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  • lizard
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • February 28, 2011, 11:04:23 am
    • Korea
Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« on: June 20, 2011, 09:21:59 am »
I have to change my diet b/c of some health complications, and what I have been told to do is adopt a low glycemic diet. I'm new to understanding foods' glycemic index and was wondering if anyone knew what typical Korean foods have low GIs? I think Chamchi Jjigae does... And then I know I can eat things like Dhak Galbi and obviously no white rice. Any help would be appreciated.

Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 09:45:38 am »
sorry to hear about your health complications.  i think it should be easy to guesstimate the GI of korean foods.  you just have to think about what the dishes are made of. 

take for instance, soon dubu jjigae 순두부찌개 which is tofu soup.  it has tofu,shellfish, sometimes a little bit of vegetables, and spicy broth.  i'm pretty sure all of those ingredients have a low GI, so the dish should too.  i'm sure this will be easier once you get used to thinking about the GI of foods.

definitely you can get nuts from just about any grocery, those have a pretty low GI.

but really, you'll have to think twice about eating out.  most restaurants, not just in korea, load up on salt, sugar, and fat to cover up the fact that their ingredients have been sitting around for too long.  i'm sure you've experience the korean meal where everything is either covered in sugar syrup, chile powder, or both.  that can't be good for you.  i suggest you eat at home if you're really concerned about the GI of your foodssss

  • heyitslep
  • Super Waygook

    • 253

    • April 08, 2011, 04:51:52 pm
    • Near Cheongju
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 09:57:01 am »
I'm not posting the google search to be a jerk, but most of the sites simply feature mediocre lists that seem contain 80% of the GI foods. Check around and just be prepared to prepare the majority of your own food. Also, when at restaurants, pay close attention to what ingredients go into your dish. Many of the galbi style meals are prepared at your table so you can witness what you're exactly eating.

  • suigeneris
  • Adventurer

    • 50

    • April 11, 2011, 10:36:41 am
    • Uijeongbu, South Korea
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 12:53:53 pm »
You should start making your own dishes as the restaurant or school stuff will likely have too much salt.  If you need to be on a low GI diet (presumably because of a sugar/insulin or weight issue), the high sodium content of many regular Korean dishes will probably not help you.  You can make your own variations with less salt and you can find no sugar added, lower sodium kimchi in specialty stores. 

Low GI isn't so popular here, but Zone Diet, which is a reduced carb diet, is.   Google 존다이어트

To see sample meals....


  • Jrong
  • The Legend

    • 2381

    • April 28, 2011, 12:52:32 pm
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 01:04:12 pm »
If you're cooking at home, I suggest soy noodles. I eat them almost every day. They're healthy, low GI and high in protein. You can also buy wheat noodles (low GI). Sweet Potatoes are also an amazing low-GI carbohydrate with tons of vitamins and minerals. Oats are good too. Besides low-GI carbs, add a bunch of protein to your meals (eggs, tofu, etc.). You will feel fuller, retain more muscle, have a higher metabolism, and lose more weight...
"When in doubt...ask Troglodyte" ~0mnslnd

  • jayjayen
  • Waygookin

    • 23

    • February 06, 2011, 01:37:06 pm
    • Incheon
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 01:38:38 pm »
Also keep in mind your portion sizes as they will affect the GI/insulin response.

  • odie
  • Veteran

    • 99

    • December 20, 2010, 09:15:10 am
    • Seoul
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 01:51:27 pm »
I can't recommend sweet potatoes enough. I have low blood-sugar and those things keep me going with great energy! I boil them and cut them up and keep them in the fridge. When I feel a crash coming on I just eat a few and I'm ok until my next meal.

 I've also switched to brown rice and oats (in the morning) as well as quinoa and barley. What you can't find at Costco you can get at They've a pretty good selection and thankfully grains store nicely.

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.

  • jcm91186
  • Waygookin

    • 12

    • February 21, 2011, 10:09:19 pm
    • Busan, KR
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 01:52:01 pm »
Foods naturally high in fiber tend to be low-GI, but remember just because white rice is higher on the glycemic index than brown rice, doesn't necessarily make it inferior to brown rice when eat with other foods. For example, eating white rice with meat and veggies really won't spike your insulin as much as just eating white rice on it's own. Although brown rice offers more nutrition per gram, it's not something you should stress about. Just stay away from processed foods. Generally if you care about your health, you should avoid things that come in a wrapper. These tend to be loaded with refined carbs.  Whole foods ftw :D

I second adding more protein. Those white soy blocks are cheap here in Korea, and they will fill you up and keep you full for a while. Eggs are also pretty reasonable here. Healthy fats are also more satiating, keeping you going longer.

  • atomook
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • November 03, 2010, 08:37:33 am
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 02:15:44 pm »

Great website that gives you all the nutritional content of most foods.  If you are going to adhere to a truly low GI diet, you'll have to keep an eye out on a lot of korean foods.  닭갈비 is definitely out as there is a ton of sugar in the sauce, the noodles, the sweet potatoes, etc.  Koreans cook will a deceptively large quantity of sugar/corn syrup.  Best bet is, like others suggested, to start cooking for yourself.  Broccoli, chili peppers, garlic, chicken with your own marinade, will do a lot for you.  Good luck and take care of yourself~~~

  • lizard
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • February 28, 2011, 11:04:23 am
    • Korea
Re: Low Glycemic foods in Korea?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 10:05:49 am »
Thank you guys for all of the suggestions. Really appreciate it.