Low GI Snacks are different to low gi meals. They’re a great low glycemic diet aid to have on hand in-between meal times to prevent your blood sugar levels falling too low. However, do keep in mind that snacking can be the quickest way to undo all of your health, or weight related, efforts. A “snack” should always be a small snack! Definitely not another meal!
It’s also important to keep in mind that a late evening or midnight snack is not a good habit. Remember too, that it’s best not to skip meals or allow yourself to feel overly hungry, as you’d be undoing your health-related and weight loss goals in the process. It only causes more spiking and plummeting of blood sugar levels, whereas we really need to be keeping those blood sugar levels steady.
When snacking, usually a small handful is sufficient to keep you going. Stay on track by making some healthy, low glycemic diet choices when you get the munchies.
Try these smart Low GI Foods as Snacks:
• A small handful of mixed nuts
• A small bowl of freshly popped popcorn
• A few mixed grain crackers topped with ricotta cheese
• Celery or a banana topped with natural peanut butter
• Wholegrain pita chips topped with hummous
• Baked corn chips with fresh salsa
• Fresh or dried fruit
• A hardboiled egg
• Fresh cut vegetables
• An oat bran muffin
• Lentil dip with fresh carrot sticks, celery and cauliflower
• Yoghurt topped with muesli
• Banana smoothie
• Trail mix made with dried fruit, nuts and seeds
Foods to avoid:
• Sweets and lollies
• Potato chips
• Salted, roasted peanuts and other nuts
• Pastries and cakes
• Biscuits and crackers
Just remember to keep some at the ready in your pantry, desk drawer, or handbag, so that you won’t be tempted by other less healthy options. And enjoy making up new options for healthy low gi snacks!
A low glycemic index diet is one of the best ways to look after your health, and lose excess weight effectively and naturally. The weight reduced through a low GI diet approach is safe, and you won’t find yourself needing to starve on just carrots and lettuce! The glycemic index ranks the foods from 0–100 according to the speed at which they effect your blood sugar levels in the 2 or 3 hours after eating. In the glycemic index list of foods, the foods with a glycemic index value below 55 are low GI foods, foods ranking 55–70 are moderate GI foods, and foods with a GI value 70–100 are high GI foods.
- High GI (70-100) Carbohydrates which break down quickly during digestion, releasing blood sugar rapidly into the bloodstream – causing marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
- Medium GI (56-69) Carbohydrates which break down moderately during digestion, releasing blood sugar moderately into the bloodstream.
- Low GI (0-55) Carbohydrates which break down slowly during digestion, releasing blood sugar gradually into the bloodstream – keeping blood sugar levels steady … and so provide you with the best health benefits!
Low GI foods are often the ones with “good” carbohydrates, low fat, high dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. These foods help in keeping the blood sugar levels stable, are beneficial for sports persons, diabetics, people with coronary heart disease, those wanting to lose weight … and really just about everyone!
But … one word of warning … watch out for companies branding their products with “Low GI” labels. Just because a food is low GI, doesn’t necessarily make it a good food! Some foods may have a low GI, but may be high in “bad” fats, or are high in additives, flavourings, colourings, or preservatives. Always check the full ingredients list! … And also ensure that a large proportion of the foods that you eat are as minimally processed as possible!
When referring to any GI Food List, please remember that the numbers aren’t absolute and should serve as a guide only. The impact any particular food will have on your blood sugar levels on any given day will depend on many other factors such as ripeness, cooking time, product brand, fibre and fat content, time of day, blood insulin levels, and recent activity. Use the Glycemic Index as just one of the many tools you have available to improve your control.
Also check out Low GI Diet Tips to help make a low GI diet lifestyle easier to follow!
Glycemic Index List of Foods
The glycemic index ratings of individual foods will vary according to ripeness, variety, product brand, specific ingredients used, cooking times, and GI testing procedures. This will explain the variation you may see amongst different GI Food Lists.
(Find a more comprehensive & Downloadable GLYCEMIC INDEX FOOD LIST, by entering your name and email at the top right of the page)