If you have insulin resistance and you're feeling confused about how to eat, I get it! There is a lot of conflicting information out there on carbohydrates and insulin resistance!
You may have tried Keto and felt better on it because of better blood sugar control but if you are reading this I'm guessing you're missing carbs!
The thing I hear the most about the Keto diet is that people miss eating healthy foods and are concerned about the high amounts of meat and fat. I want to clear up some confusion surrounding carbohydrates.
I know that going from the Keto diet or low carb to eating bread is a BIG JUMP. That's why I have listed my Top 10 Carbohydrate products that focus on low glycemic index and load and are mostly whole foods! Just so you have an idea of the number breakdown for glycemic index:
The glycemic index is a system of assigning a number to carbohydrate-containing foods according to how much each food raises blood sugar.
Low GI: 55 or less
Medium GI: 56 to 69
High GI: 70 or higher
I have listed the glycemic index for each food so you can get a better idea of how little these impact your blood sugar and how well the nourish your body!
You do not need to avoid fruit if you have insulin resistance. Different types of fruit have varying GI scores, and berries generally have lower GI scores. One cup of strawberries has a low GI score. Not only that, but strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C (one cup has more Vitamin C than an orange!). Enjoy fresh strawberries in smoothies (with fat and protein), on yogurt bowls, or as a side to any meal with protein and fat.
2. Fresh Peas
Peas are also full of fiber and a great source of vitamins and minerals. Namely, peas are rich in coumestrol, a nutrient that plays a role in protecting against stomach cancer. Peas have a GI of 48 per serving. They make a great side to any meal that includes protein and fat.
3. Steel Cut Oats
I love using steel cut oats for overnight oats! Steel cut oats have a lower GI than rolled oats and especially quick oats. They take longer to digest, reducing spikes in blood sugar. If you cook them on the stove, they will take a bit longer to cook, so prep a few servings at a time and reheat leftovers throughout the week.
4. Date Syrup
Date syrup is one of my favorite sweeteners for insulin resistance! It has a GI of 47 compared to the 68-70 of refined sugar. Not only that, but it's packed with nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is rich in antioxidants. I love drizzling it over yogurt bowls.
5. 72% Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has a very low GI score of 23! Plus it's rich in iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, flavanols, and healthy fats. Make sure to buy high quality dark chocolate with just a few ingredients. For baking, check out these new Guittard dark chocolate chips sweetened with coconut sugar!
6. Boiled Sweet Potato
Cooking method actually has a significant impact the GI of sweet potatoes. Boiling allows the starch in sweet potatoes to be more easily digested by enzymes in your body, reducing spikes in blood sugar. Sweet potatoes that have been boiled for 30 minutes have a GI of 46, while baked sweet potatoes have a GI of 94 and fried sweet potatoes of 76.
Chickpeas are full of protein and fiber, making them a great carb for those with insulin resistance. They have a GI score of 28, per one-cup serving. Enjoy chickpeas on a salad, add them to a stew, or as a healthy hummus dip for veggies.
8. Fresh Corn
Frozen and canned corn have a higher glycemic indexes, so choose fresh. Fresh corn has a glycemic index (GI) of 52, plus it's full of vitamins and minerals and high in fiber which will keep you full longer and help with digestion. Corn on the cob is the favorite way to eat it, but also try it in a salad or in soups!
9. GG Crackers
If you've been following along for a while, you'll know I love GG crackers! These crackers are lower in carbs and higher in fiber than most crackers, which helps balance glucose levels. They come in a variety of flavors, and you can find them on many online retailers as well as Whole Foods. Use them as a base for avocado "toast" or top with your favorite cracker toppers.
10. Banza (Chickpea) Pasta
Swap out your regular whole wheat or semolina flour pasta with Banza pasta (or another legume-based pasta). Legume pasta (i.e. lentil or chickpea) has a GI score of 22 compared to 56 for wheat pasta. Plus, it offers more protein! It does taste a bit different, but I honestly like it! Use as you would any other pasta.
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