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40+ Low glycemic foods for your grocery list

low glycemic diet
Low glycemic foods for your grocery list

The first step to creating a low glycemic-friendly home, is to begin to fill your kitchen with low glycemic foods. Weight loss is simple, and Well + Easy teaches how to do this with a simple approach: by transforming what’s in your kitchen.

There’s a saying “you are what you eat” but I think, “you are what you reach for”. If your kitchen is filled with healthier, low glycemic foods, you’ll reach for better choices every time without fear of “messing up” your diet and goals. 

Why choose low glycemic foods?

If you’re new to low glycemic eating, start by reading our Low glycemic eating diet plan. It covers what the glycemic index is and why it matters for your wellness and weight loss goals. Choosing low GI foods for your pantry helps you stay on track and get in good nutrition that supports your blood sugar levels as well. 

What is the glycemic index?

The Glycemic Index is the measurement of the rate at which any food (carbohydrate) raises your blood sugar levels. One of the key components to a glycemic index diet is incorporating more plant foods into your diet. Plant foods can support you with specific health issues and therefore fill your body with the nutrients that it needs to thrive. 

How to measure the glycemic index of foods

There are many books and guides out there that will tell exactly what the glycemic index of most foods is. However, to keep things simple, we've already researched and used the charts and guides that others have already created. 

The Well + Easy grocery shopping list features essential low glycemic foods to keep stocked in your kitchen. If you’re curious what’s on that list, you can download it: Low Glycemic Grocery List.

Getting started with low GI foods

I recommend stocking your kitchen with foods you already love to eat and enjoy—just the healthier version of those foods. A kitchen filled with "pre-approved" low glycemic foods will make it easy to make low GI meals.

The Well + Easy difference

Our promise is to share the best low glycemic foods and teach you how to make healthier food choices. For example, a lot of the advice out there on the glycemic index diet promotes “diet” foods, “light” foods, “fat free” foods and artificial sweeteners and additives.

Here at Well + Easy we promote a healthy, holistic based approach to low glycemic eating and living. This is a lifestyle shift, and incorporating over all healthier foods into your diet will help you heal from the inside out.
 



Plant based low glycemic foods 

To add in more color to your diet. You can get these foods fresh or frozen. When possible choose seasonal, local, organic, and non-GMO produce.

Colorful low glycemic foods:

  • Red: apples, beets, cherries, grapes, raspberries, radishes, onions, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon
  • White: small potatoes, cauliflower, jicama, mushrooms, onions, shallots
  • Purple: blueberries, blackberries, plums, figs, prunes, grapes, eggplant
  • Orange: apricots, oranges, nectaries, papaya, peppers, mango, cantaloupe, zucchini flowers, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, carrots, peach, lemons
  • Green: avocado, boy choy, kale, spinach, grapes, green beans, okra, lettuce, peas, asparagus, broccoli, celery, artichokes, melon, pepper, kiwi, limes

Low glycemic Superfoods 

To incorporate into your glycemic index diet

  • Goji berries
  • cacao nibs
  • hemp seeds
  • chia seeds
  • acai
  • flaxseeds
  • maca

 

 

Low GI starter foods

To add to your next shopping list to create balanced meals consisting of proteins, fats, and good carbs. Check out our Kitchen Checklist for a more robust list that you can check off as you go.

Protein

Tip: proteins and fats do not have a glycemic index

  • Chicken breast, frozen chicken, canned chicken in water, ground chicken
  • Turkey breast, ground turkey 90% lean, turkey bacon
  • White fish, salmon, canned tuna in water, canned salmon, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels 
  • Ground beef 80% lean or higher, ground pork, sugar free bacon
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Beans (white beans, garbanzo, black beans, kidney beans
  • Eggs

Whole grains
  • Whole grain bread
  • Steel cut oats
  • Whole grain tortilla or wraps
  • Whole grain pasta (or Chickpea pasta)
  • Brown rice

Fats/Oils
  • Olive oil, avocado oil
  • Avocado 
  • Veganaise 
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters

Dairy
  • Greek yogurt (unsweetened)
  • Plain yogurt (unsweetened)
  • Almond milk unsweetened (or any unsweetened dairy free milk)

Drinks
  • Water
  • Unsweetened ice tea

Get a jump start on your next shopping trip

Use this list to get a jump start on your grocery shopping list. The foods listed above are what should be in every Well +Easy low glycemic-friendly home and so much more.

There’s many options you can begin to add to your cart. This list gives you the best place to start. You’ll start noticing the difference in how you feel with just adding in these foods. I know that this diet can seem restricting, and I’m constantly trying to find new ways to make things easier and more… delicious.

I hope these low glycemic foods inspire your next trip to the super market, and I hope they help change your life like they've done for Natalie:

The [prediabetic] plan was so helpful! I felt full throughout the day, lighter, and more confident in my food choices. It definitely helped me mentally as well because I finally understood what it was like to really care for my body from the inside out (really cool how food choices can impact the way we think). I lost 5.5lbs in about 1 1/2 weeks (225lbs to 219.5lbs). That was a really big deal for me because I had reached a plateau for months at 225lbs. I'm working on staying consistent so I can reach my goal weight of 164lbs and learn to maintain it.” 



Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What exactly are low glycemic index foods?

    • Low glycemic index foods are those that have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels after consumption. The GI measures how quickly food raises blood sugar levels on a scale from 0 to 100. Foods with a GI of 55 or less are considered low GI, meaning they are digested and absorbed slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.
  2. Why should I consider eating low GI foods?

    • Eating low GI foods can help manage blood sugar levels, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. It can also help with appetite control by providing a sense of fullness for longer periods, potentially aiding in weight management. Additionally, low GI diets have been associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Can low GI foods help with weight loss?

    • Yes, low GI foods can support weight loss efforts. These foods tend to be more satisfying and can help control hunger, which may lead to a lower overall calorie intake. By promoting a slower, more stable blood sugar response, low GI foods can also help reduce cravings and the likelihood of overeating.
  4. What are some examples of low GI foods?

    • Examples of low GI foods include most non-starchy vegetables, some fruits (such as cherries, plums, and grapefruit), legumes (like beans, lentils, and chickpeas), whole grains (such as barley, quinoa, and oats), and nuts and seeds. Dairy products like milk and yogurt also typically have a low GI.
  5. How can I incorporate low GI foods into my diet?

    • Incorporating low GI foods into your diet can be simple with a few adjustments:
      • Choose whole grains over refined grains (e.g., brown rice instead of white rice).
      • Opt for fresh or frozen fruits instead of canned fruits or fruit juices.
      • Include legumes in your meals, such as adding beans to salads or soups.
      • Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips or crackers.
      • Select dairy products or dairy alternatives for snacks or part of your meals.
      • When eating high GI foods, combine them with low GI foods to balance the meal and mitigate blood sugar spikes.

 

Tired of bland, boring, diet foods? It doesn't have to be that way. Going low glycemic is super flexible and practical. Get started with the 5-day low GI meal plan here!

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Low Glycemic Diet for Healthy Weight Management


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