14 ways to reduce the glycemic impact of your meal
You can lower the glycemic load of a meal or snack using just a few simple methods. Take a look at these beneficial food combinations, food prep tips and alternative food choices to improve the glycemic load of any meal or snackBy Natasha Turner, N.D.
1. Studies show having tomato juice, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with your meal may help reduce the glycemic load.
2. Choose slow-cooked oatmeal over quick oats because it is higher in fiber.
3. If you really want to have a piece of pie or cake, have protein with it. Adding whey protein powder or cottage cheese will slow the release of sugars into the blood stream and help keep insulin levels from shooting through the roof. But remember, calories in must stay below calories out for you to lose fat. Adding protein will not negate excess calories.
4. Cook your pasta and rice al dente (firm) to maintain a moderate level glycemic load. Overcooking pasta or rice raises the glycemic load.
5. Lightly steam your vegetables or eat them raw to maintain their fiber content.
6. Choose firm fruits that are not overly ripe. The riper the fruit, the higher the amount of naturally occurring sugars.
7. If you enjoy sushi, choose sashimi instead to avoid the high glycemic load of the rice.
8. Instead of a sandwich, have a salad with a scoop of sandwich filling such as egg, tuna or salmon. Two slices of bread or a bagel will raise the glycemic load of your meal.
9. If you must have pizza, choose a whole-wheat thin crust instead of a thick, white flour crust. Also, always ask for extra pizza sauce to benefit from the antioxidants present in cooked tomatoes.
10. Soups made of lentils or other legumes are better choices than cream of potato because of the higher fiber content and lower glycemic value of beans versus potatoes. If your soup has a high glycemic load, consider adding low fat cheese to increase the fat and protein content of your meal.
11. Try eating an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter to increase the fat and protein content of your snack.
12. If you must eat breakfast cereal, Kashi GoLEAN is a high–protein, high-fiber choice. Try adding a boiled egg white to increase protein and slow the release of sugar to your bloodstream.
13. Choose berries for dessert instead of pineapples and bananas because they are low glycemic and higher in both fiber and antioxidants.
14. Dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate because it is lower in sugar and provides a source of health-promoting antioxidants. But remember, one small square is all you need to get those health benefits!
Natasha Turner, N. D. is a leading naturopathic doctor and an authority on hormonal and digestive concerns. She is the founder of Clear Medicine, a Canadian-based wellness boutique that provides integrated health care.