How to get your GI in balance for a new you in 2018. The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Try some of these simple Low GI Breakfast Ideas for a great start:
- Unsweetened, natural yoghurt mixed with fresh fruit and muesli.
- Yoghurt, fruit and nut smoothies
- Rolled oat porridge cooked with soy or rice milk, mixed with dried fruit & nuts
- Rye toast with a poached egg, and fresh fruit
- Whole-wheat pita stuffed with scrambled egg, and fresh fruit
- All-bran muffin with nut butter spread, and fresh fruit
- Natural yoghurt with frozen berries, topped with sunflower seeds & nuts
- Wholegrain toast with salmon & avocado, and fresh fruit
- Buckwheat pancakes topped with lightly stewed fruit
- Pumpernickel toast topped with melted low-fat cheese, and fresh fruit
- Rye toast topped with light cream cheese, and fruit
- Vegetable omelette, whole-grain toast, and fruit
- Bircher muesli with yoghurt, fresh fruit, and nuts
Foods to Avoid:
- Processed, high GI breakfast cereals (that’s most of them!)
- White and wholemeal breads, croissants, crumpets and pancakes
- Sugar laden jams, marmalades and spreads
- Full fat dairy products, such as milk, yoghurts and cheeses
- Fat laden meats, such as bacon and sausages
- Store bought, sweetened, processed fruit juices
- Sugar in tea, coffee, or on cereals
Breakfast Cereals are often the worst. Most cereals found in supermarket aisles are very high glycemic, sugar laden, and nutrient poor. Sadly, many people, particularly children, begin their day with a poor breakfast choice that sets them up to be hungry a short time later, with rapidly spiking and falling blood sugar levels. Even instant oats, long time believed to be a nutritious choice, are very high glycemic. Instead, choose steel cut or rolled oats as your preferred grain – or you can try other low gi grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat as well. Perhaps you could even go without a grain for breakfast.
Start discovering the vast array of great low gi foods for breakfast that are available, when you start considering a low gi diet as a way of life.
Bread – As far as bread goes, the supersoft, white, fluffy bread that we see almost everywhere, has little resemblance to the whole wheat grain we see growing in the fields. All the goodness has been removed. Instead, choose heavy, wholegrain breads (where you can actually see the grains – and there are far too many to count!) Even better, choose sprouted grain breads, or pumpernickel, usually available from health food stores.
Also, consider experimenting with grains other than wheat – rye, spelt, barley and rice are great choices to begin with. And don’t forget the seeds too – sunflower, linseeds, pumpkin, poppy, linseed and more. Some of the nicest breads available are from small traditional bakeries and markets rather than supermarket shelves. Although they may sometimes appear to be slightly more expensive, you’ll soon find that a small slice or too will go a long way. Low gi foods definitely don’t have to be boring!
Highly Processed Grains – Sadly, for many people, processed grains and cereal foods make up far too much of their diet, often leaving little room for quality fruits, vegetables, legumes and protein. As a general rule, if you think of a dinner plate, low gi grains, cereals and starchy vegetables, like potatoes, should only take up one quarter of your plate, leaving another quarter for good quality proteins, and the remaining half for fresh or lightly cooked vegetables or salad.
Always choose whole grain breads, brown or basmati rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and experiment with some of the ancient grains (often found in health food stores and some progressive supermarkets).
Not only do wholegrain low gi foods maintain steady blood sugar levels, and keep you feeling satisfied for longer, they also increase your fibre intake. Research is showing again and again that an increased consumption of wholegrain low gi foods is associated with a greatly reduced incidence of cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
Remember, a low gi diet doesn’t need to be complicated! Just eat foods as close as possible to their natural state in nature, and you can’t go wrong – that’s all there is to low gi foods and a low glycemic diet!
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 smoothi
- Trail mix made with dried fruit, nuts and seeds
If you would like some help please contact us or call Lisa on 01491 822633