One food that unites many cultures across the world is bread. Traditionally made fresh every day, bread represents a carbohydrate-rich staple to fuel the brain and body. In keeping with this month’s focus on non-western foods, we take a look at the GI of some different varieties of bread and the cereal grains they are made from.
base cereal: corn, GI 55
A flat, round, unleavened patty originating from Columbia and Venezuela. They are made from pre-cooked ground cornmeal flour.
base cereal: wheat, GI 70
A ring-shaped, yeasted wheat dough that originated in Poland. The dough is boiled before baking to give a dense, chewy texture.
Chapatti / Roti
Base flour: chickpea GI 28
Base flour: millet GI 57 average
Base flour: barley GI 43 average
Base flour: wheat GI 60 average
Base flour: maize GI 63 average
An unleavened flatbread made from flour, salt and water. Most often made with wheat flour, the GI is lower if barley or gram flour is used. It is a staple throughout the Indian subcontinent, East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
base flour: wheat (spelt) + potato (pre-cooked and cooled), GI 63
A soft, Norwegian flatbread, made with boiled potatoes, flour and salt and cooked on a dry griddle.
Base flour: wheat GI 71
Dry-baked, leavened flatbread; dough may include yoghurt and ghee or oil
Base flour: wheat GI 53
Base flour: chickpea GI 40
A fried, unleavened flatbread, made flaky by layering the dough with oil or ghee. Typically made with wheat flour, it is native to the Indian subcontinent.
Base cereal: wheat flour, GI 65
A yeast-leavened, flat bread, typically made with white or whole wheat flour, originating in the Middle East.
Base cereal – white corn, GI 50
Base cereal: wheat, GI 55
Deep-fried bread stick, commonly eaten in China and other South east Asian cuisines.
- Foster-Powell and colleagues. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In Press. 2021
Kaye Foster-Powell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who has worked with people with diabetes for 30 years. She was co-author of the original series of international, best-selling books on the glycemic index. She conducts a specialized private practice for people with diabetes in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia.
Contact: Via her website.