Low Glycemic Food List -
Perfect your Meals

The Low Glycemic Food List teaches you to "Make a Meal." It's the key to feeling full and satisfied while eating the right portion sizes. It's pretty wonderful.

A healthy meal is easy with 3 parts . . .

Proteins - any meat, seafood or beans.

Vegetables - pick one from the Low Glycemic Food List below.

Carbohydrates - Most of the time, choose something from the "LOW" glycemic food list, but you can eat from the "HIGH" side, too. Read on about which carbohydrates are low glycemic index foods.


Low Glycemic Index Food List

"Low" and Slow is the way to go. Foods that are LOW on the glycemic index do not make big changes in your blood sugar. Eat these!

Limit "High" foods. Foods that are HIGH on the glycemic index food list make bigger swings in your blood sugar. You don't want that. However, you don't have to give these foods up.

  • Eat them in a healthy meal with a protein and vegetable to BALANCE the glycemic effect in your body. Or eat a high glycemic food as a SMALL snack.

This list of low glycemic foods is adapted from the book The New Glucose Revolution for Diabetes by Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller, Kaye Foster-Powell, Dr. Stephen Colagiuri and Alan W. Barclay.

Low Glycemic Foods
EAT THESE
Med/High Glycemic Foods
LIMIT THESE
DRINKSDRINKS
Apple juiceBeer
Chocolate MilkGatorade
Cranberry juice
Orange juice
Pineapple juice
Strawberry Milk
Tomato juice
White Milk
BREADBREAD
9-Grain breadsCroissant
Pumpernickel breadLight rye bread
Sourdough breadsRaisin bread
Spelt multigrain breadWhite breads
Wonder White Low GI breadWhole wheat breads
CEREALCEREAL
Kellogg's All-BranShredded wheat
Frosted FlakesRaisin Bran
Muesli, natural
Oat bran, raw
Steel cut oatmeal
CAKES, MUFFINS, COOKIES CAKES, MUFFINS, COOKIES
9 Grain muffinAngel food cake
Apple muffin, homemadeBlueberry muffin
Cake mix and icingBran muffin
Chocolate muffinCroissant, plain
Sponge cakeDoughnut, cinnamon & sugar
Oatmeal cookiesOatmeal muffin
Pancakes, from mix
Scones
Waffles
Vanilla Wafers
DAIRY DAIRY
Mousse Sweetened condensed milk
Pudding Tapioca pudding
Ice cream
Milk
Yogurt
FRUIT FRUIT
Apple, fresh or dried Apricots
Apricots, dried Banana, ripe
Avocado Cantaloupe
Banana, underripe Dried fruits
Berries Figs
Dates Papaya
Fruit & nut mix Peaches, in syrup
Fruit cocktail Pineapple
Grapefruit Raisins
Grapes Watermelon
Kiwi
Kumquats
Mango
Nectarine
Orange
Peaches
Pear
Plum
Prunes
Rhubarb
Strawberries
PASTA & NOODLES PASTA & NOODLES
Most pastas Gnocchi
Kraft macaroni & cheese
Rice noodles & pasta
RICE RICE
Uncle Ben's rice, in pouchesArborio risotto rice
Basmati rice
Instant white rice
Jasmine rice
Wild rice
SNACKS SNACKS
Chocolate, plain Fruit Roll-Ups
Combos Snacks Gummi candies
Kudos bars Jelly beans
Marmalade Licorice
Milky Bar, white Lifesavers
Granola bar-some kinds Granola bar-some kinds
Nutella Mars bar
NutriSystem snacks Marshmallows
Nuts Microwave popcorn, plain
Peanut M&M's Milky Way bar
Potato chips, plain Pop-tarts
Shaklee snacks Pretzels
Snickers bar Rice Krispie Treats
Strawberry jam Skittles
Twix bar
Zone bars
SOUPS
Most of them
VEGETABLES VEGETABLES
Carrots Beets, canned
Corn White potato, no skin
Parsnips Hash browns
Sweet potato & Yam Mashed potatoes
Winter squashes Potato Chips
Instant potatoes
"NON-CARB" VEGETABLES
Artichokes
Asparagus
Baby corn
Bamboo shoots
Bean sprouts
Bok choy
Broccoli
Brussel sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celery
Chilies
Cucumber
Eggplant
Endive
Fennel
Garlic
Green beans
Herbs
Horseradish
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lettuce & greens
Mushrooms
Okra
Onions
Peppers
Radishes
Sauerkraut
Seaweed
Snow peas
Squash
Tomatoes
Turnips
Water chestnuts
Zucchini

"Low" on the glycemic index means a score below 55, and "high" foods are above 55. Surprisingly, most foods are on the low side. But look at the high glycemic foods and think about how often we eat them. White flour and white potatoes make up a huge part of many people's diet, and those foods dominate restaurant menus in western countries.

But you can get a handle on your eating when you 1) eat good food portion sizes and 2) follow the food portion plate by adding a low glycemic food to your meals.

You can research the glycemic index number for many foods at Glycemic Index.com.

Our Favorite Side Dishes from the Low Glycemic Food List

A list of vegetables doesn't do any good unless you can learn to eat and cook a few. Get started with what our family has from the Low Glycemic Food List on most nights:

PEAS - Put some frozen peas in a bowl with a pat of butter. Microwave for about 1-1/2 minutes.

CARROTS - Set out a bag of baby carrots (already prepared for eating). Make a ranch dip from a mix (use half sour cream and half no-fat greek yogurt).

SWEET CARROTS - Boil some baby carrots for 5-10 minutes until cooked but still crunchy. Drain water. Add a pat of butter, a spoonful of brown sugar and a squirt of honey.

FRESH GREEN BEANS - Cut the stem end off. Boil green beans for 5-10 minutes until cooked but still crunchy. Drain water. Add a pat of butter.

BAKED BEANS - Empty a can of baked beans into a small saucepan over high heat. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1-2 tablespoons ketchup and a little squirt of mustard. After it boils, turn heat to low and let it carmalize, anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.

SWEET CORN - Empty a can of corn into a microwavable bowl. Cover and microwave for 1-2 minutes.

SALAD - Use your favorite bag of greens or wash and cut your own lettuces. Add some sliced carrots, a dressing you like, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

See how simple these dishes are? It can be easy to regularly eat foods from the low glycemic food list.

Dessert

Where does dessert fit into that food portion plate?

My best recommendation is to wait a couple hours after dinner and eat dessert as your next snack.

Another option is to make it your "carbohydrate" during dinner. I don't like this choice as much because you're probably replacing nutritious food with something much less nutritious.


Vacation without Gaining Weight

Most people struggle with gaining weight on vacations. You won't anymore.

The Key is eating your appropriate food portion sizes, making sure you have those low glycemic foods included in your meals, and snacking in between (see Step 5 - Find Some Snacks).

Our family drove around California last year, and we kept snacks in the rental car (just crackers and cookies from grocery stores). However, we did pay attention to portions. Keep snacks under 200 calories and dinner portions the size of your hand (see graphic below). We kept our weight steady.

Apply the same techniques for holidays. Keep up your snacks and you'll be able to keep your "feasts" in better proportions.


Worried about Smaller Meals

Are you worried that these portions are too small and won't fill you up?

First, remember Step 5 - Find Some Snacks. You can be eating Snacks every 2-3 hours. You don't need a belly-busting meal when you're going to eat again in a couple hours.

Second, read about low glycemic index foods (table to the left), which are naturally filling.


Background

Comfort food is easy to eat. Vegetables (for most of us) aren't so easy. Learning about how food impacts our blood sugar helped me. Don't give up mashed potatoes, but make sure to add a little salad on the side. Believe it or not, it evens out the impact on your blood sugar.

Ever feel like depriving yourself for hours to lose weight? I have. Think again - your body will hoard fat if it thinks you need to survive starvation. We need to convince our bodies that we are not entering a period of starvation.

Two sources influenced me in this step - Food Lovers Fat Loss System and the book The New Glucose Revolution for Diabetes. I recommend them both to you. They teach you how to be healthy but still eat foods you love (hence the title "Food Lovers").


You will find Low Glycemic Foods (vegetables, breads, beans) that you like. Suddenly, you can make healthy meals - and lose weight.

Return to LIst of Healthy Food (from LOW GLYCEMIC FOOD LIST)

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