Eating one type of food over the other can make all the difference when it comes to feeling full, being energized, and overall, just feeling your best. For those looking to make better, healthful food choices, try paying attention to the glycemic level of what you’re eating.
The Glycemic Index chart is a measure of the impact of food on your blood sugar. Foods with a high GI tend to cause a quick rise in your body’s blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a low GI will raise them more slowly and over a longer period of time. So, eating foods with a low GI number will help keep you fuller and satisfied longer than eating a meal with all ingredients that are high on the GI scale.
This is the glycemic index range:
Low GI = 55 or less
Medium GI = 56 – 69
High GI = 70 or more
Here are six foods that have a low number on the GI scale, complete with recipes so you can incorporate them into your meals.
1. Rolled Oats
Rolled oats have a number of 51 on the GI scale, so choose these for breakfast over high-GI foods such as Cornflakes, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, white bread, or a bagel. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning will help fill you up and keep you full for hours until lunchtime. If oatmeal is too boring for you, try these Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters. Rolled oats don’t have to be only for breakfast; try them in this Lentil Loaf and these Baby Lima Beans and Oats Dosa.
Red lentils get a 22 on the GI scale, while green lentils get a 30. Since they’re also full of protein, about 18 grams per cup, these legumes are ideal for those on a plant-based diet. Try these Lentil Meatballs, Hearty Lentil and Brown Rice Burger and Lentil Tacos.
3. Pearled Barley
Pearled barley has a number of 22 on the GI scale. By comparison, short grain white rice gets an 83, while instant white rice gets an 87. Do you like risotto? Try setting the white rice aside in favor of a healthier, lower GI meal that will keep you fuller longer. Try this Barley Risotto with Fava Beans, Corn and Mushrooms and this Lentil-Kale Vegan Risotto.
Cauliflower has a very low number of 15 on the GI scale, and it’s not just a veggie to toss along with others in a salad. Make use of this low GI food by transforming it into a creamy sauce for this Vegetable Rigatoni With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce and making it into cheese for this Portobello Eggplant Burger with Cauliflower Cashew Cheese. Also, see these 5 Amazing Ways to Cook Cauliflower.
6. Red Peppers
Lead image source: Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters