7 Low-glycemic diet plan strategies to enhance your weight loss and blood sugar control

  • 2 Minutes Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

The glycemic index (GI) can be a useful tool for curbing hunger and tempering blood sugar response after meals. It may also help manage insulin resistance. Try a few of these low-glycemic diet plan strategies to give you an edge with your nutrition plan.

low-glycemic diet plan

A low-glycemic diet plan can help curb hunger, lower glucose response, and manage insulin resistance.

Understanding glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of how a carbohydrate-containing food causes blood sugar levels to rise. Both the physical and chemical properties of a food determine how the food is absorbed and used by the body. Foods low on the GI scale usually release glucose more slowly while foods high on the glycemic index tend to release glucose more quickly.

Another ranking helpful in monitoring blood sugar is the glycemic load, a formula using GI and portion size. Whether you are trying to lose weight or manage blood sugar, nutrition experts advise that GI and glycemic load should not be the only methods for deciding what to eat. Affected by multiple factors, the GI ranking of a single food changes according to such things as ripeness, the extent of processing, and additional ingredients in a packaged product. It’s too simplistic to select foods based on GI alone. On the other hand, GI can be a useful tool if you are looking to control hunger better, improve your blood sugars after meals, and help treat insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a contributing factor for type 2 diabetes and can cause obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Think of using the glycemic index to tweak or fine-tune your nutrition plan while focusing on including a healthy mix of foods.

7 Ways to tweak your nutrition plan with low-glycemic diet plan strategies.

1. Combine a low GI food (<55) with a high GI food (>70) to help balance the glycemic response.

Better balancing acts might be:
strawberries and rice cereal
red beans and white rice
broccoli and baked white potato
sliced avocado on white toast

2. Using the Glycemic index table, look up the glycemic index (GI) of foods you enjoy. Simply substitute lower GI foods you like for higher-scale choices.

Super swaps might be:
apple instead of chips
rolled oats instead of instant oats
Greek-style yogurt instead of ice cream
nuts instead of dried fruit

3. Choose mainly whole, minimally processed foods.

Better bets might be:
shredded wheat instead of puffed wheat
baked sweet potato instead of instant mashed potatoes
brown rice instead of white rice

4. Add lean proteins and healthy fat sources to high GI foods.

Perfect pairings might be:
egg whites with white toast
nuts with pretzels
chicken and avocado with white flour tortilla

5. Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies.

Non-starchy veggies have a low GI.

Add plenty of non-starchy vegetables to meals and snacks. For optimal nutrition, choose fresh or frozen asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, etc.

6. Fiber, fiber, fiber—seek it out!

Add beans, peas, barley, oats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to your diet repertoire.

7. Don’t overcook the starches and veggies.

For example, have pasta al dente (firm), and try not to overcook vegetables.

Use a low-glycemic diet plan wisely.

It’s smart to use low-glycemic diet strategies when fine-tuning your eating plan for meeting your weight and blood-sugar management goals! Just remember, don't rely on the glycemic index and glycemic load ranking systems alone. Keep in mind the bigger picture of a balanced plate of food that offers a healthy mix of carbs, protein, and fat, and you will be fueled for good health!

The MyNetDiary Premium recipe collection has plenty of healthy, low-glycemic recipes to help you increase your whole food intake and tweak your diet with low-glycemic diet strategies!

Related content

Starchy vs. non-starchy vegetables- Does it really matter for overall weight loss and blood sugar?

Use the plate method for a simple way to plan balanced meals

Why you should eat good sources of fiber every day for optimal health

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Diabetes->Blood glucose Diabetes->Carbs & Carb Counting Nutrients->"Carbs: Fiber, Starch, & Sugar"
Dec 1, 2023
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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