Yesterday I wrote about the benefits of eating a low-GL diet, including balanced blood sugars, weight loss and better health amongst others. So now it’s time to tackle the important things…
What can I eat?
The good news is with a low-GL diet you can expect to eat three satisfying and healthy meals plus two snacks a day and still lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It’s often said, but breakfast is crucial to a healthy diet and shouldn’t be skipped. With options like tasty porridge, smoothies, yoghurts, granola and eggs, you won’t want to anyway!
Snacks are not outlawed in this plan; in fact they’re actually encouraged to keep your sugar levels balanced throughout the day and help prevent poor food choices made when hungry. Take cues from my five healthy snack ideas, with fruit and nuts, oatcakes and seeds all great options or you may even consider signing up to Graze and have your nutritious snacks delivered.
Lunch and dinner should involve a mix of low-GL whole grains with protein and lots of vegetables. Think a grilled salmon fillet with 90g quinoa and mixed vegetables, or steam fried vegetables with 70g brown rice for tasty, balanced meals. One of my favourite low-GL meals is my Quinoa Tabouleh – it’s quick, easy and delicious!
Food is given a GL score based on its glycemic load, and it’s recommended you stick to around 40-45GLs per day. This equates to 10GLs each for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 5GL for each snack and extra 5GL for drinks if necessary.
This is a really effective and balanced approach to eating, whether you want to lose weight, maintain your weight or simply eat healthier. There is no calorie counting or cutting out food groups. Instead foods are rated by their glycemic load, so if you really want that chocolate you can have it, but for 5 GL you can only have less than a quarter of your average 50g bar. On the other hand you could eat an apple and around six almonds for 5 GL, which will be a lot more satisfying, so it may help inform better food choices.
Following a low-GL diet can help you to keep a flat stomach and avoid bloating. It also offers slow and sustainable weight loss rather than unhealthy fad diets which are merely a quick fix. Once you get into the swing of eating this way you may find that you don’t need to count GLs as you learn the basic principles behind balanced meals.
I really can’t find fault with following a low-GL diet, and I think that everyone could benefit from such a balanced approach to eating. The only thing I don’t necessarily agree with is this being touted as diet as it’s more of a lifestyle change, but no doubt it helps sell books!
Where can I find out more?
Patrick Holford has written and researched extensively into Low-GL diets and his book – The Low GL Diet Bible is a fantastic resource for learning more, planning your meals and trying out some new recipes. Also available is The Low-GL diet cookbook.
Do you try to eat a low GL diet?