Low Glycemic Vegetables


If you have tried many diets and failed, one of the likely reasons is that the food has not been satisfying. This is one of the problems of the low glycemic diet.  Cutting off high sugar, high starch, high glycemic foods like french fries, sweets, pizza and pasta is a struggle for many.  But in the end cutting these foods  and replacing them with low glycemic vegetables will be well worth it, and you will see tremendous health advantages as a result, including a longer life if you are able to sustain it as a lifestyle.

What does this mean?  It means that you will need to learn to love veggies, as they are the mainstay of the low glycemic index diet and the best go-to option as a food source.

Not all vegetables are low glycemic

One surprising fact many will encounter when attempting to lower their glucose is that even some vegetables will still spike their insulin.  These mainly include the “starchier” options, such as the following:

Potatoes (white or russet) – Regardless if they are baked or mashed, these Thanksgiving Day favorites will destroy your low GI diet plan.  With glycemic index ratings in the 70s – 80s, they will most definitely produce significant amounts of glucose and probably result in fat gain.  Unless you have a naturally high resting metabolism and are not diabetic.  However, if this is you, you probably aren’t on the low glycemic index diet.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams – While not quite as bad as the plain potato, sweet potatoes and yams are still pretty high glycemic vegetables.  You’ll want to avoid them, as they are in the 50s – 70s and will have you moving backwards in your diet plan.

Corn – Stay away from this high glycemic vegetable.  Depending on which type you choose, it will be in the 40-60 range. 

Making sure you are aware of the glycemic index of foods is critical, and this is no different even if you are selecting veggies.  Make sure you check, because there’s nothing worse than thinking you’re in the clear when you’re actually blasting your diet plan to shreds.

The best low glycemic vegetables

Once you’re aware of the vegetables to avoid, there are actually many choices of low glycemic vegetables.  These can form the basis of many low GI recipes that are easy to make and extremely satisfying.  All of the veggies below have glycemic index ratings in the 10-20 range, and will make for excellent go-to sources of food throughout your diet or low GI lifestyle:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers

There is also some debate surrounding green beans and carrots.  Both of these vegetables appear to have relatively high glycemic index ratings in the 40-70 range (depending on which source you are looking at); however the glycemic load of these foods is still much lower than processed foods or sugar/flower-based foods, and as result, are commonly accepted in most low glycemic diets.

If you’re able to incorporate these foods into your daily meals while eliminating high glycemic foods and drinks, you will see the benefits quickly.  You’ll be able to lose weight and reduce your risk for many health problems, regardless of your age or physical fitness level.

Interested in an excellent related read?  Check out dLife’s slideshow on the lowest carb veggies.

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