Low GI Food of the Month

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Porridge Power
For a high-energy breakfast that sticks to your ribs, warms you up on a crisp day and keeps you firing till lunchtime, it’s hard to go past porridge made with traditional oats—a good source of soluble fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and zinc. The GI value for porridge has been tested on a number of occasions and the published values range from 42 (for rolled oats made with water) to 82 (for instant oats).


Traditional rolled oats are hulled, steamed and flattened, which makes them a wholegrain cereal. The additional flaking to produce quick cooking or ‘instant’ oats not only speeds up cooking time, it increases the rate of digestion and the GI. This is why traditional rolled oats are preferred over instant in the low GI diet.

Porridge gourmets advocate steel-cut oats—the wholegrains are simply chopped into chunks. These oats may be hard to find but worth the hunt if you like a chewier porridge—and it has a low GI (51).

Follow the instructions on the packet (or use your favourite recipe) to make porridge. A fairly standard rule is one part rolled oats to four parts water. Cooking oats in milk (preferably low fat or skim) not only produces a creamy dish but supplies you with calcium and reduces the overall GI. Don’t skimp on finishing touches for perfect porridge. Choose toppings such as:

  • chopped fresh fruit or mixed berries
  • unsweetened canned plums or peaches in natural juice
  • a tablespoon or two of dried fruit such as chopped apricots

Source Low GI Eating Made Easy