If you’ve read our glycaemic index guide, you might be thinking it’s time to incorporate a little more low-GI in your life.
While everyone’s needs are different, foods lower on the GI scale (that is, a value of 55 or less out of 100) may help you feel fuller for longer by providing a slower, more gradual supply of energy. They can also foster weight loss and help to reduce insulin resistance.
So does going low-GI mean you’ll never be able to enjoy a delicious carb or a sweet hit ever again? Heck no! Here are five surprisingly low GI foods you can try today that still pack a flavour punch.
GI score: approx. 50
No need to pass on that pasta! Pasta carbs like the ones in spaghetti are trapped inside a network of gluten molecules, which slows down the body’s ability to convert them into glucose.
But that doesn’t mean you can go completely bonkers on the bucatini. A huge serving of pasta still contains a lot of energy, so watching your portion size is important here.
GI score: 0
That’s right, monk fruit has a GI score of zip, zero, nada. Sweet tooths rejoice!
As a natural sweetener, monk fruit – hailing from the pristine mountain highlands of Asia – can replace high-GI sweeteners like sugar (GI 65) and honey (GI 61) in heaps of your favourite recipes.
GI score: approx. 30
Not only is cottage cheese low-GI, it’s much lower in fat compared to other cheeses, and a terrific source of protein.
Made from the curds cow's milk, cottage cheese offers a soft, creamy, subtle flavour, and also comes packed with nutrients including B vitamins and calcium.
GI score: approx. 40
Fruit can vary wildly on the GI scale. Watermelon comes in at around 76, pineapples around 66, while mangoes, bananas, oranges and grapes hover around 50.
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries all have GI scores below 40, making them a safe and tasty low-GI bet.
GI score: approx. 20
We saved the best for last. Dark chocolate is super low GI and much lower in sugar than your average Cadbury block, making it another decent sweet hit option.
Cacao – the less processed, unroasted bean found in good quality choc – is densely packed with calcium, iron, magnesium and antioxidants. Findings from two new studies show it can help reduce stress and inflammation as well as improve memory, immunity and mood.
There is room for moderate to high GI foods in a healthy diet, and not all low-GI foods are particularly healthy.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of nutritional quality out of the foods you’re eating, as well as watching your portion sizes. They’re both just as important as keeping an eye on that GI.