Dr Alan Barclay
Make reducing the overall GI of your diet one of your New Year resolutions.
The easiest way to do this when shopping (in Australia and New Zealand) is to look for the GI Symbol. There are now approximately 150 different items carrying the GI Symbol in Australian and New Zealand supermarkets and grocery stores including breads; breakfast cereals; cracker biscuits; fresh and canned fruit, juice and fruit straps; dairy foods like milk, yoghurt and frozen dairy desserts; pasta, noodles and couscous; rice; snacks; and sweeteners.
7 tips for reducing the GI of your diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and those snacks in between.
- Replace those high GI crunchy breakfast flakes that spike your blood glucose and insulin levels with smart carbs like natural muesli or traditional (not instant) porridge oats or one of the lower GI processed breakfast cereals that will trickle fuel into your engine.
- Swap your bread. Choose a really grainy bread where you can actually see the grains, granary bread, stone-ground wholemeal bread, real sourdough bread, soy and linseed bread, pumpernickel, fruit loaf or bread made from chickpea or other legume based flours.
- Make your starchy staples the low (or lower) GI ones. Look for the lower GI rices like Basmati, Doongara Clever Rice or Moolgiri medium grain rice, serve your pasta al dente, choose less processed foods such as and intact grains such as barley, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, whole kernel rye, or whole wheat kernels and opt for lower GI starchy vegetables like lower GI potatoes (Nicola or Almera), parsnip, orange fleshed sweet potato, or butternut pumpkin.
- Learn to love legumes – home-cooked or canned. Add chickpeas to stir fries, red kidney beans to chilli, a 4-bean salad to that barbecue menu, and beans or lentils to a casserole or soup.
- Develop the art of combining. Combine high GI carbs with low GI tricklers to achieve a moderate overall GI. Lentils with rice, rice with beans and chilli, tabbouli tucked into pita bread, baked beans on toast or piled on a jacket-baked potato for classic comfort food.
- Tickle those tastebuds and slow stomach emptying – try vinaigrette (using vinegar or lemon juice) with salads, yoghurt with cereal, lemon juice on vegetables like asparagus, sourdough bread.
- Go low GI when snacking. Grab fresh fruit, dried fruit and nut mix, low fat milk and yoghurt (or soy alternatives), fruit bread etc.
What’s our New Year’s resolution? We aim to expand the range of foods carrying the GI Symbol throughout the world with a special focus on the European and North American markets. Significant investment in the development of new and innovative foods over the past couple of years will see the introduction of healthy low GI choices in a number of new categories in 2010.
For more information about the GI Symbol Program
Dr Alan W Barclay, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Glycemic Index Foundation (Ltd)
Phone: +61 (0)2 9785 1037
Mob: +61 (0)416 111 046
Fax: +61 (0)2 9785 1037