Five low GI dishes to try in Abu Dhabi that'll leave you feeling full for longer
Where to go in the national’s capital for food that will stop you snacking (and might help you lose weight as a result)
Do you find it hard to resist an afternoon snack at work? Do you suffer from a 3pm sugar crash? Are you raiding the fridge too often before bed? Then it could be time to look at your diet and try some low GI dishes. Eating food falling on the low range of the glycemic index (GI) can help keep blood sugar levels steady, keep you feeling full for longer, help with weight loss and even reduce cholesterol levels. It’s a popular diet with diabetics but you don’t have to be on insulin to reap the benefits of low GI grub.
The glycemic index (GI) diet measures foods on a scale of 0 to 100 based on the degree to which they increase blood sugar levels in the body, says UAE-based health coach Heidi Jones. “Based on this rating, every food is categorised as a low, medium, or high-GI food. The lower the GI level of the food, the slower the food is digested and absorbed. The higher the GI level, the faster the food is digested and absorbed. Low GI foods have less of an effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, which will lead to a longer feeling of fullness and reduced cravings as well as an increase in energy and stabilised moods. This is said to help reduce the possibility of overeating.”
And the even better news is there are plenty of places in the capital serving low GI dishes that are far from boring. Here’s our top five picks.
Grilled lobster with yellow chilli sauce
Seafood is a great low GI option. Case in point is this moreish grilled lobster in yellow chilli sauce served at Sho Cho. It’s paired with steamed brown rice.
GI rating: 48.5
Souk At Qaryat Al Beri, B ain Al Jessrain , Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 3am. Tel: (02) 5581117. Taxi: Souk At Qaryat Al Beri. sho-cho.com
Latino hotspot Bu! serves a fresh and tangy fresca salad made of pear, apple, tangerine, hazelnuts, hibiscus and mixed greens. Best of all, it also includes almonds – which have a very, very low score on the scale – and are said to help lower your overall GI rating when eaten with other foods.
GI rating: 45
World Trade Center Mall, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed noon to 2am, Thur and Fri noon to 3am. Tel: (02) 6668066. Taxi: World Trade Center Mall. butrinity.com
Adding more protein to this Levantine salad, Café Bateel’s tabbouleh with a twist is served with quinoa rather than bulgur wheat. But all the rest of the usual suspects are still there including mint leaves, pomegranate, onions, cucumber, parsley and tomatoes, so the taste is comparable.
GI rating: 53
The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6712284. Taxi: Galleria Mall, Al Maryah. bateel.com
The salmon at Italian restaurant Buca di Beppo comes in a lemon butter sauce topped with tomatoes and capers.
GI rating: 41
Yas Mall, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6656247. Taxi: Yas Mall, right in front of Ferrari World. bucadibeppo.ae
Trendy Mexican outlet Loca serves a soup that is a good option for those looking to start their meal off right. The chicken soup features a red chilli broth with hominy (which is basically dried maize kernels) and fresh avocado.
GI rating: 35
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (02) 5823639. Taxi: The Galleria. locauae.com