GI Update

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Prof Jennie Brand-Miller answers your questions

Prof Jennie Brand-Miller

I’m an avid cook, and I love December’s festive fare from the shaped special biscuits to Christmas cake and pudding and mince pies. Which flours, if any, are low GI?
To date there are no GI values for any raw flours of any kind – whether milled from wheat, soy, rice or other grains. This is because the GI rating of a food must be determined physiologically (in real people). So far we haven’t had volunteers willing to consume 50-gram portions of raw flour! What we do know, however, is that many bakery products such as scones, cakes, pikelets and crumpets made from fine flours, whether white or wholemeal, are quickly digested and absorbed. However, some products also made with fine flours, such as biscuits, are often low GI. Here at SUGiRS, we have even tested a low GI Christmas cake and low GI rum balls! So, the final GI of products made with flour is unpredictable.

Low GI rum balls

With your own baking, what I suggest is that you try to increase the soluble fibre content by partially replacing flour with oat bran, psyllium or rolled oats. Of course for Christmas cake and pudding, you can also help lower the overall GI by adding lots of dried fruit. And if you like in Australia, make sure you use LogiCane, the low GI sugar. And keep those portions moderate as it’s really the calories that are the problem with these treat foods!

GI testing by an accredited laboratory North America
Dr Alexandra Jenkins
Glycemic Index Laboratories
20 Victoria Street, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5C 298 Canada
Phone +1 416 861 0506

Fiona Atkinson
Research Manager, Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS)
Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences
Sydney University
NSW 2006 Australia
Phone + 61 2 9351 6018
Fax: + 61 2 9351 6022

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