Another successful approach is matching the foods that you eat with your BMI. The rule is simple: If your BMI is over 35, have foods with a glycemic index no greater than 50. For a BMI between 25 and 35, have foods with a glycemic index no greater than 70. Once your BMI is below 25 there is no restriction on which carbohydrates you can consume. You simply need to make certain that the balance of your food in-take contains the lower-glycemic index carbohydrates.
You can eat most vegetables without thinking about their carbohydrate content or their glycemic index. Those that you should watch out for are potatoes and corn.
These have universally low glycemic indexes, and are a good addition to your menu planning.
Black Beans – The glycemic index of 3/4 a cup of black beans is 30. These make a great addition to an egg with some salsa for breakfast. The bean is high in fiber, keeping you feeling fuller longer.
Kidney Beans – The glycemic index of 1/2 cup of kidney beans (red) is 27. These are the beans used in chili, tacos, and other Southwest foods. They contain a lot of fiber and protein. If the beans are canned they have a higher glycemic index (52). However, hey are still a good source of fiber, iron, protein, and vitamins.
Lentil Soup – the glycemic index of one cup of Lentil Soup is 44. Soup is not something that fills you up and keeps you full, but it does digest slowly. Lentils contain a lot of fiber (5 grams) and only 24 grams of carbohydrate.
Navy Beans – the glycemic index of 1/2 cup of Navy beans is 38. Navy beans are used for making baked beans and are a good source of fiber (6 grams) and have only 19 grams of carbohydrate. Many patients note that these beans cause gas, and they do. However, it has been reported that the bacteria in the colon, which “eats” the un -digested beans, are actually the “good” kind of bacteria.
Green Peas – the glycemic index of 1/2 cup of green peas is 48. Peas are high in protein and fiber (4 grams) for 11 grams of carbohydrates.
Soy Beans – the glycemic index of 1/2 cup of soybeans is 18. Many vegetarians use soybeans as a primary source of protein. In addition soybeans contain fiber (5 grams), and are low in carbohydrates (10 grams). There are many products that are made from soy beans (Boca® burgers, morning star sausages) that are tolerated well by early postoperative patients.
Snacks are the major source of weight gain
Planning snacks is one of the keys to losing weight, reaching goal, and keeping off excess weight. Many snacks are high in simple carbohydrates and low in protein. Your goal is to find snacks that either contain protein (if you are having difficulty getting in enough protein) or snacks that have a low-glycemic index. Many protein bars, besides tasting like sawdust, contain high index carbohydrates. Below we list some simple snacks that have a lower-glycemic index, that will keep you feeling full longer, and help promote either weight loss or maintaining your weight.
Good fruit choices, snacks that are primarily carbohydrates
There are a number of fruits that are good choices for a snack. These represent raw fruits—not fruits in a can, not in a pie, or processed fruits. These are raw, fresh fruits. Lap-band patients may have to peel the fruit, in which case a lot of the fiber will be lost. Some patients with bands find they can eat these as time goes on, but be careful.
The Apple – one medium apple has a glycemic index of 34 and 25 grams of carbohydrate with 3.2 grams of fiber. There are a variety of apples available, from Honey Crisp to Macintosh (not the computer). Easy to carry, and a great snack.
Grapefruit – one half a grapefruit has a glycemic index of 25, contains 1 gram of fiber and 5 grams of carbohydrate. It is a great source of vitamin C and other nutrients. It also makes a great snack as it can be peeled and eaten in sections.
Green Grapes – another great snack food, easy to carry and little mess. One cup of grapes has a glycemic index of 46, contains 15 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber. They are high in sugar content, which is why they are used as wine. The fiber in the skin of the grape, along with its acid content, slows down digestion. Some patients put the grapes in the freezer as a natural popsicle.
A Fresh Peach – The glycemic index of a peach is 28. Peaches are easy to carry and make a wise snack in the morning or afternoon. The fiber in the peach helps slow the digestion (2 grams) and the carbohydrate content is 7 grams for a medium size peach.
One Fresh Pear – The glycemic index of a pear is 38. While the carbohydrate con-tent of a pear is about 21 grams, the effect on blood sugar is minimal.
One medium Plum – The glycemic index of a plum is 39. Again, the acid in the plum helps to slow down digestion and reduces the amount of sugar that enters the body. Carbohydrate content is 7 grams and fiber is 1 gram.