Keeping your energy on an even keel means the difference between needing to take an afternoon nap and having the get-up-and-go to take a bike ride. According to David Ludwig, chair of paediatric endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston, a high-glycemic diet is linked to "diabetes, high blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and certain cancers in the general population." Slow energy release foods provide a low glycemic load, and can give you the energy you need.
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Grab some peanuts for a slow energy (also known as slow carb) snack. With a glycemic load of almost zero, an ounce or two of peanuts will give you long-lasting energy. Don't eat more than that, though. Peanuts are high in fat, containing 14 grams in one ounce, which can contribute to weight gain. Peanuts aren't the only nut that gives you long-lasting energy--other nuts also fall into the slow carb category and can keep your energy levels chugging along.
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Bite into an apple and your body will thank you for the energy boost. One apple contains approximately 4 grams of fibre, less than 100 calories, and 19 grams of sugar in the form of fructose. The apple's fibre ensures that this fruit will release its sugars slowly and steadily, curbing your appetite until you have a chance to sit down and eat a full meal.
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Simmer a pot of lentil soup on the stove for a delicious lunch or dinner that will keep your blood sugar levels steady for hours. While all legumes are fairly low glycemic index foods, red lentils are especially low, with a glycemic load of only 13. Popular pinto beans have a score of 15, putting them in the same ballpark with lentils and other legumes. Try making a refreshing lentil salad as well. It's delicious with a few chopped vegetables and a splash of oil and vinegar.
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Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for sustained energy. For maximum energy, prepare oatmeal that is minimally processed, such as steel cut oats. Avoid packets of instant oatmeal that contain sugar, as the sugar will cause a "crash and burn" effect on your energy levels. Oatmeal is low in fat, making it an ideal food for people who are watching their weight.
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Nibble on an ounce of cheese for long-lasting energy. Choose a low-fat cheese to get the most bang for your buck. Feta cheese has 74 calories and six grams of fat, compared to cheddar's 113 calories and nine grams of fat. Other good low-fat cheeses are part-skim mozzarella, goat cheese, and that old standard, one or two per cent cottage cheese.