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What Are Low Glycemic Foods?

Maintain a healthier blood-sugar level by eating foods with a lower glycemic index (GI)

Low Glycemic Foods

The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of how a specific food with carbohydrates causes blood sugar to rise. It is given as a number compared to the effect on your blood sugar of eating either glucose (a type of sugar) or white bread.

When you eat a food or beverage containing carbohydrates, your body breaks down the carbs into a type of sugar called glucose. The glucose goes into your bloodstream and causes your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels to rise.

Compare to low-glycemic foods, high-glycemic foods lead to a quicker and greater spike in blood sugar levels.  

A low-GI diet can help you avoid the blood sugar roller coaster, but the GI is not on the nutrition label of most foods. Instead, you will probably to look at a list of the GI of foods.

Low-glycemic foods

Low-Glycemic Fruit

These fruits have low GI scores, but eating too many can make blood sugar unstable.
  • Apples

  • Dried apricots

  • Under-ripe banana

  • Peaches

  • Strawberries

  • Oranges

  • Cherries

  • Coconut

  • Cranberries

  • Blueberries

  • Pears

  • Plums

  • Grapefruit

Low-Glycemic Vegetables

Low glycemic vegetables can help maintain more level blood sugar levels.
  • Carrots

  • Green peas

  • Onions

  • Lettuce

  • Greens (spinach, kale, collards, beet)

  • Green beans

  • Tomatoes

  • Cucumbers

  • Bok choy

  • Mushrooms

  • Artichokes

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Eggplant

  • Peppers (bell peppers, jalapenos, serrano, etc.)

  • Zucchini and crookneck squash

  • Snow peas

Low-Glycemic Grains

  • Barley

  • Whole wheat kernels

  • All-bran cereal

  • Whole grain pasta

  • Lasagna with meat and/or cheese, ravioli, tortellini, and other stuffed pasta

  • Whole-grain pumpernickel bread

  • Sourdough bread

  • Wheat tortilla

Low-Glycemic Dairy and Dairy-Substitute Products

  • Skim, low-fat, and whole milk

  • Plain yogurt

  • Cheese (cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, brie, feta, blue, goat, etc.)

  • Cottage cheese

  • Ricotta cheese

  • Soy milk and yogurt

Low-Glycemic Legumes

  • Beans (chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, etc.)

  • Split peas, black-eyed peas

  • Lentils

  • Soybeans

  • Hummus

  • Bean dip


The Takeaway

Being low glycemic doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Serving home-made chick pea hummus with broccoli and carrots can be a fun snack for sporting events and get-togethers. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes!

These healthy lifestyle changes can be a lot to think about, but there is no need to get overwhelmed. First, you can get results with small changes, so you can pick and choose which healthy changes to make as you are ready.

Second, help is available. Besides contacting your doctor and healthcare team for information and support, you can depend on Lark 24/7 to guide healthy choices, monitor your sleep, activity, and diet, and support you in your quest to lower A1C.

Lark Health can help you manage your diet. See if you are eligible for a free Fitbit and SmartScale with the quiz below.

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