There aren’t many of these, but there are a few. Some of the vegetables to eat more sparingly are:
pale skin potatoes
You can still have them, as they are nutritious and filling and have only medium GI numbers. You just don’t want to make these the core vegetables in your daily diet. You can have them several times a week without giving yourself a setback.
Even fewer are on the red light list. Here are the ones to eat only occasionally:
French fries (very occasional!)
Most of us can live without parsnips, but potatoes have long been a staple in the western diet. Try eating boiled or grilled new potatoes when you must have them, but it’s time to start substituting other vegetables for these high glycemic ones. We’ll be talking about lower glycemic options in later posts.
You are probably looking for it — the “King’s X” food. Is there a food that doesn’t raise your blood sugar? Well, yes. Meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs do not have any insulin response. That’s because of the fat and protein in them. Their glycemic number is 0.
Does that mean you can eat meat until it comes out your ears? I wouldn’t recommend it! Gorging is never healthy — regardless of what you are eating. And meat and eggs do have calories, which do count. More on that in a later blog.
However, it is also true that meat, fish, poultry, and eggs do give you many benefits. They provide protein, which is essential for fat loss, as well as for building muscle. Meats are also satisfying and help keep hunger under control.
Just don’t do crazy things — and we dieters are famous for the crazy things we do to lose weight!. Many people on the Adkins and South Beach diet, which are basically low glycemic, just stuff themselves with meat — which is not what the originators of the plans intended. I saw a breakfast entree in a menu billed as the “Adkins Breakfast.” It consisted of SIX eggs, six pieces of bacon, three sausage patties, and three link sausages. I really doubt that Dr. Adkins came up with this one! A steady diet of that type of food won’t be healthy OR help you lose the extra pounds.
A serving size of meat is about the size of a deck of cards — or the palm of your hand. Eating the meat grilled, cooked in the crockpot, or baked are all good choices. I have a George Foreman-type indoor grill that I use regularly. (It’s a knock-off brand, but I like it.) It’s easy and clean up is a snap since the grill can be washed in the dishwasher.
Beans are also low glycemic. Just about any kind you can name — black, brown, pinto, lima, navy — even baked beans — are in the green-for-go category. So are chick peas, black-eyed peas, and lentils.
Nuts can also be a boon to your healthy eating plan, as long as you don’t overdo it. They don’t have any carbs, so have a 0 glycemic index number. The exception is cashews, which have a low number of 22. They do have fat, but it is mostly the “good” fat. Eating a handful as a snack instead of chips or candy can satisfy you and keep your energy up. However, do NOT eat the whole jar of cashews — as I did once without noticing while I read a really good thriller. I did not feel so great afterward, and certainly did not see a drop in weight the next day!
As you can see, this eating plan is not really restrictive. There is plenty of real food with low or 0 numbers and you need not be hungry.
You will enjoy these — especially after you have been off high sugar treats for a while. When your taste buds have revived from the sugar-numbing, fruit will taste sweet and satisfying. In general, eat the fruit in as close to a natural state as possible. Raw fruit has the lowest GI number. Dried fruit is a bit higher, canned fruit usually is higher still. Juice has the highest rating of all. Why? Because of the fiber. Fresh, raw fruit has the most fiber and takes the longest to digest. The more processed, the less fiber and the more quickly it is digested.
Here is a quick list of fruits you can enjoy making a part of your new lifestyle.
Choose fresh, whole fruit if possible. Remember to check to make sure that the fruit is not packed in sugared syrup if you are choosing frozen or canned fruit.
Is your favorite fruit not on the list? Ask me and I’ll look it for you. Unlike vegetables, though, there are several fruits that are in the moderate to high categories.
Look both ways as you approach this green light!
Most dairy products have a low GI — including yogurt, some puddings, and even ice cream. They contain both protein and fat, which slow down digestion so that you don’t have the big sugar dump and insulin flood. Beware, though, that they do contain more calories and can move pretty quickly from low to high glycemic by eating too much. One dip of ice cream, for example, is low glycemic. Two dips moves it into high.
So should you eat ice cream? Sometimes. Suppose you are at a birthday party and your hosts are serving (what else?) ice cream and cake. If you pass on the cake and take just one dip of ice cream you have successfully navigated the party. If, however, you are feeling depressed and eat half a carton of double chocolate chip, you have just given yourself a set-back.
A cheese stick can be a good snack to keep blood sugar from bottoming out and energy levels up. A couple of ounces of cheese on your lunch salad will be filling and make your salad feel more like a meal. A grilled cheese sandwich, however, won’t have the same effect!
Most dairy products, including:
Ice Cream (one scoop)
Instant pudding (1/8 of a package, prepared)