Ready to feel more energized? Try these 10 healthy low GI swaps

low glycemic diet
10 low GI healthy swaps

If you're ready to step off that blood sugar rollercoaster, I'm here to help! We all know the feeling – that crazy energy surge followed by the inevitable crash that happens after eating foods that spike your blood sugar. It's exhausting! But what if I told you there's a way to get the energy you need without the chaotic side effects?

It's all about focusing on healthy low glycemic choices. See, the glycemic index, or GI, tells you how quickly foods impact your blood sugar levels. Smart foods that have a low GI can be a game-changer, keeping you energized, satisfied, and in total control.

So, are you ready to make some simple, but powerful, low glycemic swaps? Let’s do this!

Swap #1: Craveable oatmeal over sugary cereal

I'll be honest, I used to be a cereal fanatic. That is, until I discovered how quickly it left me hungry and craving more sugar. That's why oatmeal has become my breakfast hero: the protein and fiber combo keeps those blood sugar levels steady, and keeps me full for way longer. Don't be afraid to dress it up – nuts, seeds, and fresh berries make it a seriously satisfying meal. Also bonus food you can try: muesli! Make sure to get the one with zero added sugar.

Swap #2: Sprouted grain bread instead of white

Let's talk bread. If you're used to the soft, fluffy white stuff, this might be an adjustment, but trust me, it's worth it! Sprouted whole-grain bread is easier to digest, packs more nutrients, and won't send your blood sugar skyrocketing. Get creative with your sandwich fillings – it's the perfect base for a healthy and delicious lunch.

Swap #3: Greek yogurt – your new best friend

Flavored yogurts seem innocent, but they're often loaded with sugar. Opt for plain Greek yogurt – I swear, its creamy richness will win you over! You control the sweetness, so toss in some fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey for the perfect touch. Plus, you're getting a fantastic protein boost too.

Swap #4: Lean protein power over processed meats

Processed meats, as tasty as they sometimes are, can be blood sugar enemies since most bacon and sausage found at the supermarket have added sugar. (You can still enjoy them, but look for sugar-free or no added sugar). In its place, opt for lean options like grilled chicken, fish, or even tofu. These choices are packed with the good stuff – quality protein without the blood sugar baggage.

Swap #5: Hydration is key – ditch the soda

Sugary drinks are a fast pass to a blood sugar spike and crash. Stick with the basics – water is your body's favorite beverage, and it's key for keeping blood sugar in check. If you need flavor, try unsweetened tea or add some lemon or fresh herbs to your water.

Swap #6: A little dark chocolate goes a long way

Milk chocolate may be tempting, but it's a sugar bomb in disguise. If you are going for milk chocolate (which, I still do!) have it after you've consumed a low glycemic meal. When in doubt though or when options are limited, choose dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) for a richer, more satisfying treat with less impact on your blood sugar. A small square can go a long way. 

Swap #7: Nuts and seeds: your perfect snack solution

I'm a chips and crackers girl, so I'm not telling you to toss these. Plus, there's SO many great options out there. If you can't find some good ones, you can always go for nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds – choose your favorites. They're packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber, making them amazing snacks on their own or in a homemade trail mix.

Swap #8: Supercharge with legumes

White rice may be a staple, but it's a quick way to a blood sugar rollercoaster especially when eaten alone or in the wrong order. If you do go for white rice, two great options are basmati and par-boiled. I encourage. you to add some more carbs to your rotation though, so reach for lentils, beans, and chickpeas as well. These little powerhouses deliver awesome protein and fiber, helping keep you feeling full and your blood sugar balanced.

Swap #9: Pasta alternatives for the win

Pasta lovers, I feel you. My husband is Italian, born and raised. But pasta in the US can make things rough on your blood sugar because we don't typically learn to cook it al dente "with a bite!". Explore lentil pasta, quinoa pasta, chickpea pasta (my fav alternative) or even spiralized veggies for a satisfying, lower-glycemic meal. Don't be afraid to get creative.

Swap #10: Protein shakes for sweet satisfaction

Ice cream is a temptress, but not your blood sugar's friend when not eaten in the right order. A quality protein shake (choose low-sugar options) can satisfy your sweet tooth, give you a protein boost, and keep your blood sugar stable. It's a win-win! If you go for ice-cream, one I've been LOVING lately is the Kind ice cream bars. 

The Takeaway

These simple low GI swaps might seem small, but trust me, they make a huge difference in how you feel as you transition to low glycemic living. You'll have more energy, fewer cravings, and a better handle on your blood sugar. It's a path to feeling your best – and I'm here to cheer you on!

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Low Glycemic Diet for Healthy Weight Management

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“The prediabetic plan was so helpful! I lost 5.5lbs in about 1 1/2 weeks. That was a really big deal for me because I had reached a plateau for months.” -Natalie