Low Glycemic Food Lists and Menu Planners

low glycemic breakfast

There are no definitive low glycemic food lists that will guarantee weight loss, given that portion control has so much influence, and so many factors come into play including how foods are cooked and prepared. However here are some vegetarian meal planning ideas that incorporate the rules of general low glycemic food lists, so you can see if it works for you.


  • Unsweetened yoghurt
  • Oat-based cereal or cereal bar
  • Fresh fruit and nut platter
  • Banana and almond smoothie
  • One-egg omelette with mushrooms
  • Rye crispbread with sliced tomoato
  • Porridge with handful of dried berries


  • Three-bean soup (unsweetened tomato soup with french, kidney and haricot beans)
  • Felafal and salad
  • Tomato, mozarella and olive salad with small wholemeal pitta
  • Wholemeal pasta with pesto and walnuts
  • Bean and vegetable burritos
  • Ciabatta open sandwich with grilled veg and hummus
  • Grilled asparagus with poached egg
  • Thai noodles with tofu and beansprouts


  • Dhal with mushroom and spinach
  • Pearl barley risotto with peas
  • Chili sin carne (made with Quorn mince or TVP)
  • Couscous and onion stuffed peppers
  • Grilled portabella mushrooms served with sweet potato mash
  • Tofu and vegetable kebabs grilled and served with 1 tbsp basmati rice
  • Wholemeal spaghetti with 'quornnaise'
  • Mousakka made with veggie mince


  • A handful of almonds
  • A small dish of olives
  • 2 squares good quality dark chocolate (the more bitter tasting the better!)
  • Hummus with crudites
  • Fresh fruit salad or smoothie, no added sugar
  • Mashed banana topped with sunflower seeds
  • Two oatcakes
  • Small tub of plain yoghurt, sweetened with a tbsp of fresh berries
  • A small bowl of plain or lightly salted popcorn (NOT sweetened!)
  • A handful of dried apricots
  • It is important to remember that even preparing food can modify its glycemic index as well as its glycemic load - for example, cooking a vegetable like broccoli softens the cellulose cell walls and makes the complex carbs more digestible - so if you keep your veg as crunchy and close to raw as you can, you will lower the GI because the fibre content slows down the absorption of the sugars. Light steaming is best if you can't eat something raw.

    Combining foods combines overall glycemic index, so any low glycemic food list has to be read in that context as well - eating relatively high GI rice with relatively low GI lentils slows the absorption of the carbs from the rice and makes a medium GI meal overall. And don't forget to use Basmati rice over any other, as it has the lowest GI due to containing more of a different type of starch to other long and short grain rices.

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