10 Snacks With Low Glycemic Index
Glycemic Index (GI) is an indicator of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a particular food. The higher the GI number, the faster the blood sugar rises. Low GI foods will cause less of a spike in blood sugar, which means that you won't experience the same insulin response.
While to snack low GI means to refer to the glycemic index, it’s anything but boring.
Whether you’re on the go or too busy to make a meal, these snacks will keep you full and your blood glucose levels steady throughout the day. Let’s explore Well + Easy’s top low glycemic snacks:
1. Popcorn (in 5 flavors!)
With a GI score of 55, air-popped popcorn is the healthiest alternative to many salty snacks as it’s high satiety and contains polyphenols, i.e., antioxidants that aid digestion. And while this doesn’t include movie theatre popcorn (unfortunately), you can turn air-popped popcorn into a fun snack by dressing it up with natural flavor enhancers, such as:
- Garlic powder
- Nutritional yeast
- Lemon or lime zest
- Cocoa powder
Avocados are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy choice for snacking. They're also packed full of nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin K, folate, and fiber.
Don’t let the high-fat content of this fruit deter you from including them in your diet — they have the type of fat you shouldn’t go a day without. Avocados have monounsaturated fats, i.e., healthy fats that lower cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. They also have no GI value, meaning they won’t raise your blood glucose levels and can be enjoyed in abundance.
Enjoy with a slice of toast or as a dip with gluten-free chips.
3. Zucchini chips
Put your air fryer to use by preparing zucchini chips, a healthy alternative to commercial chip brands high in saturated fats and oils. With a GI of 15, this fruit promotes digestion as it contains mostly water and fiber, and is rich in B vitamins which help regulate blood glucose levels.
Simply set your air fryer to 350 degrees F, slice the zucchini into coins, toss with salt and olive oil, and air fry for 10 minutes. Yum!
4. KIND Bars
Unlike most snack bars on the market, KIND bars are free of artificial sweeteners and contain whole ingredients such as fruit and seeds, with nuts being their number one ingredient. Moreover, KIND bars are a staple for anyone looking to follow a low glycemic diet as they promote weight loss and won’t spike blood glucose levels.
5. Apples + peanut butter
Apples and bananas both contain carbs, but apples have a much lower GI than bananas. This means that when you eat an apple, your blood sugar level will not go up as high as it would if you ate a banana.
With a GI of 36, apples are relatively low on the glycemic index scale compared to most fruits. Eat them whole or pair them with peanut butter for added protein, apples are great for snacking in between meals or on the go travel. They’re packed with fiber that will keep your blood glucose levels slow and steady and contain phytochemicals, i.e., antioxidants that neutralize free radicals.
Looking for a snack that’s extra crunchy? Try walnuts.
Eat by the handful or serve as a garnish, walnuts have a GI of 15 and are loaded with omega-3s and polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote cognitive function and heart health. Walnuts also help with managing weight and lowering blood pressure.
If you're looking for something sweet, try blueberries instead of strawberries. Blueberries contain more antioxidants than strawberries, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.
While the glycemic index of blueberries is 53, similar to bananas and kiwis, their antioxidant properties have solidified their place on this list.
Compared to other fruits, blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants. In fact, just one cup contains thousands of antioxidants like vitamin C and A and flavonoids. Moreover, including blueberries in your diet has been shown to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
8. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers
Tired of crackers made with excess sodium and refined grains? Toss out that box of Ritz and make room for Simple Mills’ almond flour crackers, the crackers made with low glycemic consumers in mind. These crackers are made from a nut/seed flour blend that contains almonds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds, and are also low in sodium and gluten-free.
9. Raw carrots + hummus
Raw carrots have a GI of 16 and when paired with hummus (chickpeas), you have a low glycemic snack that is the perfect trifecta of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. Moreover, carrots are also a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which help lower the risk of diabetes, and vitamin K, which supports bone health.
To ensure your hummus is gluten-free, opt for making your own using a food processor.
10. Red Grapes
Red grapes aren’t just for winemaking, they’re a nutrient-dense fruit packed with antioxidants great for on-the-go snacking. With a GI score of 53, most of the antioxidants found in red grapes are in their skin and seeds. The most notable is called resveratrol, which helps reduce high blood glucose levels and fights heart disease and cancer.
Ready to feel 10x better in your body?
Grab our Low GI Starter Kit today for easy-to-follow recipes you can add to your diet tomorrow. Through our expert guidance, you’ll learn how to transition to low GI with ease and receive FREE access to new recipes weekly so you can stay creative in the kitchen.