Foods that tend to raise your blood sugar level are those high in carbohydrates and have a Glycemic Index value over 70. However eating a variety of low GI foods will help keep your blood sugar on an even keel all day long.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits among the lowest on the GI chart are cherries, plums, grapefruit and peaches with index numbers of 22, 24, 25 and 28, respectively. For vegetables, choose tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli which come in on the chart at 15, 10, 15, 10, respectively. Not only are these items low on the GI scale, but they typically are also low in calories, but packed with fiber so they keep you fuller longer. That means less snacking between meals on higher GI foods.
For a high protein, but low GI snack try eating some peanut butter on apple slices, canned tuna or low-fat cheese on whole-wheat crackers or try dipping celery or carrots in hummus. Because protein fills you up and keeps you fuller longer, you’ll be less likely to look for something to eat before your next meal.
Unsaturated fats – mono and poly – are the good fats you should have in your diet. The fats to avoid include saturated and trans.
Oils such as olive, canola and peanut are unsaturated and do not contain any carbohydrates, so therefore they have a GI of 0. Because they do not have an effect on blood sugar either way, they can be used in food preparation without having to worry about altering your blood sugar.
Certain fishes classified as “fatty” are also good for you. These include: tuna, mackerel, halibut and salmon. In addition, these fishes also are high in Omega 3 – a fatty acid that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering triglyceride levels in the blood stream.
Whole grains are grains that have not been processed or minimally processed. Not only do they have a low GI value, they add more flavor to breads and pasta made from them. Some of the lower GI whole grains include:
- Spelt (54)
- Quinoa (53)
- Rye (55)
- Wild Rice (45)
- Barley (25)
If you are a diabetic, or have trouble controlling your blood sugar, eating the aforementioned foods will help you keep it steady. A steady blood sugar level means less cravings, which not only reduce the number of calories you would normally consume, helps you stay away from high GI foods.