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?
- Replace higher GI foods with lower GI foods
- 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