Thursday, August 30, 2012

The low down on low GI

What is the GI?

All carbohydrate foods break down into glucose in the body. The GI, or glycaemic index, is a measure of how quickly or slowly a carbohydrate food breaks down into glucose in the body. Foods with a high GI (70 or more) are rapidly digested and absorbed into the blood stream, producing large rises in blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI (55 or less) are slowly digested and absorbed, producing steady rises in blood sugar levels over a longer period.

What's all the fuss about low GI?

  • Improves blood sugar levels in people with diabetes
  • Helps control appetite and delay hunger
  • Reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity
  • Reduces insulin levels and insulin resistance (by reducing insulin you make fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored)
  • Reduces risk of high blood sugar levels in you and your baby during pregnancy

How do I lower the GI of my diet?

  1. Replace higher GI foods with lower GI foods
  2. Look for foods with the GI symbol when selecting carbohydrate foods

Examples of low GI foods

  • Breakfast - wholegrain bread, fruit bread, rolled oats, Guardian or Sustain cereal or low fat yoghurt
  • Lunch - wholegrain bread, chickpeas, 3-bean mix or pasta
  • Dinner - sweet potato, corn on the cob, wholegrain bread roll or Carisma potatoes
  • Snacks - fruit, low fat yoghurt, Vita Weats, Ryvitas, Belvita biscuits

Foods which carry the low GI symbol

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