The Low (GI) Down….
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating of the quality of carbohydrate containing foods, based on the effect they have on our blood sugar levels over time. It is a ranking of foods from 0 to 100, indicating how quickly and how high a carbohydrate food will raise blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (below 55) are more slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and flatter rise in blood glucose levels. Low GI carbohydrate containing foods include traditional rolled oats, natural muesli, some wholegrain cereals, dense wholegrain breads, lentils and legumes, grains, sweet potato, milk, yoghurt, pasta, basmati and doongara rice, and most types of fresh fruit.
Those carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion, have a higher GI (above 70). These high GI carbohydrates release their glucose into the blood quickly, raising blood sugar levels more dramatically. High GI carbohydrate containing foods include white potatoes, white bread, short grain rice, refined breakfast cereals, lollies and water crackers.
Low GI foods should be incorporated into the diet of everyone in the family, as there are several health benefits from adopting this way of eating. These health benefits include but are not limited to:
- Providing sustained energy
- Keeping you feeling fuller for longer
- Prevention or management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes
- A reduction in large increases in blood sugar levels
- Assistance with weight management
Five easy tips to lower the GI of your diet:
- Start your day off right: include a breakfast based on oats, barley or bran. Natural muesli and porridge are great options.
- Become a fruit fanatic: with most fruits a low GI choice, why not add some delicious fresh fruit to your morning muesli or green juice, or take it as a snack to work or school to have between meals.
- Add a dash of dairy: include some naturally low GI dairy products into your day. Include low fat milk or yoghurt to your porridge or morning smoothie, providing an additional calcium and protein hit – delicious and nutritious.
- Go for grains: try to add a low GI wholegrain into each of your meals throughout the day, such as barley, bulgar, semolina or wholegrain bread. Rolled oats at breakfast is a good place to start!
- Veg, veg, veg (did we mention veg?): aim to increase your vegetable intake and variety every day. The more coloured vegetables on your plate, the more variety of nutrients you are getting. Try juicing your vegetables, adding vegetables and salads as sides to all main meals and snacking on vegetable sticks.
How Carman’s can be a part of your Low GI diet:
Here at Carman’s, we have a range of low GI products that are filled with wholegrains, dietary fibre (predominantly soluble fibre) and nuts and seeds, which are all low in saturated fat and can be incorporated into a healthy diet to assist in maintaining blood glucose levels and providing a range of other health benefits.