After you begin a low-glycemic diet don't forget about one crucial piece of the puzzle . . . your drinks! Low-glycemic drinks like coffee or tea can become high-glycemic quickly. Although your favorite Starbucks latte may not be officially tested for glycemic index, you can be certain the more sugar added the higher the glycemic index will go.
It's not just your morning pick-me-up to worry about, you also want to watch juicing, smoothies and end of the day spirits. Here are a few tips to keep your drinks low-glycemic.
Keep the added sugar at bay. It's no wonder people love coffee drinks . . . with many adding up to 500 calories and 90 grams of carbohydrate they're more like a liquid dessert. Skip the fancy chocolate or other sweetened drinks and get a basic black coffee or with a teaspoon of sugar if you must! Adding milk or having a latte can help the glycemic load as long as it's not loaded in added sugars. Check online or in your local stores for the nutrition information of your favorite coffee drink.
Don't load up on juice, even 100% juice. Juicing can be healthy and it can be not so healthy at the same time. If you're an avid juicer, make sure to use a good variety of vegetables combined with fruit in your juice to keep the sugars lower. Enjoy 8-ounces for one serving to keep the glycemic load down. You can benefit from the many nutrients found in juicing but just remember the sugar from the juices can make it higher glycemic with large portion sizes. As for store-bought juice, be sure it's 100% juice with no sugar added.
Enjoy smoothies with a few things in mind. The same rules apply to smoothies as juicing. Keep your portion size to 8-ounces at one time. You can make your smoothies even more low glycemic by incorporating protein and fat. Try adding some yogurt, milk, peanut butter or even avocadoes or coconut oil. The added fats and protein will help lower the glycemic load.
Don't overdo alcohol. Wine, beer, and liquor are all low glycemic . . . so long as it's one serving. Just like juice, the more you drink the higher the glycemic load will go. Stick with one to two drinks to keep your glycemic load in check.
Keep in mind, some drinks like margaritas and drinks mixed with fruit juice can be higher glycemic. Skip these drinks and stick with the basics: wine, beer, or liquor mixed with water or club soda.
If you absolutely love your favorite latte or a margarita with Mexican food don't throw out the entire idea of going low glycemic. Have a small latte and order them less frequently. Drink that margarita when you're out to dinner but don't do it every night.
You can also ask the bartender if they have lower sugar margarita options as well! Just keep making small changes that will work for you. Even if you decide to keep that latte, drinking it less frequently is still better than drinking it daily.