4 go-to picnic packs that won’t spike your glucose


Vitality has rustled up four deliciously different picnic packs that won’t spike your glucose this summer


Glucose, it seems, is a word getting used by everyone in health circles right now. At a time when personalised diet apps are reaching their crescendo and the impacts of glucose spikes on our health are hitting mainstream media.

Previously a health concern mostly for those with diabetes, those without the condition are starting to understand more how spikes in glucose after eating can influence our day-to-day health.

Some fluctuation in blood glucose is not only normal but necessary, however, consistent spikes in blood sugar and sharp falls can cause lethargy, hunger and mood swings in the short term.

More sinister problems can occur over time, with diabetes and heart disease, as well as other health problems, linked to consistent spikes in glucose levels.

The good news is that glucose levels are something that we can quite easily keep in check – it’s a matter of knowing the right foods.

So, with summertime – and the picnic season – upon us, we’ve put together a list of ideas for your next alfresco outing that won’t spike your glucose.

Blend your greens


Smoothies are a great option to take to a picnic. Not only are they convenient to make, but they are also a great way to get lots of vitamins and minerals in one sitting.

However, a common mistake that can cause sharp spikes in glucose occurs when only fruit (containing fructose) are blended together.

The fructose can trigger a spike in glucose and a sharp fall afterwards, making us feel tried.

To make a smoothie more balanced, try including just one or two fruits, paired with leafy greens and a nut butter for some healthy fat. This will ensure a slower release of energy.

Why not try this super green smoothie from Deliciously Ella: Ella's Favourite Green Smoothie | Deliciously Ella (UK).

Liven up your crudités

A hard and fast way to ensure that your glucose won’t spike – and to keep it low for the whole day – is to have vegetables at the start of your meal.

By doing this, it reduces the chances of a glucose spike happening in the meal that follows. One picnic pack that could probably do with a makeover is crudités. Also known as the vegetables used with dips.

Instead of the traditional cucumber and carrot ensemble (even though there’s nothing wrong with that), why not try some crunchy green beans or snap peas for your plate?

Chicory and small baby gem lettuce leaves are some of the other great salads that you can have as part of your crudité tray.

Perhaps try them with this seasonal dip with broad beans, which are just coming into season: Broad bean dip - Lazy Cat Kitchen

Snack on a Spanakopita


Every picnic should have a centrepiece and we think it should be this Spanakopita made by Vitality’s Performance Champion and nutritionist James Hudson.

A traditionally Greek dish, James’s recipe contains whisked eggs, spinach, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese, all wrapped in a filo pastry case – the lowest fat of the pastries.

Feta is a food that helps to prevent blood sugar spikes from occurring, while eggs have an incredibly low glycemic index score – the measurement of foods that spike glucose – making this dish an ideal candidate for a low glucose picnic pack.

Read the full recipe here or watch the video below.

The perfect sandwich

A picnic wouldn’t feel complete without a sandwich or two. But there are some tips and tricks to know that will stop your glucose levels from spiking.

First things first, the bread. White bread is a less healthy option as it contains refined flour, which is highly processed. It can contain added sugar too, which can spike your glucose.

The healthiest breads are those that are minimally processed and contain whole grain ingredients.

For the filling, Diabetes UK recommends leaner cold meat options, such as chicken or turkey (preferably cooked at home) instead of processed meats, such as ham.

Try these Chipotle Chicken rolls from Vitality partner Waitrose for the perfect picnic pack: Chipotle Chicken Rolls Recipe | Waitrose & Partners.

Related: Do you need a nutrition tracker?

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