Too much sugar is bad for you. It can cause weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, increased uric acid levels, elevated blood sugar levels, and the list goes on. Healthy eating is an integral part of any fitness program. That is why you should be mindful of what type of foods you are eating. The good news is, there are delicious foods that are low in sugar but high in nutrition. Read this article to discover eight low sugar foods that will make you fit and healthy.
Low Sugar Foods
Fish is an excellent source of protein. Protein helps our body maintain and repair itself. Fish increases satiety, is low in unhealthy fats, and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna, halibut, and salmon are some examples of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fish have no significant carb content. Plus, they are good for the heart and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as dementia and arthritis.
2. Raw, Cooked, or Roasted Vegetables
Vegetables add color, texture, and flavor to a meal. Choose low-carb vegetables such as mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, and zucchini. Try them with dips like salsa, hummus, and guacamole, or roasted with various seasonings (rosemary, garlic, or cayenne pepper).
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, magnesium, and fiber. Eating more than one serving of leafy greens per day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14%. All leafy greens have a low GI (glycemic index), meaning they help keep blood sugar levels low. Some of the greens that you can add to your diet include spinach, lettuce, kale, turnip greens, and chard. Spinach has a GI ranking of less than 1. Kale has a GI score between 2 and 4. FYI, foods that have a score of 55 or lower are considered as low-GI.
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are essential components of a healthy eating plan. MUFAs are a key nutrient in avocado. This fruit makes you feel full, at the same time helps reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Studies show that avocados can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
5. Blueberries and Blackberries
Did you know that one cup of berries contains just 15 grams of carbs? Berries don’t contain as much sugar as other fruits and also help prevent spikes in blood sugar. Also, these foods are high in fiber and have high concentrations of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins inhibit certain enzymes to slow down digestion. Blueberries and blackberries are packed with nutrients and are a little bit sweet, so they are perfect for health-conscious individuals. For a different twist, put berries in ice cubes or mix them with plain yogurt.
6. Low-calorie Drinks
Water is good, but fruit or vegetable-infused water is more interesting. For example, you can put a cucumber or lemon into your water. If you like tea, try cold tea with cinnamon stick or lemon. Not only are these drinks low in carbohydrates, but they also help fill you up so you don’t crave other foods.
7. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, brown rice, oats, and buckwheat are better alternatives to “white grains.” These foods are high in fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals. Research shows that eating whole grains benefits insulin sensitivity.
8. Almonds and Other Nuts
Almonds have a GI score of zero. Yes, you read it right, zero, meaning they don’t impact blood sugar levels at all. This is because carbohydrates found in almonds are mainly fiber. Most nuts have low GI scores, usually between 0 and 20. Aside from almonds, opt for nuts such as macadamias, walnuts, and pistachios in lieu of other snacks the next time you are hungry.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to eliminate sugar in your diet completely. It doesn’t have to be bland or boring, either. Just keep in mind these two things: First, know what types of foods are best to eat. And second, determine how much you can eat. Creating a healthy meal plan will allow you to eat a variety of foods that are both delicious and nutritious!