20 Low GI Recipes To Lose Weight And Reduce Inflammation - Beauty Bites (2024)

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Last updated on February 5th, 2023 at 07:46 pm

Low glycemic diets are shown to improve your health, reduce inflammation and prevent disease. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy low GI recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as some tips to follow on a low GI diet. These healthy recipes have a low glycemic load and can help you lose weight, improve blood sugar control and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

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The low-glycemic meals in this collection are satisfying and full of flavor. They’re packed with healthy ingredients and antioxidants to help you reduce oxidative stress and damage which is the common denominator in all chronic diseases.

Low Glycemic Diet

The low glycemic diet emphasizes the consumption of foods that have a lower glycemic index. The glycemic index is a scale from 0 to 100 which ranks carbohydrates in the food you consume based on how fast they raise your blood sugar. Foods with a GI rating below 55 are considered low glycemic, between 56 and 69 medium glycemic, and foods with a GI of 70 are high-glycemic foods.

This number is important to know, because rapid blood sugar spikes make your pancreas create too much insulin. The emphasis here is on too much. Because that insulin then helps remove the sugar from your blood and transport it into the cells, so that they can use it for energy. The thing is, the body needs to keep the blood sugar levels pretty tight and when there’s too much insulin that cleans up most of the sugar in your blood you end up with low blood sugar aka sugar crash. This then leads to cravings and wanting to eat more.

If you repeat that cycle over and over and over again, long enough you end up with insulin resistance and weight gain, which then can turn into all the chronic diseases that involve these conditions.

So, long story short the glycemic index basically gives you an idea of the quality of the carbohydrates you eat. You want to eat carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar slowly. That’s the low glycemic foods. In general, low glycemic foods are naturally rich in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants and include mostly fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, herbs, spices, some whole grains and high-protein foods like fish, chicken and tofu.


Why A Low Glycemic Load Diet

Some of the benefits of a low glycemic diet include improved blood sugar levels, weight loss and reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and even certain cancers.

High glycemic diets, on the other hand, are linked to increased risk for metabolic syndrome, the development of acne, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and overall death. (source)

The reason, I’ve been looking more and more into this way of eating lately is that diabetes and insulin resistance run like crazy on both sides of my family and I’m pretty scared of it. I wouldn’t be able to pull through a full on low carb diet, I also don’t think it’s the healthiest thing and I know for sure it is not for everyone. It’s definitely not for me. So I’m trying to do something more nutritionally balanced, sustainable and really healthy, since I want to have children over the next few years and I want my body to be best prepared for that time.

I know for a fact the females in my family are prone to having gestational diabetes, then after the baby is born insulin resistance and significant weight gain that doesn’t magically disappear through breastfeeding. So, I’m basically just trying to get ready the best I can and see if the lifestyle changes I want to focus on like walking more, sleeping enough, not sitting for longer periods of time and following a healthy low glycemic diet with focus on reducing inflammation can actually help or not. I don’t know, but it’s worht a try and I want to do the best I can.

Now, I am currently, for the most part, following a gluten and dairy-free diet (I do add some Parmesan and feta to my salads occasionally), but many of the recipes below are just gluten-free and incorporate some dairy. I will be adjusting these and I encourage you to do the same for your specific food intolerances.


More Than Just The Glycemic Index

What’s more important than the glycemic index of food is the glycemic load of your meals. The glycemic load takes into account the glycemic index of the food and how much you eat of it. Because, sure, a certain food might have a low glycemic load, but if you eat too much of it, it can still result in high blood sugar. So, the story isn’t just done by what you eat, it’s how much and how you eat it.

Another thing to consider is that certain foods like nuts and apple cider vinegar can also affect your blood sugar when consumed with high-glycemic index foods. For example, it’s been shown that the addition of peanuts and vinegar to a high glycemic food can reduce the glucose response by up to 55%. (source)

It’s also about how you prepare your food. In general, baking increases the glycemic index of foods. For example, a sweet potato boiled for 30 minutes has a GI of 46 which is low, but if you bake that sweet potato, it has a GI of 82, which is high. (source)

Now let’s get into the low glycemic recipes.


Low GI Breakfast Recipes

These are some of my favorite breakfasts and they just happen to also be low GI friendly! And yes, there is also a pancake recipe.

Easy Vanilla Chia Pudding

Refreshing and super tasty! The ingredients for this low-glycemic breakfast idea include chia seeds, nut milk, honey and fruit.

Almond Flour Pancakes

These fluffy pancakes are a great way to start your mornings. You can make them with some blanched almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, maple syrup or honey and an egg.

Simple Breakfast Green Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to start your mornings, they’re energizing and super easy to make. This healthy green smoothie is made with spinach, banana and almond butter.

Super Easy Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a great easy healthy breakfast idea that has a low glycemic load. The best part about it is that you can make the night before. For a filling breakfast, top with some nut butter and fruit.

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Crustless Tuna Quiche

If you’re craving a more savory low-GI breakfast, make a crustless quiche like this one. You don’t really need to add the cream cheese if you do not want to, you can keep it dairy-free and it will still turn out delicious.

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Healthy No-Bake Breakfast Cookies

Yes, you can even enjoy some breakfast cookies on a Low GI diet! Made with nut butter, dark chocolate, some honey or maple syrup, oats, seeds and shredded coconut these no-bake breakfast cookies are packed with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

The Best Green Smoothie

If you’re not that hungry in the morning, this green smoothie is a great choice for a low-glycemic breakfast. It’s such a healthy, nutritious breakfast option.

Side note: You’ll notice that some of the recipes contain honey or maple syrup, which are high-glycemic foods. Yet, as we already discussed, they’re added in very small amounts to provide some sweetness and are therefore okay for a low GI diet. You can however use stevia or other carb-free sweeteners if you want to avoid these foods completely.


Low GI Lunch Ideas

These healthy low-GI lunch recipes are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein!

Spicy Mediterranean Lunch Bowls

Make the chickpeas and hummus for these low-GI lunch bowls ahead of time and you’ll be having a delicious healthy lunch every day!

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Mediterranean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These Mediterranean lettuce wraps are perfect when you’re looking for a lighter, yet protein-packed lunch to keep you going!

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Chickpea, Feta and Chicken Salad

Omit the feta cheese to make this filling Mediterranean salad with chickpeas, chicken and vegetables dairy-free! It’s packed with flavor and freshness!


Avocado Chicken Lunch Bowls

Cook up some chicken and serve it with some canned beans, broccoli and avocado! These delicious power bowls are great for dinner too!

Mediterranean Salmon Bowls

The recipe for these Mediterranean salmon bowls is one of the most popular recipes on this blog. I know why – it’s absolutely divine and so satiating! Great dinner option as well, this is a must-try low GI recipe.

Spicy Shrimp and Chickpea Salad

Another great option if you’re looking for a more filling, high-protein and high-fiber lunch recipe! This low-glycemic salad recipe is packed with shrimp, chickpeas and fresh vegetables.

Herby Vegan Quinoa Salad

Make it in 10 minutes with some cooked quinoa, chopped olives, herbs and vegetables! Easy, nutritious and refreshing vegan lunch salad!


Fast & Easy Low GI Dinner Recipes

These low-glycemic weeknight dinners are fast, easy and delicious!

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Quinoa Fried Rice

When it comes to quick low GI recipes, this one is an obvious choice. You have to try it, especially if you love fried rice, but want a more high-fiber and nutritious meal overall!

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Shrimp Coconut Curry Soup

If you love anything coconut curry with a hint of lime leaves or lemongrass, you need this low carb light, creamy and spicy soup! It’s one of the most wonderful low-GI recipes!

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Meal Prep Mediterranean Chicken Bowls

Easy to meal prep and made with chicken, chickpeas, cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers!


Salmon Lettuce Wraps

This is one of my favorite low-glycemic recipes. These salmon lettuce wraps are perfect for dinner and so easy to make, you’re going to love the flavors!


Lentil Soup Recipe

For those days when you need a hearty lentil soup! Watch your servings with this one – sometimes I tend to overeat on lentil soup and it can result in higher blood glucose. Yeah, you read that right…just saying…

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Meal Prep Tuna Chickpea Bowls

If you’ve got too many cans at home, put them to use with this easy, spicy and filling meal prep recipe!


Best And Worst Foods To Eat On A Low GI Diet

If you need a list of the glycemic load of common foods, you can find one here. In general, these foods are great for preparing healthy low GI recipes!

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Best Foods

In general, the best foods to eat on a low GI diet, so you can improve your health and reduce inflammation are:

  • leafy greens and cruceferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, arugula, spinach
  • other vegetables like carrots, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, zucchini, cucumbers, radish
  • all herbs and spices like parsley, basil, cilantro, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cumin
  • nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, cashews, flaxseed
  • fruit like raspbrerries, strawberries, blackberries, apples, lemons, pears, peaches,
  • whole grains like barley
  • legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans and lentils

For some more protein in your diet make sure to also include foods like fish, chicken, eggs, some dairy, tofu and other soy-based products in moderation. These foods will help keep you satisfied and prevent you from overeating when you’re consuming fewer carbohydrates.

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Foods In Moderation

  • starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or pumpkin
  • sweet fruit like bananas, mango, pineapple, grapes and melons
  • whole grains like quinoa, oats, bulgur and whole grain pasta
  • maple syrup and honey

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Foods To Avoid

  • low fiber and refined foods like white rice, white flour and sugar
  • fruit juices like orange juice and
  • potatoes
  • other refined foods like cereal
  • many grains have a naturally higher glycemic index
  • fried or baked foods like bread, cookies, cakes, baked sweet potatoes, potatoes, pumpkin…in general if a food has more carbohydrates, you don’t want to bake it…


More Healthy Recipes:

Well, I hope you found some new healthy low-glycemic recipe ideas that you can add to your low GI diet. I hope you learned something new and if you’re looking for more healthy recipes, check these out:

  • 22 Delicious Dairy- And Gluten Free Dinner Recipes
  • 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Yield: 3

Low GI Recipes

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Healthy low GI recipes that you can make for breakfast, lunch and dinner and eat on a low glycemic diet! You'll love these nutritious, tasty and satisfying low-glycemic meals!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

Tuna Chickpea Bowls

  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp canned jalapeno
  • 1 1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup olives, whole
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp hummus

Instructions

  1. Heat a non-stick pan (medium heat) and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add in the tuna, chickpeas, basil, tomato paste, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 garlic clove and the crushed red pepper. Mix everything together and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes, so that the chickpeas and tuna absorb all the flavors.
  2. In a large bowl mix the cabbage with 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbsp lemon juice, a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp olive oil, mix very well!
  3. Arrange your bowl: Start with 1/2 cup cabbage, around 4 Tbsp of the tuna + chickpeas, then 1/4 cup olives, 1/2 avocado, some jalapeno and 2 Tbsphummus. Top with some toasted sesame seeds.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 1200mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 13gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g

Published in October 2021 and updated in February 2023.

20 Low GI Recipes To Lose Weight And Reduce Inflammation - Beauty Bites (2024)

FAQs

What are 20 low GI foods? ›

Which are the low-glycemic foods?
  • Most vegetables. Green peas. Onions. Lettuce. ...
  • Certain fruits. Apples. Pears. Plum. ...
  • Whole or minimally processed grains. Barley. Whole wheat. ...
  • Dairy and dairy substitute products. Plain yogurt. Cheese. ...
  • Miscellaneous. Nuts and nut butter. Seeds such as pumpkin, chia, sunflower, and flax seeds.

What are the most filling low GI foods? ›

Choose healthy, filling low-GI carbs, such as vegetables, beans, low-fat dairy, berries, and whole grains. Include lean proteins, such as tofu, chicken, fish, and eggs, and healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

What are low GI foods for skin? ›

Findings from small studies suggest that following a low-glycemic diet may reduce the amount of acne you have. Low-glycemic foods include most fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, beans, and steel-cut oats. Here's what researchers have found may happen when people with acne switch to a low-glycemic diet.

Can you eat bananas on a low GI diet? ›

According to the International Glycemic Index Database, ripe bananas have a low GI of 51, with slightly under-ripe bananas even lower at 42; they have a moderate GL of 13 and 11, respectively. Why is the glycemic load score higher if the glycemic index is low?

What is a low glycemic breakfast? ›

Starting your day with a low-glycemic breakfast can help regulate your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes. Low-glycemic breakfast foods include steel-cut oats, berries, eggs, Greek yogurt, and whole-grain bread.

Can you eat eggs on a low GI diet? ›

Eggs have a relatively low glycemic index and therefore do not affect blood glucose levels. In addition, eggs are a satiating food and hence can reduce caloric intake, which may consequently help to improve glycemic control.

Is peanut butter low glycemic? ›

Natural peanut butter and peanuts are low glycemic index (GI) foods. This means that when a person eats it, their blood sugar levels should not rise suddenly or too high. A diet that is high in magnesium may also offer protective benefits against the development of diabetes. Peanuts are a good source of magnesium.

Is popcorn low glycemic? ›

Popcorn and glycemic index

Air-popped popcorn has a GI of 55. It is technically a low-GI food, even though it has a higher GI than many other foods in this category. Popcorn remains a better snack option than many salty or sugary snacks for avoiding high blood sugar and diabetes complications.

What fruit is low GI? ›

Mangoes, kiwi fruit, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes are all low GI, as well as stonefruits like apricots, nectarines and plums. Cherries and pineapples have a moderate GI and watermelon has a higher GI, but it doesn't mean you need to avoid these fruits all together.

Are low GI foods bad for you? ›

Lower GI carbohydrates break down more slowly in your body, causing a smaller rise in blood sugar after you eat them. If you have diabetes, including lower GI carbs in your diet can help you maintain steady blood sugar levels. For people without diabetes, eating lower GI carbs can help with weight management.

Is butter a low GI food? ›

Butter has a low glycemic index. Hence. It can be consumed by a diabetes patient in a moderate amount. You can have half a tablespoon of butter on an everyday basis.

Can I eat pasta on a low GI diet? ›

Durum wheat pasta is considered a low-glycemic index (GI) food.

Is cheese low GI? ›

Why cheese may help control your blood sugar. It turns out that cheese may be able to help control blood sugar. This is because most cheeses contain little to no carbohydrates, putting them very low on the glycemic index (GI) scale.

What are low GI foods between 20 to 49? ›

Low glycemic index foods list
NameGIGL
Peanut Butter (Sugar Free)257.0
Peanut Oil (Sugar Free)408.6
Artichoke201.2
Acerola, Barbados Cherry (fresh)200.1
154 more rows

What are 20 high GI foods? ›

According to the table, the following foods are high in GI:
  • white and whole wheat bread.
  • white rice.
  • breakfast cereals and cereal bars.
  • cakes, cookies, and sweet treats.
  • potatoes and fries.
  • chips and rice crackers.
  • fruits such as watermelon and pineapple.
  • sweetened dairy products such as fruit yogurts.
Feb 8, 2021

What are zero GI foods? ›

Chicken, beef, fish, and eggs all have a GI of zero because they contain zero or very small amounts of carbohydrates and have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. Increasing your overall protein intake and reducing your intake of high-GI carbs may help improve blood sugar control.

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