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The 7-Day Low Glycemic Diet Plan

Our low-glycemic diet plan helps you navigate nutrient-dense, tasty, real-food eating with a free 1-week meal plan

Overhead show of a low-glycemic diet plan meal of salmon, green beans, tomatoes, and cous cous
Table of Contents

What should I eat? All of us have asked ourselves this question, sometimes a few times a day while standing in front of an open refrigerator or, possibly worse, while at the cash register at a fast-casual restaurant without a decisive response.

The best science-supported answer to this question: A low-glycemic meal.

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What Is a Low-Glycemic Diet?

low-glycemic diet prioritizes foods, particularly carbohydrates, with a low glycemic index and glycemic load. The glycemic index assigns carbohydrates a score (from 0-100, with 0 the lowest and 100 the highest); the glycemic load provides a value that estimates how a portion of that food may impact your blood sugar.

Benefits of Low-Glycemic Diets

  • Low-glycemic diet— aka low GI diet—composed of nutrient-dense foods is associated with a reduced risk of death1.
  • Low-glycemic diets can help with weight loss by helping you maintain stable blood sugar
  • Low glycemic diets can help maintain weight loss and prevent weight gain

High-Protein, Low-Glycemic Diet

A high-protein diet (which may ultimately be a low-glycemic diet anyway) can jump-start weight loss2 and another study says that a higher-protein, low-glycemic diet can reduce an increase in appetite after weight loss3.

Our one-week low GI diet plan (featured below) can get you started. If you want to lose weight (and maintain it), the section below with a high-protein, low-glycemic diet plan can rescue you from meal-time indecision. 

Low Glycemic Diet Foods: Shopping List

What can you eat on a low-glycemic diet? All low GI foods qualify, but try to pick whole foods versus processed ones.

The list of low GI foods that follows isn't exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of which carbohydrate and non-carbohydrate foods are low glycemic. Try to minimize medium GI foods and high GI foods as much as possible.

Low-Glycemic Vegetables

Close up shot of artichokes, a low-glycemic vegetable, with long green stems and purple and green leaves
Artichokes are a low-glycemic vegetable
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots (raw have the lowest glycemic index)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Greens
  • Leeks
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

<p class="pro-tip">Read all about low-glycemic vegetables</p>

Low-Glycemic Fruit

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries (whole)
  • Coconut
  • Cucumber
  • Grapefruit
  • Passion fruit
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Tomatoes

Low-Glycemic Beans and Legumes

Black-eyed peas, a low-glycemic legume, in a clear spoon with some scattered underneath
Beans and legumes are low glycemic foods and an excellent source of fiber and protein
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Black beans
  • Butter beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Green beans
  • Hummus
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans
  • Peanuts
  • Snap peas
  • Snow peas

<p class="pro-tip">Read more: Health Benefits of Beans and Legumes</p>

Low-Glycemic Dairy

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Plain cottage cheese
  • Plain kefir
  • Plain yogurt

Low-Glycemic Nuts, Seeds, Oils

A wooden bowl with a lid open with green olives, a low-glycemic fat and fruit, in the bowl with sprigs of rosemary
Olives are a source of healthy fat and low glycemic
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Olives
  • Avocado, coconut, olive oils
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Unsweetened almond, coconut, soy milks (look for simple ingredient lists)
  • Walnuts

Low-Glycemic Protein

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tempeh

Low-Glycemic Whole Grains 

  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Black rice
  • Bulgur
  • Farro
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled oats
  • Sprouted bread/grains
  • Steel-cut oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat tortilla

Low-Glycemic Pantry Items

  • Almond flour
  • Bread options: sprouted grain brain, whole wheat bread
  • Broths or stocks (all-natural)
  • Canned beans
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Spices such as all-spice, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, etc.
  • Dried herbs
  • Low-glycemic sweeteners: allulose, monk fruit, stevia 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Nut butters, unsweetened
  • Oils such as avocado, coconut, olive, sesame
  • Pasta options: hearts of palm noodles, shirataki noodles, whole wheat pasta, lentil or chickpea pasta
  • Shredded or flaked coconut, unsweetened

Low Glycemic Diet Plan

Let's turn these bulleted lists into an action plan. Now that you know about popular low gi foods, you can start putting together an eating strategy. Let our low-glycemic meal plan below inspire you to build a template of your favorite low-glycemic recipes to make each week.

If you're looking for weight loss or want to maintain the weight loss that you achieved, some research supports eating a higher amount of protein4. If this is your goal, add some protein-rich foods to each meal, and if you choose to snack, pick a higher-protein food.

Just keep in mind that your body can only use so much protein in one sitting—about 20–25 grams in one sitting. Any additional protein you eat will be excreted through urine, so it's not harmful if you eat more protein than this at a time. You just don't want to eat excess amounts of protein for long periods of time, as this could put extra strain on your kidneys. 

Also, any excess calories you eat and don't burn—even if they're calories from protein—can cause weight gain. 

7 Day Low Glycemic Diet Meal Plan

This meal plan provides general suggestions for how to pick low-glycemic foods and turn them into a weekly eating plan. 

General daily calorie guidelines are 1,800–2,000 for women and 2,300–2,500 for men, depending on age, activity level, metabolism, etc. For those who would like to lose weight, general calorie guidelines are 1,500 per day for women and 1,800 per day for men. 

This meal plan is based on about 1,500 calories per day because it gives you an idea of all you can eat in the lowest calorie bracket. Adjust the servings, calories, macros, and foods to suit your preferences or needs.

Day 1: Meal Plan

Breakfast 

  • ½ cup 4% fat plain cottage cheese 
  • ½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp. allulose (if desired) 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 319, Carbs: 22 grams, Protein: 22 grams, Fat: 18 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • ¼ cup tuna in water, drained, mixed with ½ Tbsp. Chosen Foods Avocado Mayo, ½ tsp. dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper, ½ small stalk of diced celery. Serve with 17 Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers.

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 237, Carbs: 17 grams, Protein: 11 grams, Fat: 14 grams

Lunch

  • 4 cups mixed baby lettuce
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp. raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 slices avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 409, Carbs: 43 grams, Protein: 12 grams, Fat: 24 grams

To add more protein: Chop 1 extra-large hardboiled egg and toss it with the salad; the egg adds 7 grams of protein.

Dinner

  • 2 oz. wild salmon filet, baked with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice
  • 1 cup barley, cooked in 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 7 medium asparagus stalks roasted with 1 tsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 399, Carbs: 54 grams, Protein: 23 grams, Fat: 11 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 2 Tbsp. hummus with 1 large celery stalk, 2 medium radishes, ½ cup of sugar snap peas

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 81, Carbs: 11 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 3 grams 

Day 1 Total

  • Calories: 1445
  • Carbs: 147 grams
  • Protein: 72 grams
  • Fat: 70 grams

Day 2: Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • Omelet made with 2 eggs, salt, and pepper, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup cooked mushrooms with 2 Applegate Farms Peppered Turkey Sausage links
  • 1 slice sprouted grain wheat bread, toasted, with ¼ cup mashed raspberries spread on the toast

Nutritional info: Calories: 387, Carbs: 33 grams, Protein: 27 grams, Fat: 18 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. almond butter (no sugar added), ¼ cup blueberries

Nutritional info: Calories: 211, Carbs: 13 grams, Protein: 16 grams, Fat: 11 grams

Lunch

  • 4 cups mixed baby lettuce
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp. raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 oz. skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 2 slices avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 431, Carbs: 26 grams, Protein: 27 grams, Fat: 28 grams

Dinner

  • Veggie burger patty like Dr. Praeger’s Black Bean Quinoa Veggie Burgers
  • 1 sprouted whole grain burger bun (we like Ezekiel 4:9)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (to put inside burger bun)
  • 7 medium asparagus stalks roasted with 1 tsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper

Nutritional info: Calories: 390, Carbs: 55 grams, Protein: 13 grams, Fat: 13 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 2 Tbsp. hummus with 10 baby carrots

Nutritional info: Calories: 88, Carbs: 14 grams, Protein: 3 grams, Fat: 3 grams

Day 2 Total

  • Calories: 1507
  • Carbs: 141 grams
  • Protein: 86 grams
  • Fat: 73 grams

Day 3: Meal Plan

Breakfast

Overnight oats (made the night before or as part of weekly meal prep):

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 scoop Orgain Organic Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean (or any low-glycemic protein powder you like)
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter, no sugar added
  • ¼ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Combine the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and protein powder in a mason jar. Stir well, screw on the lid, and refrigerate overnight. Before eating, stir in almond butter and top with raspberries.

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 425, Carbs: 49 grams, Protein: 22 grams, Fat: 19 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 1 medium hard-boiled egg, ½ medium pink grapefruit

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 122, Carbs: 14 grams, Protein: 7 grams, Fat: 5 grams

Lunch

<ul role="list"><li>1 cup Keto Vegetable Soup</li><li>Tuna salad sandwich</li></ul>

Tuna salad sandwich recipe:

  • 2 slices sprouted whole-grain bread
  • ½ can tuna in water, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mixed baby lettuce

Combine the drained tuna with mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir. Toast the bread, if desired. Top one slice of bread with lettuce and then the tuna salad. Place the other slice of bread on top, slice, and enjoy.

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 390, Carbs: 39 grams, Protein: 25 grams, Fat: 14 grams

Dinner 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 337, Carbs: 47 grams, Protein: 28 grams, Fat: 6 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs, 1 Tbsp. peanuts

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 222, Carbs: 14 grams, Protein: 18 grams, Fat: 14 grams

Day 3 Total

  • Calories: 1496
  • Carbs: 163 grams
  • Protein: 100 grams
  • Fat: 58 grams 

Day 4: Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • ½ cup 4% fat plain cottage cheese 
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp. allulose (if desired) 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 355, Carbs: 32 grams, Protein: 22 grams, Fat: 18 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 2 Tbsp. hummus with 1 large celery stalk, 2 medium radishes, ½ cup of sugar snap peas

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 81, Carbs: 11 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 3 grams 

Lunch

Chicken salad sandwich recipe:

  • 2 slices sprouted whole-grain bread
  • ½ skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mixed baby lettuce

Combine the chicken with mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir. Toast the bread, if desired. Top one slice of bread with lettuce and then the tuna salad. Place the other slice of bread on top, slice, and enjoy.

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 419, Carbs: 39 grams, Protein: 27 grams, Fat: 17 grams

Dinner

  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 ounces beef, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 9 medium slices of onion
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. coconut aminos

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil. Cook the carrots for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the carrots. Add the sliced beef and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the beef and add the broccoli. Cook the broccoli and onions for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add carrots and beef back to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper; add coconut aminos. Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove and serve. 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 394, Carbs: 41 grams, Protein: 24 grams, Fat: 17 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts (try to find a brand that contains just peanuts and salt)

Nutritional info: Calories: 214, Carbs: 8 grams, Protein: 9 grams, Fat: 18 grams

Day 4 Total

  • Calories: 1463
  • Carbs: 131 grams
  • Protein: 86 grams
  • Fat: 73 grams

Day 5: Meal Plan

Breakfast

Overnight oats (made the night before or as part of weekly meal prep):

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 scoop Orgain Organic Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean (or any low-glycemic protein powder you like)
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter, no sugar added
  • ¼ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Combine the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and protein powder in a mason jar. Stir well, screw on the lid, and refrigerate overnight. Before eating, stir in almond butter and top with raspberries.

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 425, Carbs: 49 grams, Protein: 22 grams, Fat: 19 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 1 oz. dry roasted peanuts

Nutritional info: Calories: 166, Carbs: 6 grams, Protein: 7 grams, Fat: 14 grams

Lunch

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 337, Carbs: 47 grams, Protein: 28 grams, Fat: 6 grams

Dinner

  • 2 oz. wild salmon filet, baked with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice
  • 1 cup barley, cooked in 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 7 medium asparagus stalks roasted with 1 tsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 399, Carbs: 54 grams, Protein: 23 grams, Fat: 11 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing with 10 baby carrots, 1 celery stick, 5 broccoli florets

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 211, Carbs: 16 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 15 grams

Day 5 Total

  • Calories: 1538
  • Carbs: 172 grams
  • Protein: 84 grams
  • Fat: 65 grams

Day 6: Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • Omelet made with 2 eggs, salt, and pepper, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup cooked mushrooms with 2 Applegate Farms Peppered Turkey Sausage links
  • 1 slice sprouted grain wheat bread, toasted, with ¼ cup mashed raspberries spread on the toast

Nutritional info: Calories: 387, Carbs: 33 grams, Protein: 27 grams, Fat: 18 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 1 medium apple with 1 Tbsp. all-natural (no sugar added) peanut butter 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 189, Carbs: 29 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 8 grams

Lunch

  • Veggie burger patty like Dr. Praeger’s Black Bean Quinoa Veggie Burgers
  • 1 sprouted whole grain burger bun (we like Ezekiel 4:9)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (to put inside burger bun)
  • Side salad: 2 cups baby lettuce or spinach, ½ cucumber, 2 radishes, 1 chopped Roma tomato, 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 363, Carbs: 44 grams, Protein: 13 grams, Fat: 17 grams

Dinner

  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 ounces skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 9 medium slices of onion
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. coconut aminos

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil. Cook the carrots for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the carrots. Add the cubed chicken and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove the chicken and add the broccoli. Cook the broccoli and onions for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add carrots and chicken back to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper; add coconut aminos. Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove and serve. 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 401, Carbs: 41 grams, Protein: 24 grams, Fat: 18 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 2 Tbsp. hummus with 1 large celery stalk, 2 medium radishes, ½ cup of sugar snap peas

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 81, Carbs: 11 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 3 grams 

Day 6 Total

  • Calories: 1421
  • Carbs: 158 grams
  • Protein: 72 grams
  • Fat: 64 grams

Day 7: Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • 2 slices sprouted whole-grain bread, toasted
  • ½ ripe avocado, mashed with salt, pepper, ¼ tsp. lemon juice, ¼ tsp. dried garlic
  • 1 hardboiled egg, sliced
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar or coconut aminos, if desired

Toast the bread. Mash avocado with seasoning and lemon juice. Slice hardboiled egg. Spread half of the mashed avocado on each slice of toast. Top with sliced hardboiled egg and 1 tsp. of either balsamic vinegar or coconut aminos. 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 329, Carbs: 33 grams, Protein: 17 grams, Fat: 15 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 1 medium apple with 1 Tbsp. all-natural (no sugar added) peanut butter 

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 189, Carbs: 29 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 8 grams

Lunch

  • 4 cups mixed baby lettuce
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp. raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 oz. skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 2 slices avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 431, Carbs: 26 grams, Protein: 27 grams, Fat: 28 grams

Dinner

  • 4 cups zucchini noodles
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup canned cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared pesto
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted (can substitute almonds or walnuts)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Cook zucchini noodles in skillet until soft and warmed through, about 4 minutes. Remove noodles from the skillet and add to a bowl. Add drained beans, pesto, and cherry tomatoes. Toss with tongs to combine well. Add zoodles to a plate and serve with toasted nuts.

Nutritional breakdown: Calories: 408, Carbs: 32 grams, Protein: 13 grams, Fat: 29 grams

Snack (if needed)

  • 9 Simple Mills Almond Flour crackers with ½ Tbsp. almond butter (no sugar added) 

Nutritional info: Calories: 123, Carbs: 10 grams, Protein: 3 grams, Fat: 8 grams

Day 7 Total

  • Calories: 1480
  • Carbs: 130 grams
  • Protein: 64 grams
  • Fat: 88 grams
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About the Author

Sabrina has more than 20 years of experience writing, editing, and leading content teams in health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. She is the former managing editor at MyFitnessPal.
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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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