Low Glycemic Foods

Easy Tips for Eating Healthy the Low-Glycemic Way

By Kathy Kaehler

It is important to get familiar with the Glycemic Index (GI) number for foods you’re eating. If what you love is a high number, there are many options. For example, strawberries, mango, banana, papaya, and cantaloupe all have a GI of 40 or higher. Instead, try pears, apples, grapefruit, or cherries, which are lower.

If low is where you want to go, here are some low-GI options for your day:


Low-glycemic breakfasts
Start your day with a healthy breakfast to boost your metabolism. Eating low-glycemic foods will give you energy to get through the morning and won’t leave you feeling hungry again an hour later. Try these suggestions for a healthy breakfast:

  • A USANA MySmartStart Smoothie*
  • 100% stone-ground, whole-wheat toast topped with low-sugar, natural peanut butter and sliced banana
  • Light yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and low-fat granola or bran buds
  • Steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats cooked in fat-free milk mixed with dried apricots and nuts
  • Low-glycemic cold cereal (look for whole grains, oats, and bran) with low-fat milk and fruit; hardboiled egg
  • Whole-wheat pita stuffed with scrambled egg; fruit
  • Sourdough French toast topped with natural applesauce
  • All-bran muffin with low-sugar fruit topping; fruit
  • Buckwheat pancakes topped with fruit
  • Multi-grain waffles topped with natural applesauce
  • Pumpernickel toast topped with melted low-fat cheese; fruit
  • Rye toast topped with light cream cheese, fruit
  • Vegetable omelet; extra lean turkey bacon; whole-grain toast
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit and almonds
Veggie Egg Scramble:Take two or three egg whites and one yolk in a bowl, and whisk. Add some chopped red peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Heat a non-stick skillet and cook. This is a delicious low-fat and low-GI choice, especially because these veggies are all a GI of 10, and the egg is 0.


Another quick and easy breakfast idea is to take three or four egg whites that you add to a heated non-stick skillet one at a time. Cook until no longer clear, then flip. You should be able to flip these like a pancake. When both sides are white with light brown crispy edges remove from heat and serve. GI of 0!


The recipes above are great to use as a snack or a part of a meal. 

Low-glycemic lunches
A light afternoon meal will help you get through the day. If you order out, substitute vegetables or cottage cheese for high-glycemic sides, such as chips or fries. Also choose whole-grain breads, and include some low-fat protein. Here are some other ideas for lunch:

  • A USANA MySMARTstart Smoothie*
  • Homemade or canned soups—vegetable, lentil, black bean, split pea, minestrone, or barley (feel free to add extra vegetables)
  • Sandwiches made with lean meats on whole-grain wheat, rye, pumpernickel, or pita bread; fresh vegetables; fruit salad
  • Veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard on whole-wheat bun; cottage cheese
  • Pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing; assorted fresh vegetables and low-fat cheese
  • Mixed green salad with grilled chicken and vinaigrette dressing; whole-wheat toast topped with natural peanut butter
  • Vegetable quiche; sliced tomatoes; fruit
  • Light yogurt with fruit; whole-grain muffin with melted low-fat cheese


Low-glycemic dinner
Enjoy the many low-glycemic possibilities available for dinner. Watch out for high-glycemic side dishes and large portion sizes that could sideline your weight-loss efforts. Here are some tips to keep your dinner healthy:

  • A USANA MySMARTstart Smoothie*
  • Limit intake of high-glycemic starches—baked or instant mashed potatoes, fries, instant rice, boxed side dish or stuffing mixes, refined white breads
  • Choose low-glycemic starches like pasta salad, whole-grain or sourdough breads, baked sweet potatoes, small new potatoes, corn, peas, or basmati rice
  • Fill up on fresh, non-starchy vegetables and leafy green salads
  • Include lean meats, such as chicken and fish, or substitute legumes for protein
  • Try any of the breakfast or lunch suggestions for your evening meal


Low-glycemic desserts
You may not be able to have your cake and eat it too, but you can eat some tasty low-glycemic treats. Try some of these sweets for dessert:

  • Sugar-free gelatin or pudding layered with fruit
  • Natural applesauce with light whipped topping
  • A small piece of dark chocolate
  • A few chocolate-covered strawberries
  • A few chocolate-covered almonds or peanuts
  • A couple oatmeal cookies with low-fat milk
  • Poached fruit
  • A root beer float with low-fat vanilla ice cream and sugar-free root beer
  • Baked apples with dried fruits and nuts


Low-glycemic snacks
Snacking can be the quickest way to undo all of your weight loss efforts. You can stay on track by grabbing some healthy alternatives when you get the munchies. Try these smart snacks:

  • A USANA Nutrition Bar*
  • A small handful of mixed nuts or trail mix
  • A small bowl of low-fat popcorn
  • A few whole-wheat crackers topped with low-fat cheese
  • Celery or a banana topped with natural peanut butter
  • Some whole-wheat pita chips topped with hummus
  • A handful of baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa
  • String cheese and an apple
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • A hard boiled egg
  • Fresh cut vegetables
  • An oat bran muffin
  • A 100-percent-juice bar
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
kathy kaehlerKathy Kaehler, author and celebrity fitness trainer, has devoted her life to helping people live happy and healthy lives. For 13 years, Kaehler appeared on the Today show as the fitness correspondent while training such celebrities as Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Aniston and many more. Kaehler shares her top-notch fitness solutions and star-shaping secrets along with healthy diet tips and recipes that feature USANA nutritional food products and supplements.

Living well by sharing health tips, exercise, fitness, nutrition, diet, healthy habits, and other health aspects including emotional, financial, and spiritual.

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