21-day low GI & GL menu plan

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How to use the low GI & GL menu plan

Low GI (glycemic index) and low GL (glycemic load) diets come in many shapes and sizes. Some include medium GI carbohydrate foods such as wholemeal bread and pasta on a regular basis, while others allow these only very infrequently. Some restrict red meat and saturated fats and require all dairy products to be low fat as well. Others are concerned solely with limiting carbohydrates, the only foods which have a significant glycemic effect (ie produce a rise in blood sugar/insulin levels.) Our low GI menu plan is designed to be easily adapted for use with all types of low GI diet.

Not all low GI diets are designed to produce weight loss. Some are seen more as healthy eating plans. Of course, individual metabolisms, activity levels and levels of tolerance to carbohydrates differ, and what works as a weight-loss diet for one person would be a weight-gain diet for the next.

For some people, eating 'good' carbohydrates such as whole grains, wholemeal bread, and fresh fruits may make weight loss impossible, even though these are not high GI foods. If this is you, you can adapt the menus by eating more of the vegetables, salads and protein foods and leaving out the bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. Alternatively, you could try some simple substitutions. For instance, in place of wholemeal bread, substitute bread made with flours from healthy, low carb flax seeds, almonds, soya beans, hemp or sesame seeds instead of high carb wheat, rye or corn.

Similarly, if you can tolerate more carbohydrate foods, particularly if you are very physically active, you can increase these in quantity and frequency (but only the 'good' carbs, and not at the expense of your vegetables and salads!)

Here are some points to bear in mind when using this menu plan:

Low GI & GL snack ideas

Have two or three snacks in addition to your three meals each day. Here are some ideas

Low GI & GL menu plan - Week 1

Day 1
Breakfast Granary bread with butter
Scrambled egg
Lunch Salmon, mango and buckwheat salad
On a bed of raw baby spinach leaves
Dinner Chicken and mushroom casserole
Baked sweet potato
Pears cooked in red wine and cinnamon
Day 2
Breakfast Bran flakes and milk
Fresh apple
Lunch Small baguette with prawns and mayonnaise
Green salad
Dinner Baked fish
Basmati rice
Stewed rhubarb with artificial sweetener and blueberries
Day 3
Breakfast Poached smoked haddock
No added sugar fruit yoghurt
Lunch Hard-boiled eggs
Lentil and vegetable salad with vinaigrette
Dinner Turkey stroganoff with bulgur rice
Tomato salad
Fresh fruit
Day 4
Breakfast Wholemeal toast with sugar-free peanut butter
Lunch Jacket potato with tuna and mayonnaise
Green salad
Dinner Meat loaf (made with large-flake oats instead of breadcrumbs)
Stewed apple
Day 5
Breakfast Toasted wholemeal bread with butter
Poached eggs
Lunch Ciabatta with grilled Mediterranean vegetables and hummus
Green salad
Dinner Grilled fish
Boiled quinoa with onion, garlic and herbs
Gooseberry and ginger crumble, artificially sweetened and with topping made from oats
Day 6
Breakfast Bran cereal with fresh fruit and cottage cheese
Lunch Tinned mackerel in tomato sauce
Bean salad
Dinner Roast pork
Roast sweet potatoes
Banana fool made with plain live yoghurt
Day 7
Breakfast Porridge made with old-fashioned large oatflakes and unsweetened unsweetened soya milk or water - add cinnamon and artificial sweetener if desired
Lunch Open ham and tomato sandwich made with whole grain bread
Green salad
Dinner Chicken curry with brown basmati rice
Stewed dried apricots, cherries and cranberries

Low GI & GL menu plan - Week 2

Day 8
Breakfast Weetabix with milk or unsweetened soya milk
Tomato juice
Lunch Home-made chunky lentil and root vegetable soup
Fresh fruit
Dinner Wholemeal pasta with pesto and walnuts
Low sugar ice cream
Day 9
Breakfast Buckwheat pancake with smoked salmon and lemon
Lunch Tortilla wrap with chicken, salad and salsa
Dinner Salmon steak
Canned chickpeas sautéed with herbs and garlic
Lemon sugar-free jelly/jello
Day 10
Breakfast Toasted wholemeal bread with butter and low sugar jam
Ricotta cheese with pineapple
Lunch Pork and vegetable kebabs with basmati rice
Green salad
Dinner Liver and onions
New potatoes
Baked apple filled with sultanas and cinnamon and artificially sweetened if needed
Day 11
Breakfast Fresh fruit and nuts
Plain yoghurt
Lunch Tuna mayonnaise on wholemeal bread
Green salad
Dinner Grilled lamb chop
Sweet potato
Fresh fruit salad
Day 12
Breakfast No added sugar baked beans on wholemeal toast
Lunch Pitta bread filled with salad
Banana and almond smoothie
Dinner Mushroom, beansprout and tofu stir fry
Buckwheat pancakes and fresh berry fruits
Day 13
Breakfast Unsweetened muesli with milk or unsweetened soya milk and dried apricots
Lunch Shredded ham, pineapple and grated cheese on a toasted wholemeal muffin
Mixed salad
Dinner Tuna steak with real tomato sauce
Bulgur wheat boiled with onion and herbs
Sugar-free jelly/jello, made with berry fruits
Day 14
Breakfast Grilled bacon and tomatoes
Granary bread
Lunch Oatcakes (thin biscuits made from oats)
Thin slices of cheese
Fresh fruit
Dinner Chicken curry with chickpeas in place of rice
Fruit compote made with dried apricots, prunes, sultanas, fresh pear and cinnamon

Low GI & GL menu plan - Week 3

Day 15
Breakfast Oatmeal porridge topped with dried blueberries or cherries
Lunch Tuna, bean and sweetcorn salad
Dinner Pork chop
New potatoes
Ricotta cheese flavoured with coffee and artificial sweetener
Day 16
Breakfast Tomato juice with dash of Worcester Sauce
Wholemeal toast with tahini (ground sesame seeds)
Lunch Pumpernickel bread topped with salmon and cucumber
No added sugar fruit yoghurt
Dinner Home-made fish cakes
Stewed pear and banana
Day 17
Breakfast Ryebread with butter and yeast extract or miso spread
Sliced tomatoes and cucumber
Lunch Lentil, chicken and bacon salad
Dinner Pearl barley risotto with peas and mushrooms
Green salad
Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate
Day 18
Breakfast Mushroom and tomato omelette
Lunch Wholemeal pasta salad with pesto and walnuts
Half avocado with vinaigrette
Dinner Chilli con carne with bulgur wheat
Fresh fruit salad
Day 19
Breakfast Tomato juice with a dash of Worcester Sauce
All-Bran with milk
Lunch Chicken Caesar salad with anchovies and Caesar dressing (no croutons)
Dinner Baked white fish
Baked potato
Poached pears with ginger
Day 20
Breakfast Flat brown mushrooms grilled with thin slices of cheese
Lunch Tomato, mozzarella and olive salad with chickpeas
Dinner Steak with onions and mushrooms
Home made chips/fries
Green salad
Baked egg custard
Day 21
Breakfast Toasted wholemeal bread and butter
Lunch Thai noodles with tofu, mangetout and beansprouts
Dinner Lamb stew
Mashed swede
Ricotta cheese flavoured with cocoa powder and artificial sweetener

Do you like the look of these recipes?

The Low Carb is Easy Cookbook

The Low Carb is Easy Cookbook

If you like the sound of some of the recipes mentioned in this menuplan, you can get them and many more - in all - in The Low Carb is Easy Cookbook. The Cookbook can be used in both conventional cookbook and 'recipe software' mode. Interactive online features include the ability to personalise your own ingredients and quantities, modify and create your own recipes, and access the saved recipes from anywhere in the world.

As well as the menuplans, the Cookbook comes with:

  • The Easy Guide to Low Carb, Low GI and Low GL Diets
  • GI & GL Handy Reference Tables

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