Low Glycemic Foods List
Carbohydrates are an important part of our diets, but not all carb sources are the same.
When you consume foods and beverages containing carbs, the body converts the carbs into energy, a sort of simple sugar.
The sugar that enters the bloodstream causes a rise in blood glucose levels. Besides sweets, various other foods can also mess with blood sugar levels and have the same impact as high-carb diets.
What do you do to ensure you consume the right amount of sugar? You measure the glycemic index.
What is the Glycemic Index (GI?)
The glycemic index (GI) indicates how much a certain type of food may affect blood sugar levels. The index helps regulate high blood sugar surges and maintain appropriate energy levels throughout the day.
Some individuals with type 2 diabetes, those on low-carb diets, and those attempting to lose weight may find it useful.
Foods with a high glycemic index may cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly and dramatically. The dramatic rise leads to a greater insulin demand by the body.
A surge in blood glucose also leads to hunger pangs, carb cravings, and lethargy or fatigue. Low glycemic foods can help prevent all these effects.
What are the Low Glycemic Foods and Their Benefits?
Food has a “low GI” if the Glycemic Index (GI) is 55 or less. If the GI is between 55 and 69, it is “moderate,” and Anything higher than 70 is “high.”
Food items such as veggies and fruits do not consistently test at the same GI level, which further complicates matters.
Some types of specific fruit or vegetable may contain more carbs or sugars than others do. Other variables such as the ripening and duration of its storage, can also influence the outcome of the GI.
The benefits of consuming low glycemic foods are:
- Reduced blood sugar levels
- Weight loss
- Weight maintenance
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Low Glycemic Food List
1. Low-Glycemic Fruit
Contrary to popular opinion, the natural sugar found in fruits is sufficient to justify their inclusion in a well-balanced diet.
Furthermore, people who control their blood sugar levels can benefit from fruit.
Some sweet fruits have a low glycemic index, indicating that they could benefit blood sugar management.
Additionally, most fruits are high in fiber and other plant chemicals beneficial to one’s health. If you are looking for low glycemic index fruits, go no further than the ones listed below.
- Dried apricots
- Under-ripe banana
2. Low-Glycemic Vegetables
Vegetables are an essential component of a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
Furthermore, because of their low carbohydrate, high fiber content, high protein, and mineral content, they are the greatest choice for diabetes control, weight management, and a variety of other health benefits.
Most vegetables have a very low glycemic index, except starchy vegetables, which have high glycemic index scores. The vegetables listed below are safe to include in your low-glycemic food list.
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Crookneck Squash
- Green Beans
- Green Peas
- Snow Peas
3. Low-Glycemic Grains
Grains are versatile, nutrient-rich, healthy, easily available, and just as easy to store.
The good news is that many of them have low glycemic levels, and you can use them to flavor different dishes without worrying about a spike in your blood sugar. Our top picks include the following grains and cereals.
- Black rice
- Wild rice
- All-bran and Fiber One cereal
- Oat bran and rice bran cereals
- Sourdough bread
- Wheat tortilla
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole-wheat kernels
- Whole-grain pumpernickel bread
4. Low-Glycemic Dairy Products and Dairy-Substitute Products
Dairy products are great sources of calcium, proteins, and vitamins. However, too much dairy, especially for diabetes, can spike glucose levels.
Rich whole milk is also rich in lactose, which could cause intolerance in some people and other health issues. The alternatives are plant-based dairy substitutes with low GI.
The following dairy products are safe to add to the low glycemic list.
- Blue cheese
- Brie cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Feta cheese
- Goat cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Plain yogurt
- Ricotta cheese
- Skim, low fat, and whole milk
- Swiss cheese
5. Low-Glycemic Legumes
Legumes are great for blocking glucose control, and fortunately, many of them have a low GI. A few examples include:
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Navy beans
- Lima beans
- Split peas
- Black-eyed peas
- Roasted soybeans
- Bean dip
- Soy-based meat substitutes
6. Low-Glycemic Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and Seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins, oxidants, minerals, and other nutrients. Furthermore, they also help to regulate and lower blood pressure, at the same time maintaining acceptable sugar levels.
They also have a low glycemic index, but it is advisable to consume them in moderation. The best picks include:
- Peanut butter
- Nut butter
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
7. Dark Chocolate
8. Low Glycemic Fats and Oils
According to a study, patients with type 2 diabetes who incorporated healthy fats and oils into their diets had much better control of cardiovascular disease risks and improved glycemic control. Low glycemic oils and fats include
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Sesame oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Fish oil
9. Low Glycemic Drinks
Following a low glycemic diet does not stop at just foods. You should also put drinks into the equation. Drinks with low GI include:
- Plain water
- Herbal tea
- Flavored water
- Low-fat milk
- Fruit juice in moderation
- Coffee in moderation
High Glycemic Foods You Should Avoid
If you are on a strict low glycemic diet, you should avoid the following foods.
- White rice
- Whole wheat bread
- White bread
- Cereal bars
- Breakfast cereals
- Rice crackers
- Fruit yogurts
- Starchy veggies
- Oat milk
- Rice milk
- Soft drinks
If you have diabetes, foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can make your blood sugar spike and then drop rapidly.
The glycemic index goes from 0 to 100 and measures how quickly your body converts carbohydrates into glucose.
Fortunately, a wide range of foods with a low glycemic index provides all the nutrients needed for good health and diabetes management.
They are also good for weight loss management and minimizing the risks of heart disease.
Printable Low Glycemic Foods List (PDF)
|Low Glycemic Foods List|
|All-bran and Fiber One cereal|
|Oat bran and rice bran cereals|
|Whole grain pasta|
|Whole-grain pumpernickel bread|
|Low-Glycemic Dairy Products and Dairy-Substitute Products|
|Skim, low fat, and whole milk|
|Soy-based meat substitutes|
|Low-Glycemic Nuts and Seeds|
|Low Glycemic Fats and Oils|
|Low Glycemic Drinks|
|Fruit juice in moderation|
|Coffee in moderation|
|High Glycemic Foods You Should Avoid|
|Whole wheat bread|