed and a million other things. That is why I love what I do, and it feels great when I can help others feel as good as they should.

    Yes I would love to read your article but I see no link here to it. Maybe it is because I am on my mobile phone so I will check again later. Or you could pm me it. Thanks for reading and have a fantastic, healthy day:-)

Matts Mom · 18/11/2017 at 7:24 pm

This is a great list of glycemic foods. My son’s doctor told me that he needs to start eating less sugars, because of a genetic disorder he has. This can cause him to get diabetes. I have tried talking to him about this, and how scary diabetes is. He can prevent it now, or have diabetes his whole life. So, are these foods the ones that he needs to stick with for this? We have not been back the doctor yet to have this discussion. Thanks!

    Stefanie Taylor · 19/11/2017 at 11:15 am

    Hi Leahrae, I’m sorry to hear about your sons condition, and yes he most definitely can stop it becoming full on diabetes which would obviously mean then he would then have to cut all sugar out of his diet. As it stands at the moment, and if he balances his food he can probably get away with odd treats etc. But although I am a sports nutrition consultant I am not doctor so check with him as well.

    And yes these low GI carbohydrate foods on my list are the foods he should be eating (and are the foods everyone should be eating to stop diabetes as it is so common). Try to balance them with protein and fats as this will slow down those sugars even more. If he really does have to have sugar then never have ‘just’ sugar if you know what I mean. Example, never eat dried fruit alone, always mix it with nuts for fats and protein.

    In fact you should read my post as there is much better information in there on slowing down carbohydrates in your food. The great thing about eating low GI and food combining like this is it will stop you craving sugar anyway so it shouldn’t be to much of an issue when you get used to it. Please let me know if you have any more questions and I will be happy to help.

AlanJE · 22/01/2018 at 8:01 pm

Hi Stefanie, thanks very much for this information which I will use for guidance and improving my diet.

    Stefanie Taylor · 23/01/2018 at 9:52 pm

    Your’e welcome Alan, I really hope it helps you, and if you need any more guidance please do not hesitate to ask as I m always happy to help.

sarah · 12/04/2018 at 9:59 am

This is a great post. I loved it and am going to share with everyone I know. I find the low glycemic food list very handy and useful. It will help us in selecting the right food, so really helpful post Stefanie and thank you so much for sharing. I always get the best health advice, tips and all sorts of information from your website, you are a superb person.

    Stefanie Taylor · 12/04/2018 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Sarah, yes it is very important to eat low GI for health, and keeping slim also of course! And it is especially useful to have a list to be able to go on and even take shopping with you. Thanks for the nice things you have said and I am glad you find my website helpful to you.

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