Low-Glycemic/High-Fiber, a Winning Combination - dummies

Low-Glycemic/High-Fiber, a Winning Combination

By Meri Reffetto

Fiber is an excellent weight-loss tool — in fact, it’s one of the most important weapons in your weight-loss arsenal. When you chow down on foods that are low-glycemic and high in fiber, you’re getting the best of both worlds.

What the low-glycemic/high-fiber combo can do for you

Choosing foods that are low-glycemic and high in fiber is your secret weapon for weight loss. This power-duo combination adds up to

  • Lower blood sugar and insulin spikes

  • Controlled food cravings

  • A longer-lasting “full” feeling

  • Fewer calories and more volume consumed

So how to make sure you’re getting enough fiber out of the large variety of low-glycemic fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains you’re eating? Good news! You don’t need to mess with counting fiber grams. Instead, just aim for the following:

  • Three or more servings of vegetables each day

  • Two or more servings of fruits each day

  • Three or more servings of whole grains each day (out of your total grain intake)

  • One or more servings of legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) each day

Common low-glycemic/high-fiber foods

Meeting your fiber quota while incorporating low-glycemic food choices into your weekly meal plans is easier than you may expect. Following are several popular low-glycemic/high-fiber foods.

Popular Low-Glycemic/High-Fiber Foods
Food Glycemic Measurement (Per Serving) Fiber Content in Grams (Per Serving)
Apple (with skin) Low 3.7
Apricots Low 2.5
Carrots Low 2.2
Chickpeas Low 6.0
Green peas Low 4.4
Kiwi Low 2.6
Oatmeal Low 3.7
Orange Low 3.0
Pearl barley Low 6.0
Quinoa Low 5.0
Whole-wheat bread Low 2.0
Whole-wheat pita bread Low 4.7

Incorporate low-glycemic/high-fiber foods into each meal

Incorporating low-glycemic/high-fiber foods into your diet is as simple as focusing on eating a wide variety of plant-based foods. If you can manage that, you’ll be on your way to a healthy fiber intake for the day. Following is a sample menu that uses some of the food choices presented in the preceding table.

Breakfast Oatmeal with sliced cinnamon apples
1% milk
1 hard-boiled egg
Snack Orange
Lunch Turkey, cheese, and lettuce sandwich on whole-wheat bread
Split pea soup
Snack Pita bread
Dinner Grilled barbeque chicken
Pearl barley salad
Steamed carrots
Snack Low-fat ice cream

To create similar meal plans on your own, cross-reference your fruit and veggie choices with a glycemic index chart to make sure the foods you’re picking are low-glycemic as well as high in fiber. Then think of a way to add a serving of legumes into your day (perhaps by tossing a cup of beans into your lunchtime salad).

Finally, as you’re choosing your whole grains, remember this rule of thumb: the higher the fiber (generally) the better.