Foods with a low glycemic index or a GI of less than 55 means your blood sugar rises more slowly compared to a slice of white bread. Even if a food is a low-GI food, it is not necessarily a nutritious food to eat. If you have high cholesterol or triglycerides, avoid low-GI foods with plenty of fats. If you are counting your carbs, check the number of grams of carbs in your low-GI foods.
Most diets would exclude a regular-sized Snickers bar; you should avoid it as well on a low-GI diet. The candy bar has a GI of only 41 compared to a three-quarter cup of Total cereal at a GI of 76. Avoid a Snickers bar because it has 273 calories, as many calories as a small meal of chicken, rice and veggies. It also has 34 grams of carbohydrates, too high for a single item on a low-carb diet. A Snickers bar has 14 grams of fat which means 46 percent of the calories in a Snickers bar come from fat.
Super Supreme Pizza
Two average sices of super supreme pizza, weighing 268 grams, have a GI of only 36 due to the large amount of fat and protein, slowing its rate of absorption. While the pizza’s GI is 36 and close to that of an apple at 38, the slices have 72 grams of carbs and 31 grams of fat, according to a 2003 article by Stephen Wong, Ph.D., and Susan Chung, R.D.N., published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Health & Fitness Journal.”
Salted and Roasted Peanuts
The GI of half a cup of roasted, salted peanuts is 14. Most protein and fat-rich foods have very few grams of carbs and therefore barely raise your blood sugar. However, salted peanuts are high in sodium, with about 420 milligrams, and they are high in fat with 40 grams. The American Heart Association reports that excess salt in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Boiled Fettucine Pasta
One cup of boiled fettuccine has a GI of only 32, much less than that of an apple. If you are counting your carbs, avoid this pasta because it has 57 grams of carbs, nearly half the allotment of carbohydrates on a low-carb diet.
One-hundred grams of chicken nuggets, about six-piece nugget box, has a GI of only 46; the same GI as a cup of grapes. Six pieces of nuggets from a fast food restaurant has roughly 250 calories, 15 grams of fat and 670 milligrams of sodium, according to the book “The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide.” If you eat six nuggets, 54 percent of the calories you eat in the nuggets alone come from fat.
- University of Sydney: The Glycemic Index
- ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal; Glycemic Index: An Educational Tool for Health and Fitness Professionals; Stephen Wong, Ph.D., and Susan Chung, R.D.N.
- The NutriBase Complete Book of Food Counts; NutriBase
- The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide; Steven Aldana, Ph.D.
- American Heart Association: Why Should I Limit My Sodium?