The clock ticks over to 3pm, you’re sitting at your desk hungry and exhausted. For a quick pick me up, you reach for the closest chocolate bar, biscuit or high carbohydrate food you can get your hands on.
What if I told you that by making simple changes to your diet, you could avoid this 3pm slump all together? Not only this, but you could have sustained energy throughout the day and reduce your risk of a number of different health conditions at the same time.
You may have heard of Low GI eating before, but aren’t entirely sure what it was or if it was right for you. Glycaemic Index (GI) is the rating given to foods that contain carbohydrates. GI is measured on a scale of 0-100 by the amount of time it takes for a carbohydrate food to raise blood glucose levels.
- Low GI foods are rated less than 55
- High GI foods are rated over 70
Foods with a high glycaemic index cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, where as foods with a low glycaemic index take longer to digest and have a smaller, and slower effect. No carbohydrate is equal, which is why it’s important to reduce your overall intake of High GI foods (this includes refined sugars, grains, soft drinks and biscuits) and eat more Low GI foods for maximum health benefits.
The Benefits of Low GI Eating
There are so many benefits of eating a Low GI diet, most importantly the effect it has on stabilising blood sugar levels.
Eating low GI foods reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic disease and heart disease.
Adhering to a low GI diet has also shown to lower cholesterol, support a healthy body weight and can even be beneficial for the management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Low GI foods provide the body with sustained energy throughout the day and have been shown to prolong physical endurance.
Easy Tips for Low GI Eating
Eat low GI meals or snack 45-60 minutes before a workout
Eating a meal containing Low GI foods 45 minutes before prolonged endurance exercise has shown to significantly improve performance and energy levels compared to eating high GI foods.
Choose Low GI snacks between meals
Snacking on Low GI foods between meals (no more than 2-3 times per day) can result in steady energy levels. You will also feel fuller when eating Low GI foods, as they take longer to digest helping to aid satiety.
When choosing a snack, it is important to choose unprocessed foods or snack bars containing Low GI wholefood ingredients.
Here are 5 low GI snacks that I recommend:
- Nut butter with veggie sticks
- Home made sugar-free protein ball (swap sugar for dates or stevia to sweeten)
- enerGI Bio Bars by Set the Bar have been specifically created to contain Low GI ingredients that won’t spike your blood sugar levels and contain B vitamins to support carbohydrate metabolism
- Sliced apple dipped in almond butter
- Cup of fresh berries or piece of low GI fruit
Consume Low GI foods at dinner
By eating a meal containing foods with a low glycaemic index, studies have shown that glucose response was significantly improved at breakfast. Although these foods were consumed the night before, it showed greater tolerance to carbohydrate foods that were eaten at breakfast. Ensure dinner and breakfast contain Low GI foods for added health benefits!
E.g. Dinner including protein, brown rice/sweet potato with beans or a breakfast of rolled oats with chia seeds and crushed almonds sprinkled on top.
What’s your go-to low GI snack?
Rebecca Sturgess, Nutritionist BHSc (nut med) is Set The Bar’s Nutrition Consultant.
Set The Bar is proudly Australian owned and family run, backed by decades of knowledge and experience in the health and supplements industry and inspired by the founder of one of Australia’s leading health supplement companies.
We are passionate about helping people make healthy eating choices. We know that life can be crazy – we are all busy and it can be difficult to eat well on the run.
Our goal is to become a wellness company whose name is synonymous with healthy products and healthy living, providing premium products backed by nutritional research.