Top 15 Low GI Indian Recipes, Veg Glycemic Index Recipes
Healthy Eating For Life…The GI (Glycemic Index) Way
What is Glycemic Index?
You've probably run across it before, and if you're diabetic, it's almost guaranteed that you've at least heard of it. Glycemic Index is the much talked about health aspect today! And it is essential for us to understand it rightly and apply it in our day to day lives because of it being simply a wonderful way of eating, according to me. This is what makes me take you through a short stint on “Glycemic Index of Foods” leaving you to think and revisit your eating habits. Why should people use the Glycemic index as a basis of their Food habits? This is a big question for many - whether as a magic formula for diabetics or for people who are overweight, and looking for a cure? Heart diseases? Simply put, why?
How does food affect your Glycemic Index?
Well, for one, the glycemic index isn't just some random diabetic diet you can find online or in a book somewhere. It's actually a scientific system to deal with your blood sugar levels. Always keep in mind that spikes in the body sugar levels can be devastating for health! Basically the glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100, and it's based on how they can raise your blood sugar levels after you eat. Foods with a higher GI level are digested faster, and therefore create a spike in your blood sugar levels. However, foods with a lower ranking are digested much slower. This allows the sugars to gradually be introduced in the body, and that means no spiking of the levels.
What is Low, Medium and High Glycemic Levels?
A food with a glycemic index of less than 55 is considered a Low Glycemic food while 56 to 69 is Moderate and over 70 is considered High. Most of the vegetables, dals and legumes, nuts, oilseeds, milk and products and some fruits are relatively low on GI.
Glycemic Index Range
Least desirable foods (High GI) include Glucose, White bread, Mida, Honey, Cornflakes, Potatoes (mashed or baked), Rice (short grain, white), Fruit drinks, Regular soft drinks, Sweetened juices, Dates and Raisins.
High GI Foods
Moderately desirable foods (Moderate GI) include Beetroot, Banana, Sweet corn, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple Yam and Peas.
Moderate GI Foods
Most desirable foods (Low GI) include Wheat grain, Oats, Barley, Bulgur wheat, Quinoa, Pulses, Beans, Curd, Paneer, Nuts and oil seeds (Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Sesame, Flax seeds etc.). Other vegetables, Apples, Oranges, Grapes, Guavas, Lemons, Limes, Peaches, Amla, Grapefruit, Pears, Berries and Oranges.
Low GI Foods
Effects of eating High Glycemic Foods.
Have you ever eaten a large Chinese meal, with lot of noodles and rice, only to find yourself hungry again an hour or two later. What most of us experience regularly is the feeling of lethargy that follows an hour or so after a fast food lunch, which generally consists of High GI foods (Carbohydrate dense processed foods). The surge of glucose followed by the rapid drain leaves us starved for energy which makes us once again crave and gulp caloric and fat dense snacks and meals.
When one eats a high GI food and experience a rapid spike in blood sugar, pancreas releases the hormone insulin. Insulin does two things extremely well. First it stores glucose as fat. On top of that it also inhibits the utilisation of body fat. Since insulin does all nasty things to the body, it is crucial to maintain its low levels to prevent obesity and lifestyle related conditions like Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Disease etc.
The general rule of thumb is to replace as many processed and refined-grain carbohydrates like Maida based foods, Biscuits, Pastries etc with fibre rich foods. Unhealthy eating habits and over consumption of such foods could take you on the obesity trail that would leave you regretting later. So beware! The combination of low GI food with with good fat food is the magic bullet for staying slim and fit.
High-G.I. foods cause blood sugar surges, which play havoc with insulin levels and appetite. Understanding the glycemic index is a vital first step in helping you control sugar surges and achieving steady and permanent weight loss. While a single, high-GI meal might not cause significant health problems for our body, frequent consumption of high GI foods and food preparations can result in perpetually high insulin levels.
Best of all, I present some Low GI high fat healthy recipes . It’s important to eat good high fat food like nuts, avocado, paneer, full fat curds, These when incorporated in the family menu would offer freedom from hunger and craving and would assist you to manage weight and health effortlessly.
Low Glycemic Index Indian Breakfast Recipes
In India idlis are a famous snack. People not only in South India, but all over the world love to indulge it in for breakfast. But rice, its base ingredient, is high in GI (glycemic index). Hence we present a healthier options using low GI dal – Palak Chola Dal Idli.
Palak Chola Dal Idli, Breakfast Recipe
Quinoa, another low GI food, can be finished into a healthy breakfast – Quinoa Veg Upma. While all the ingredients are of the regular Rava Upma, only semolina has been replaced by quinoa. The method also remains the same. This fiber rich snack will not fil to please you. Try it out!
Quinoa Veg Upma, Vegan Breakfast
Eggs are also perfect for you. While most of you would be fond of fried egg, that’s not the perfect choice for breakfast. Fried foods cause inflammation. Instead try Sunny Side Up Eggs – a perfect breakfast recipe to satiate you. No breads for serving pleases!
Low Glycemic Index Indian Snacks Recipes
If you have included grains for breakfast, snack on protein rich dals and pulses. The famous Kabuli chana can be presented as Parsley Hummus. Attractive in looks and easy to make, what else do you yearn for. Serve them with low glycemic index cucumber sticks for a hearty snack.
Buckwheat is a grain with a Glycemic Index 55, just at the border line of low glycemic index foods. It is the only grain which has all the nine essential amino acids and thus considered a good source of vegetarian protein. Further it is also rich in fiber. Include it in the form of Buckwheat Dosa.
Sprouts are another low GI foods which you can rely on. If you are weight watching or long to eat something healthy, this healthy Sprouts Dhokla is for you. Moong sprouts is a nutri-dense sprout. It’s a good source of several nutrients like protein, vitamins, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Low Glycemic Index Indian Soup Recipes
Soups are great appetizer, which can also be a good choice for in between meals. But avoid those cheese laden soups. Opt for a simple high protein, low fat Mushroom Barley Soup. It is highly satiating and will avoid binge eating.
Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe
Another hear warming soup is Garlic Vegetable Soup. This unusual yet delicious combination of mixed veggies, garlic and oats is sure to become a firm favourite and help restore your antioxidants levels as well. Though just pepped up with fresh coriander, it's sure to tingle your taste buds.
Garlic Vegetable Soup ( Healthy Heart)
A simple everyday vegetable like onion can be the main ingredient of a soup. Onions and spring onions together have been combined in Onion Thyme Soup for a pleasant experience. This soup has thickened using wheat flour instead of cornflour.
Onion Thyme Soup
Low Glycemic Index Indian Salad Recipes
Salads can be included as a part of a meal or even as a healthy snack option. Why not enjoy a nourishing salad like Avocado Broccoli and Bellpepper Salad. The veggies are crunchy and the added crunch is because of the addition of flax seeds – an omega-3 rich seed.
Avocado, Broccoli and Bellpepper Lunch Salad
The dressing plays a very important role in making a salad. It can make a salad highly appetizing to least pleasing. Baby Spinach and Apple Salad with Curd Lemon Dressing features an interesting combination of ingredients like curd, basil, celery, honey, lemon rind and lemon juice. Unlike the oily nature of most dressings, this healthier option is good to feast on.
Baby Spinach and Apple Salad in Curd Lemon Dressing
Low Glycemic Index Indian Juices Recipes
Coconut Water with Coconut Meat has a pulpy texture, and when served chilled, it tingles your taste buds with the mildly-sweet but electrifying flavour, which is unique to coconut water. The best way to serve coconut water with malai, is to chill the coconut water earlier, but blend the drink just before serving and enjoy a low GI drink.
Coconut Water with Coconut Meat
Avocado is a treasure trove of nutrients and the most easiest and hurried way of adding it to our meals is in the form of smoothies puddings over and over again. Use its creamy texture to make a smoothie like Avocado Pear Smoothie.
Avocado Spinach Pear Smoothie, Healthy Smoothie
Low Glycemic Index Indian Lunch and Dinner Recipes
Indian staple meal includes roti and sanzi. Oats Roti would be a perfect choice then. Pair it with Paneer Methi Palak Subzi to complete your meal.
Paneer Methi Palak, Healthy Subzi
An absolute low GI lunch would be Almond Bhakri. Almonds contain a lot of healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. It helps lower blood sugar levels, reduces blood pressure and keeps cholesterol under check. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that the Almond Bhakri is also good for weight-loss, as almonds and ghee have perfect fats that keep you full for longer.
And when you want to top on fiber minus too many calories, then opt for a complete veggie based salads which are low on GI scale. We suggest Rocket Leaves Broccoli and Veg Work Salad. Carry the veggies and dressing in separate containers and mix and toss just before serving.
Rocket Leaves, Broccoli and Veg Work Healthy Salad
As a simple and light dinner you can opt for Mixed Dal Chillas or Coconut Flour Pancakes. Both perfectly fit on low GI index and are pleasant to be enjoyed. These pancakes are truly satiating.
Coconut Flour Pancakes, Low- Carb Coconut Pancakes
Though all these recipes are low on GI scale, the portion size plays a big role in staying healthy. Do not go overboard. Moderation is the key to any healthy diet. Watch your calories, carbs, protein and fat intake and try to have a balanced meal with the help of your dietitian.