Eating a diet rich in low glycemic foods is one way to help keep your blood sugar levels where you want them. It’s not the most foolproof method out there, but it does provide some indication as to how your body will react to a certain food, and at a glance you can see which foods are better for you than others in this regard. You’ll want to use your own judgment when choosing low GI foods because as we’ll see there are some that may have a low glycemic rank, but are not the healthiest choice you can make.
For reference, a GI rank of 55 or lower is considered Low.
Oats have long been considered a good food for diabetics as well as those looking to prevent getting diabetes because it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable for several hours. It also provides a good amount of fiber, and is recommended for those trying to manage their cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels as well. This makes it a great overall healthy food that you can enjoy as a way to start your day on the right food and keep your energy up without spiking your blood glucose. Glycemic Index Rank: 51
Peas are a great side dish to just about any meat-based entre, as they don’t add much in the way of calories at just 81 calories in a 100 gram serving. They also have a fair amount of potassium, and are relatively high in fiber as well. You’ll be getting a boost of Vitamin C along with your serving of peas, and they even have a good amount of protein in them. It’s always nice when a low glycemic food helps you in other ways and is considered healthy, since your goal is overall health and wellbeing, as well as keeping your weight at a good number. Glycemic Index Rank: 39
Carrots have a very low number on the glycemic scale at 19. Considering that 55 or lower means it’s low, that is exceptionally low. We all know that the beta carotene in carrots helps with eyesight, and there’s no doubt that it’s high in Vitamin A. There’s also some fiber in there as well to help with the digestive system. Peas and carrots are a nice combination, and you can freely mix those two together as a delicious side while keeping within your glycemic concerns. Like any food, just because it scores low doesn’t mean you should eat a lot of it in one sitting. Glycemic Index Rank: 19
Is there anything broccoli can’t do? It’s a superfood that shows up on plenty of different healthy foods lists, including being an anti-inflammatory food, a good to help you prevent cancer, and plenty more. Here it’s coming in with the very low score of 10 on the GI scale, so the body can handle it very easily without an increase in blood sugar. This is one reason why broccoli makes a great side dish. It provides you with plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals so you end up getting a nice nutritional spread from just one food. Glycemic Index Rank: 10
Cabbage is often used as a dietary food because of its low calorie and fat count, and you can also count it among one of the lowest glycemic foods on the planet. It clocks in at 10, well below the level that qualifies a food as low. Cabbage is also very versatile, finding its way into many main dish recipes, working as a nice side when steamed until soft, and providing texture, flavor, and nutrition to soups. It even provides a dose of Vitamin C so you’re strengthening your immune system at the same time. Glycemic Index Rank: 10
Kale is a legitimate superfood, so you can fully enjoy it without any worries that it will bump your blood glucose levels in the slightest. While there aren’t official counts as to where kale ends up on the Glycemic Index, it is theorized that it is very low, and less than a 5. Kale provides plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, gives you a fiber kick, has almost as much potassium as a banana, gives you iron and is very low in fat and calories. This makes it a great addition to your regular intake of fruits and vegetables. Glycemic Index Rank: Estimated at 2 to 4
Tomatoes get a lot of press for being very healthy and being used as a preventive measure for cancer and heart disease. They’re also a very low GI food which is great because you can use them in any number of ways. Perhaps the best way is to make a sauce out of them because their nutritional factor is compounded when they’re cooked. They can also be eaten raw on a salad, and can even be blended up to make tomato juice. Definitely be sure to eat tomatoes regularly for overall health as well as their low glycemic nature. Glycemic Index Rank: 15
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower tend to fare well in regards to their glycemic load. This includes the previously mentioned cabbage and kale. These types of vegetables are often brought up in health news for their anti-cancer and heart disease preventing characteristics. They have a unique blend of phytonutrients that is especially well-received by the body, and it makes a lot of sense to eat them regularly. You could even rotate them out so that you’re eating cruciferous vegetables daily, but not eating the same vegetable every day. Cauliflower is especially great because you can make faux-tatoes with them, as well as use them to make a pizza crust. Glycemic Index Rank: 15
9. Whole Wheat Bread
The reason whole wheat bread gained so much popularity in recent years is because white bread was regarded as being pretty unhealthy. Part of that is the glycemic rank of white bread is 71. When you consider that pure glucose sets the bar at 100 white bread is getting pretty close to being processed the same way. When you look at how wheat bread is ranked at 49 it becomes more apparent that it is processed by the body differently. It also has added nutritional value compared to white bread and is hands down the better choice from a health standpoint. Glycemic Index Rank: 49
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