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Sugar-Glycemic Index

 Top Ten Low GI Snacks

Let’s be perfectly clear on the sugar subject… with three low-GI meals a day there should be no snack cravings. Your body will be processing these meals slowly and not over-taxing your insulin production. Over-eating high fat, high sugar snack foods is a contributory factor to obesity and other metabolic disorders like insulin insensitivity and pre-diabetes.


But all of us have days that do not go as planned and when on occasion we face one, at least know that the best way to maintain optimal control over your blood glucose is to choose snacks with a lower GI value. Some people still think that it is plain table sugar that people with pre or full blown diabetes need to avoid. But we have learned from the glycemic index that complex carbs like baked potatoes can be even worse.


The glycemic index is about foods high in carbohydrates. Foods that are high in fat or protein don’t cause your blood glucose level to spike. This fact is important when we suggest snacks that will satisfy but offer NO sugar spike in our bodies. So let me give you some snacks that offer low impact on our glycemic index:

  • Eggs - First on my list is something everyone can agree on - hard boiled eggs. Always keep a couple in the refrigerator and if you don't need a snack this week, then make some egg salad for lunches or sliced egg for your breakfast - a winner all around.

  • Yogurt - Low-fat or nonfat, no sugar added yogurt... these are pretty healthy when eaten anytime.

  • Nuts - An ideal combination of unsaturated fat, protein, carbohydrates, nuts are portable and nutritious. Buy dry-roasted (no oil added) unsalted nuts or peanuts in the shell. Average size is a handful... never take the jar with you. Put it back on the shelf before you snack.

  • Dips - Avocado (guacamole), chickpea (hummas) or tomato salsa, all made without mayo (use a little olive oil instead) and snack on this with some crunchy vegetables.

  • Cheese - Cheese (made with skim milk) and any lean meat, including turkey or chicken breast. These roll-ups are a great snack.

  • Cereal - A handful of cereal like Cherrios makes a great snack.

  • Fruit - Goes without saying because whole fruit including berries, melon, apples, or oranges have the most fiber and fewest grams of carbohydrates per serving.

  • Smoothies - Blend 1 cup of nonfat milk, 1/2 cup of nonfat sugar yogurt, 2 drops of vanilla extract and 1 cup of ice. Optionally, 1/2 cup berries.

  • Mini-Pita Pizza - Top a 1/2 whole-wheat mini-pita with tomato sauce and a little low fat mozzarella and oregano to taste - broil until the cheese melts.

  • Popcorn - Air popped popcorn sprayed with olive oil and tosses with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.


Snacks should be altogether unnecessary if your day consists of three well balanced low GI meals, but schedules get bounced around and before you realize it you have slipped lunch and are too close to dinner to think about that. A no-sugar snack is definitely in order. Our whole goal here is to obey the glycemic index for our meals and if you are also trying to lose weight, just eat smaller portions and your calorie intake will be less. No excuses.



Esther Smith, author

Smith covers every issue she, herself, faced when she adopted this lifestyle. For more information on glycemic index – sugar, go here:

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