Not all carbohydrates affect our bodies in the same way, so the glycemic index, which was first developed by Dr. David Jenkins at the University in Toronto in 1981, ranks carbohydrates according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Low glycemic carbohydrate foods produce small changes in insulin and blood glucose levels, and they aid in reducing heart disease and diabetes. A diet low in glycemic index carbohydrates is part of an effective, sustainable weight loss program.
Breakfast: Apple Oat Bran
Apples are high in fiber, vitamin C and potassium. This tasty apple oat bran recipe gives you a great low glycemic index breakfast. Slice your favorite variety of apple into bite-sized pieces and simmer in three tablespoons of water for five minutes. Boil one cup of water; add 1/3 cup of oat bran, and cook over medium heat for three minutes. Add the apples and a teaspoon each of wheat germ and flax seed. Mix in a tablespoon of sliced almonds and a 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar substitute before serving.
Chili can be prepared so that it is low on the glycemic index and tasty as well. For this version, brown 12 oz. lean hamburger meat with one cup each of chopped onion and chopped green bell pepper; add two stalks of chopped celery. Stir in one cup each of canned red kidney beans, chicken broth and salsa, along with a teaspoon each of cumin, oregano and chili powder. Simmer for 15 minutes.
This quick and easy recipe for salmon not only fits into a low glycemic index diet but also provides a meal high in omega-3 fatty acids, a full day’s vitamin D, and half the daily requirement for vitamin B12, niacin and selenium.
Brush a four-ounce salmon fillet with a tablespoon of fat-free mayonnaise. Sprinkle with lemon juice and a half-teaspoon of dill weed; add salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
Snack: Baked Garbanzo Beans
Snacks and desserts are the downfall for most dieters, but here’s a tasty snack that’s both fun to make and satisfying to eat. Soak a one-pound package of dried garbanzo beans in water overnight. Drain, pat dry and spread out on a baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven for one hour, and toss with a mixture of garlic salt and paprika. For a spicy version, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
Dessert: Pear Crisp
Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Mix 1/4 cup whole wheat flour with 2/3 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup of brown sugar substitute, one tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 cup canola oil until the consistency is crumbly. Combine six cored, peeled, sliced pears with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of powdered ginger, two tablespoons of sugar substitute and a tablespoon of whole wheat flour. Place the mixture in the baking dish. Cover the pears with the crumbly topping, and bake at 375° for 40 minutes.