Today we’re talking Low Glycemic Foods! Are they good for everyone? Just for Diabetics? What are they? How can I incorporate them into my diet? Why do we benefit from them? Are they just another fad way of eating? All your questions answered today PLUS a little behind the scenes of what a day of eating looks like for me!
I always knew of the term Low Glycemic but it wasn’t until a few years ago when I discovered with my own body how much of a difference eating Low Glycemic Foods and Low Glycemic Snacks made for me.
Growing up I always thought a carb was a carb and the only difference was that there were healthy carbs (ex. fruit) and unhealthy carbs (ex. cake). But because I’m slightly addicted to reading everything for hours on end on the topic of nutrition, I eventually learned about this thing called the Glycemic Index. How the rate at which a carbohydrate raises blood sugar in both a diabetic and non-diabetic’s body, effects everything from energy levels, to food cravings, to sleep and even fat storage!
To start, let’s look at what the Glycemic index is:
- According to the ADA “The Glycemic Index measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar based on how they compare to a reference food- either glucose or white bread”
- The Glycemic Index is a scale from 1-100. Low GI foods are rated 55 or less, Medium GI foods are 56-69 and High GI foods are 70-100
- High Glycemic foods cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar
- Our body performs best when our blood sugars are kept relatively stable. When we eat foods that do not spike our blood sugar, there are less energy slumps, less insulin production (insulin= fat storing hormone) and less chance of being hungry 15 minutes after you’ve just ate.***
After I learned more about the Glycemic Index, I started being more mindful about the foods I was choosing to eat AND noticed almost an immediate difference in how my body felt.
I learned that a Low Glycemic snack in the afternoon was crucial for me. If I ate something High Glycemic in the middle of a work day, I’d be left feeling tired and groggy an hour later. I also learned that a specific food could have two difference Glycemic Indexes depending on its’ ripeness, how it was processed, and how long it was cooked for! For example, at breakfast I noticed a larger spike in my blood sugar with bananas that had more spots than a greenish or fully yellow one, which required more insulin in my body.
What I eat in a day for energy and optimal health:
Breakfast: In the morning I usually have either oatmeal, overnight oats with chia seeds, tofu scramble with vegetables, Ezekiel Bread with Kite Hill Vegan Cream Cheese, or a fresh quinoa with almond milk and a sliced banana with some vanilla Vega Protein!
Mid morning: Around 9:15am after my workout, I will usually have a smoothie containing: Vegan Protein Powder, Spinach, ½ of a Banana, Peanut Butter and Spirulina. FUN FACT! I put peanut butter as a fat in my smoothies because fat also helps lower the Glycemic Index in a food too!
Lunch: My lunch is always filled with fiber because just like fat, it helps lower the Glycemic Load. My go-to is a kale salad with cllllll the veggies (and banana pepper because those are my favorite) topped with tuna fish (made with oil, not mayo!) or grilled salmon.
Mid Afternoon: Mid-afternoon around 3:15pm, I’ll tap into my stash of Keep Healthy Low Glycemic bars! These bars are the perfect snack to satisfy a sweet craving but also not leave you feeling tired afterwards. They are certified Organic, Vegan, Gluten- Free, Kosher and packed with 12 grams of protein.
Dinner: Dinner is usually loaded up with beans, brown rice, roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes or split pea soup, bean chili or some quinoa pasta with pesto or red sauce. Sometimes if i’m on the go i’ll grab a whole wheat wrap with some kind of protein in it!
After Dinner: After dinner I usually have a cup of mushroom tea with berries, an apple with peanut butter, or a square of dark chocolate!
For those of you who’ve asked me on instagram and are reading this blog, My Keep Healthy Low Glycemic Snack Bars are available HERE ! You can buy a mixed box, one flavor, or even a sample pack of just 3 bars to try!
Thank you all for reading, and for your support always. Let me know in the comments below what other posts you’d like to see from me in the future!