There is something to celebrate other then the upcoming holidays…there are a number of food tips that will help you to lower the glycemic index of your meals or snacks to help stabilize blood sugar levels as well as simple food swaps that will help you keep your weight in check this holiday season.
- Add a high fiber choice to breakfast. Choose steel cut or slow cooking oats instead of quick cooking or instant oats. They are higher in fiber and lower on the glycemic index. Research shows that adding a high fiber choice to breakfast helps to cut hunger and cravings over the rest of the day. Make a batch on the weekend and warm it up in the morning for quick breakfast choice. A portion size is ½ cup cooked.
- Avoid having a fruit by itself. Pair your serving of fruit with 1 tablespoon of raw nut butter or an ounce of cheese. When you add a protein or a fat to with your fruit it helps to keep the glycemic index of the fruit down.
- If you drink alcohol then skip the starches. Pass on the rice, potatoes, bread and desserts. The alcohol counts as your carb for that meal since it digests as a carbohydrate.
- Choose a sprouted grain bread. My recommendation is Ezekiel from Food For Life. It’s best to avoid white and whole wheat 80% of the time. If you can’t find Ezekiel then Silverhills is also a good choice. You want to look for breads that have less then 15-18 grams of carbohydrates per slice.
- Steer clear of fruit flavored yogurts. The yogurt aisle is an overwhelming space. Stick to the basics. Low fat, plain yogurt or low fat Greek yogurt which is much higher in protein. If you need it flavored, add your own berries and vanilla extract.
- Be picky with cold cereals. If you must consume a cold cereal for breakfast choose Kashi Go Lean which is higher in protein or Fiber One which has 14 grams of fiber per serving. The secret to avoiding the insulin spike that comes along with most breakfast cereals is to add a hardboiled egg or some nuts to slow down the carbohydrate metabolism.
- Choose raw or lightly steamed vegetables over fully cooked. This tip depends on whether you can tolerate and digest raw vegetables. Raw or lightly steamed maintains the fiber and water content.
- Choose blackberries for dessert. Skip the banana or orange. Blackberries have 8 grams of fiber per cup and berries in general are lower on the glycemic index.
- Cook pasta and rice al dente. When you overcook your pasta, rice and potatoes it raises the glycemic index. Keep the starches firm to avoid the blood sugar spike.
- Add protein to your cake. This tip might sound odd but adding a small amount of protein slow downs the carbohydrate metabolism and helps to avoid the blood sugar spike that generally comes along with eating cake.
- Keep your daily calories in check. Although these tips help to control blood sugar and insulin spikes they do not negate tracking your food choices to ensure that you take in the appropriate amount of calories to avoid packing on the pounds.
If you are unsure whether you are making quality food choices that keep your blood sugar levels in check use the link below to download a 5-day food tracker. Fill it out for 4 days during the week and 1 day on the weekend. Call me at 778-836-3831 to schedule your complimentary nutrition analysis so I can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals this holiday season.
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN