By: DEBORAH AUGUSTIN
Edited by: KELSEY CRUZ
This coming school year, I will be living off-campus for the duration of my senior year. Off-campus housing means lots of ragers (just kidding, Mr. Landlord!) and no school meal plan. This means I will either bring my own lunches and snacks to campus or pay for the over-priced (and often unappetizing) options at school. While making a quick lunch is easy, I often find that preparing healthy, satisfying snacks to keep me going between meals is harder. It’s so tempting to just buy a cookie when I’m starvimg after class, only to feel hungry in the middle of my next seminar or lecture.
As a woman who suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a female sex hormonal imbalance that puts me at higher risk of Type-2 diabetes and heart disease, I have to be very careful about my blood sugar levels. Ideally, the perfect diet for me is the low glycemic index (GI) diet, a system that rates food from 1-100, with 100 being the score for pure glucose. When you are on the low GI diet, you eat foods that have a GI rating of 55 or less because those foods take longer to digest and help you feel fuller longer. The low GI diet isn’t just for people with PCOS or Type-2 diabetes; it’s a great way for anyone to eat healthier.
Fortunately, there are plenty of low GI snacks that are quick to prepare. In fact, you may already be eating them regularly without even realizing it. Here are a few favorites that are quick and easy to prepare and can also be made in the beginning of a busy week:
- Homemade hummus is a great low GI snack. It’s a versatile spread that you can use on sandwiches or crackers, adding healthy protein to your day. A cup of homemade hummus has about 175 calories and a glycemic index of 12 while store-bought hummus tends to be calorie-heavy. Fortunately, hummus is really easy to make because all you need is a few key ingredients and a food processor. This recipe allows you to substitute different ingredients for different tastes by adding roasted red peppers, basil, and other herbs you love.
- Frozen edamame is a healthy snack that is easy to find in most grocery stores. A serving size of 155g has a glycemic load of 6 out of a 100 and also gives you 17g of protein.
- Make yourself a yogurt parfait by mixing either low-fat or non-fat yogurt with some fruit and whole grain cereal. With a little honey, yogurt parfaits make great desserts.
- My favorite low GI snacks are black bean brownies. Honestly, you don’t taste the black beans at all! With no gluten (I swear!) and a natural low glycemic index sweetener, the brownies are the perfect way to satisfy a chocolate craving.
I hope you enjoy these snack suggestions and start getting creative in the kitchen. Remember, being short on time doesn’t mean you have to be unhealthy.