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I Promise These 10 Low GI foods can Keep You Fuller For Longer!

I Promise These 10 Low GI foods can Keep You Fuller For Longer!

The glycemic index helps diabetics make smarter food choices, but it’s also a useful tool for everyone who wants to improve their health by eating low glycemic foods. In a nutshell, the theory behind the glycemic index is that low GI foods provide you with energy for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, other foods may feel filling at first, but they quickly lead to a sudden energy drop.

How Does the Glycemic Index Work?

Every food that contains carbohydrates can be rated on the glycemic index scale. Items that are low calorie, high in fiber and not overly processed score better because they are low glycemic foods. Scores range from 0 to 100, and this determines where each food fits on the glycemic index scale: [1]

• Low Glycemic Foods – 0 to 55

• Medium Glycemic Foods – 56 to 69

• High Glycemic Foods – 70 or higher

Why is Low Glycemic Foods Preferred Over High Glycemic Foods?

Do you experience an energy crash an hour or two after each meal? Or perhaps you find yourself sluggish at work after dining out with coworkers? Both of these issues can be caused by making unhealthy food choices.

If a large percentage of your calories are coming from high glycemic foods, you’re going to end up feeling very poorly. You’ll also get hungry more quickly. This is a vicious cycle because it causes you to keep increasing your calorie consumption, which leads to weight gain.

The reality is that everyone needs to eat a balanced diet, and sticking primarily with low glycemic foods is a major component of improving your health. It’s okay to eat medium or high glycemic foods from time-to-time, but the trick is to balance them as much as possible with vegetables and fruits from the low glycemic category.

How Bad You Can Get With A High Glycemic Diet?

After eating a lot of high glycemic foods, you’re likely to feel sluggish and run down. You may even feel ill if you’re not used to consuming poor quality calories. Doing this for too long can have an impact on your overall physical and mental health. In fact, studies have found that people who stick with a low glycemic index diet have a reduced risk of developing numerous medical conditions, including: [2]

• Depression

• Type 2 diabetes

• Cardiovascular disease

• Breast, colon, pancreas and prostate cancer

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• Gall stones

• Stroke

• Metabolic syndrome

• Chronic kidney disease

• Uterine fibroids

Diabetes: Managing the Risk

The most common issue that occurs from ingesting too many high glycemic foods is high blood sugar. Although this doesn’t automatically mean you have type 2 diabetes, it’s definitely a step toward developing this disease.

People who have diabetes face a long list of potential health complications, and they also typically have a lower quality of life. Due to this, it’s critical to do everything you can to reduce your diabetes risk. If you’re already diabetic, you can turn to low glycemic foods to help you manage your condition.

Making the switch to low glycemic foods will help you keep your weight down. Additionally, incorporating these healthier food choices will reduce your insulin levels and resistance. [3]

Concentration and Memory Issues

Another big issue that can be caused by a lack of proper nutrients is impaired cognitive functionality. Many people feel fuzzy and have difficulty concentrating a couple of hours after eating a high glycemic meal.

To ensure a better level of brain function throughout the day, eat low glycemic foods along with some protein every 2-1/2 to 3 hours. [4] This will help balance your blood sugar and prevent the dips and peaks that accompany a diet that is filled with high glycemic foods.

Anxiety and Hypoglycemia Symptoms: Reducing Them with Food Choices

Approximately 18 percent [5] of U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder. Hypoglycemia, which is a blood sugar disorder, has been linked to anxiety in some studies. For example, researchers worked with a 15-year-old female who had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and hypoglycemia in order to look for a shared cause.

What they discovered is that the girl was eating a high glycemic diet. By prescribing a low to medium glycemic diet, they were able to help the girl feel a reduction in her anxiety and hypoglycemia symptoms. A short return to her previous diet caused both issues to spike back up, which indicates a clear correlation between anxiety, hypoglycemia and high glycemic foods. [6]

10 Foods to Add to Your Diet

It’s clear that a low glycemic diet offers numerous health benefits, but what foods are actually on this list? Let’s focus on 10 healthy options to help you get started. Remember; you still need to get some protein in your diet, so be sure to eat these foods with a lean protein source.

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Lentils

    Lentils are a solid choice because they’re a low glycemic food that is high in fiber, high in protein, low in sugar and packed with many necessary vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. In other words, a cup of lentils will provide you with the energy you need, and it doesn’t even need to be balanced with something else to keep your glycemic index rating in line.

    Peaches

      One large peach provides 10 percent of your daily fiber needs, and it even has a minimal amount of protein. Although peaches are high in sugar, they’re a natural, unprocessed product, which enables them to offer a low glycemic impact.

      Walnuts

        When you’re looking for a healthy snack, grab an ounce of walnuts. Not only are they a low glycemic food with protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids but they’re also believed to be beneficial for heart health. [7]

        Brown Rice

          If you have a craving for rice, turn to long-grain brown rice for the best health results. A cup of this cooked rice provides a huge burst of carbohydrate energy, and it also fulfills 10 percent of your daily protein needs. Additionally, you’ll stay full for longer thanks to the 3.5 grams of dietary fiber.

          Apples

            Apples make it easier to get all of your daily nutrients, so it’s a good idea to have one every day. A large apple contains 21 percent of your daily fiber needs, and it’s extremely low in fat. Because apples contain a lot of sugar, you may want to cut one into slices and eat half at a time. Either way, apples are a good option for a low glycemic diet.

            Wild Blueberries

              A cup of wild blueberries puts you on the edge of the medium glycemic food category, but it’s still considered to be on the low side and offers many important benefits. You’ll get 25 percent of your fiber requirements from unsweetened frozen wild blueberries. As an added bonus, blueberries may reduce your risk of developing dementia. [8]

              Pasta

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                Believe it or not, you can have pasta without hurting your low glycemic diet. A serving of linguine has a glycemic index of 45. Spaghetti is even lower with a 41! The trick is to select smaller, thinner noodles and make a fresh sauce instead of choosing one that’s filled with sugar and preservatives.

                Broccoli

                  With a glycemic index score of only 10, a serving of broccoli makes a good addition to any meal. You’ll also benefit from getting 10 percent of your daily fiber and 4 percent of your protein needs in every ½ cup.

                  Beans

                    Looking for a protein and fiber boost without sacrificing your desire to eat low glycemic foods? Most beans fill this role nicely, but make sure that you steer clear of canned beans that have added sugar. The exact glycemic index rating will vary, but the majority of beans stay under 55.

                    Baby Carrots

                      A 3-ounce serving of raw baby carrots has 35 calories, 2.4 grams of fiber and a whopping 231 percent of your daily vitamin A. This makes carrots a smart option for snacking or adding to any meal.

                      Low Glycemic Foods Recipe

                      One-pan summer eggs [9] are a simple, quick vegetarian option that offer 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and stay on the low end of the glycemic index.

                        Ingredients:

                        • 2 large zucchinis (also known as courgettes) chopped

                        • 7 ounces of halved cherry tomatoes

                        • 2 eggs

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                        • 1 crush garlic clove

                        • 1 tablespoon olive oil

                        • Basil leaves

                        Directions:

                        1. Heat up the oil, then add the zucchini chunks. Make sure the chunks are small. Stir frequently and fry for five minutes.

                        2. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.

                        3. Make a couple of gaps in the mix. Add eggs. Next, add in any desired seasonings.

                        4. Cover the pan. Cook until the eggs are as desired. Typically takes 2-3 minutes.

                        5. Put a small amount of basil on the final result and serve!

                        Enjoy the Health Benefits of Low Glycemic Foods

                        Now that you know how beneficial low glycemic foods can be, it’s time to put them to the test in your life. Everyone’s body reacts differently, but you’ll be able to tell if common low glycemic foods [10] are helping you by checking your energy level and mood two to three hours after eating.

                        Featured photo credit: Kaboompics // Karolina via pexels.com

                        Reference

                        More by this author

                        Holly Chavez

                        Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

                        How I Keep the Spark Alive in My 10 Years of Marriage 8 Psychological Tricks To Help You Nail the Interview of Your Dream Job Low glycemic index foods I Promise These 10 Low GI foods can Keep You Fuller For Longer! 7 Small Pieces of Technology That Will Change Your Life 8 Amazing Human Achievements to Inspire You

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                        Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Feeling tired all the time?

                        Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                        I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                        Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                        If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                        In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                        What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                        If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                        Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                        • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                        • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                        • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                        • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                        • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                        • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                        • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                        Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                        Unfortunately, yes!

                        Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                        Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                        Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                        Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                        Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                        Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                        1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                        2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                        3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                        The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                        It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                        Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                        Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                        If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                        Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                        Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                        But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                        Symptoms of fatigue include:

                        • Difficulty concentrating
                        • Low stamina
                        • Difficulty sleeping
                        • Anxiety
                        • Low motivation

                        These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                        Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                        How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                        The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                        Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                        So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                        And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                        2. Exercising regularly
                        3. Using stressbusters
                        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                        So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                        In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                        And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                        But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                        L — Living Healthy

                        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                        So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                        1. Unplug

                        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                        So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                        2. Unwind

                        Do something to relax.

                        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                        3. Get Comfortable

                        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                        Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                        If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                        Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                        E — Exercise

                        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                        That’s what happened in my case.

                        But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                        As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                        My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                        That made sense to me.

                        So, I decided to swim.

                        I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                        Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                        Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                        So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                        A — Attitude

                        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                        Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                        Breathing.

                        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                        Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                        3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                        6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                        Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                        N — Nutrition

                        Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                        For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                        Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                        3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                        The Bottom Line

                        If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                        If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                        • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                        • Regular Exercise You Love
                        • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                        • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                        More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                        [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                        [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                        [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                        [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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