Following a Low GI Diet doesn’t have to be complicated! And, there’s no need to forever consult low gi food lists, once you come to understand that it’s really just about eating foods as close as possible to their original state in nature, with minimal processing.
Here are a few additional tips to help with a low gi diet lifestyle –
Reduce (or eliminate!) sugary foods!
Do we really need all of those refined sugar laden sweets, soft drinks, fruit drinks, desserts, cakes and biscuits? Probably not! There are many great alternatives so make a conscious effort to make more natural low gi diet choices. Check out the great low gi dessert and low gi snack suggestion on this website, or perhaps you could even invest in a great low gi cookbook.
However, you also need to mindful of all the hidden sugars in foods. Once you start reading more and more product labels, you’ll find refined sugar in just about everything on the supermarket shelves – from canned vegetables, flavoured tuna, savoury biscuits, baked beans … and the list goes on! And if we’re not careful, our daily sugar intake can climb rapidly without even being aware.
Eat small, regular meals
Missing meals is never a good idea! … Your blood sugar levels will fall too low causing fatique, mental … And it definitely won’t help with your weight loss goals either! Your low glycemic diet should start each day with a healthy low gi breakfast for sustained energy. Allow yourself a midmorning low gi snack, a good lunch, a low glycemic mid afternoon snack, and finally a balanced evening meal. It’s better to graze on smaller meals and healthy, low glycemic snacks than to eat three large meals a day. Also avoid the temptation for late evening nibbles that can also be disruptive to sleep.
Go for at least two low glycemic meals each day
Ideally it would be best if all of our meals were low GI, but with our busy lifestyles, together and the availability fast foods and takeaways, causes us to occasionally stray off course with our low gi diet. If we can strive for at least two solid low gi meals each day, we’re at least able to sustain relatively steady blood sugar levels for the most part, and can improve from there. A lifestyle of low gi eating becomes a habit with practice. Begin with a good breakfast and have lots of pre-prepared snacks on hand, and you’re half way there!
A low gi diet is really very simple, but it does take time to make it a way of life. You’ll feel better, more alive, and more full of energy, making it all worthwhile!
Low Glycemic On the GO – Everybody loves eating out, and you really wouldn’t want to say “No” to every social occasion, because you’re on a “diet”, but it seems almost impossible to make good low gi food choices when faced with so many options.
Remembering that a low gi diet is a lifestyle choice, rather than a “quick fix”, here are useful suggestions for following a low gi diet lifestyle when you’re eating out.
Low GI Tips For Eating Out:
• Don’t go when you’re starving – perhaps even eat a small low gi snack before you go out
• Avoid buffets and “all you can eat” restaurants
• Limit alcoholic drinks
• Order foods that have been prepared in a healthy way – steamed, stir fried, lightly roasted
• If portions are large, split yours with someone else or order an entrée size
• Be willing to ask for meal substitutions or adjustments – restaurants are becoming more capable of adapting to people’s varied dietary needs, including that of a low gi diet
• Keep low-glycemic foods in mind and order the best choice available
The following are some low gi diet tips for specific types of restaurants:
• Clear broth soups like hot and sour, egg drop, or wonton are good choices
• Order traditional dishes that feature smaller portions of lean proteins (meat, chicken, seafood, tofu) stir-fried with lots of assorted vegetables and tasty sauces
• Avoid overly sweet sauces like sweet & sour, lemon, or plum. Try black bean, oyster or Szechuan instead
• Avoid fried foods (like spring rolls, dim sims, etc) Order brown rice, if available
• Order dishes that combine proteins (meat or tofu) with vegetables
• Choose curry, chili, basil, lime, and fish sauces
• Opt for long-grain rice over white rice
• Try pad thai and other stir-fried noodle dishes, ask for less oil to be used in the preparation
• Choose roasted lamb or chicken dishes prepared with lemon and yoghurt
• Try baked fish and chicken dishes that are healthily prepared
• Make sure to order Greek salads
• Avoid the filo-dough, large amounts of feta cheese, and excessive amounts of olive oil
• Order healthily prepared legumes, chicken, fish, and vegetables
• Try the tomato-based sauces and tandoori dishes
• Choose basmati rice (it’s low gi!) as a side, or in biryanis, and chapati bread
• Avoid sauces made with large amounts of butter or coconut milk
• Choose tomato or marsala sauces
• Order an entrée sized portion of pasta with a large serving of salad
• If ordering pizza, choose thin-crust with low-fat cheese and loaded with vegetables
• Avoid the white bread (high gi!) and cheesy, creamy sauces
• Try miso soup and soy beans (edamame) for starters
• Choose sushi, sashimi, yakitori, teriyaki, sukiyaki, and grilled dishes
• Order udon or soba noodles
• Limit the rice and avoid tempura
• Choose tomato/wine sauces, broth-based soups
• Look for Mediterranean-style dishes
• Order broiled, steamed, or poached foods
• Be sure to order a salad or large serves of vegetables
• Avoid the bread and high-fat sauces
• Order grilled seafood and chicken dishes: tacos, burritos, fajitas
• Ask for low-fat cheese, whole-wheat tortillas, and light sour cream
• Avoid the cheese and refried beans
• Limit guacamole
See! It’s easier than you think to eat out, eat well and be fully satisfied, when following the lifestyle of a low gi diet.
Low GI Diet Tips #1
In order to promote a healthy body from the inside and out, these low glycemic tips and strategies can help you follow the path of a low gi diet lifestyle. They’ll help to increase your intake of healthy carbohydrates, manage your weight and reduce your likelihood of falling prey to ill health.
Eat more fruit and vegetables – 7 serves a day!
Research shows time and time again that a low gi diet, high in fruits and vegetables, will significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, many cancers and other degenerative diseases – as well as weight loss. Be sure to eat a wide variety of differently coloured fruits and vegetables, so that you’re getting a broad spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants to promote good health. Remember though, to eat the whole fruit, not just the juice! Also, if you have a small amount of protein, like nuts, seeds, yoghurt, etc at the same time as having a piece of fruit, you’ll feel full longer, and reduce the overall glycemic index load of your snack.
Eat more nuts!
Because nuts and seeds are largely protein, they’re also a very low glycemic diet snack. They’re an excellent source of essential fatty acids (EFA’s), which are “essential” for our overall health – everything from diabetes to heart disease, brain function, skin health, hormonal issues … and the list goes on. EFA’s can’t be manufactured by our bodies, so they need to come from our diet. Sadly, many people trying to lose weight have avoided eating nuts because of their high fat content and, in so doing, have missed out on important nutrients that can actually support healthy weight maintenance.
A few nuts daily is all you need. Choose a wide variety of favourites and make sure they’re unroasted, as high temperatures will destroy the essential fatty acids. Add them to salads, breakfasts, enjoy them with fruit, or as a simple snack.
Eat more beans!
Many of us in western countries, don’t eat as many beans and pulses in our diet as our Eastern counterparts. Beans, peas and lentils are low glycemic, nutrient dense, high in protein, and rich in nutrients. Being low gi, add them to soups, stews and salads, or puree them into tasty dips to have with fresh vegetables as a tasty snack.
Eat whole grains instead!
Forget about the super soft, white, fluffy, high glycemic index bread on supermarket shelves. Look for the heavier whole grain varieties, with visible grain and seeds and a low gi. Instead of mashed potatoes, choose brown or basmati rice, and experiment with quinoa, freekah, wild rice – or other ancient grains. There are so many nutrient rich foods that nature provides, that it seems a shame to limit our diets to only a handful of foods to which we’ve become accustomed. The more we look for better choices, the more we’ll find – and enjoy! After all, a low glycemic diet is meant to be easy!