L ow-GI (glycaemic index) eating is not about starting a new diet. It’s about adjusting your eating habits – swapping one food choice for another. GI measures carbohydrate-rich foods according to their impact on blood glucose levels. Although low-GI eating is particularly beneficial for those with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or metabolic syndrome, it’s also a smart way of eating for everyone else. A low-GI diet helps reduce your insulin and cholesterol levels, helps you burn fat more easily, controls your appetite and minimises your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
|SWAP THESE||FOR THESE|
|High-GI Foods||GI||The Low-GI Alternative||GI|
|Bread: soft white, wholemeal and lighter multigrain. Scones, dampers, bagels||70+||Dense breads with wholegrains, linseed, stoneground flour and sourdough. Look for the low-GI label on products at your local supermarket||45-55|
|Cakes and pastries, croissants, pancakes, waffles||75-100||Light fruit yoghurt is a wiser option for those with a sweet tooth||15-30|
|Snacks – e.g., chips, crackers, cereal bars||70-95||Dried fruit, particularly apple and apricot, and nuts. Choose fresh grapes, raspberries, figs and even rhubarb, which have little to no carbohydrates||0-30|
|Potatoes||70-100||Portion control is vital, but sweet potatoes have a lower GI. Mix it up with sweetcorn||45-50|
|Rice, pasta and noodles||65-90||Some rice varieties have a lower GI. Try long-grain white, basmati, medium-grain brown. Better still, choose cracked wheat (bulgur), quinoa or buckwheat noodles||50-60|
|Spreads and sweeteners, sugar, honey, golden syrup||55-70||Yellow box honey has a lower GI. Use pure fructose and hazelnut spread||20-35|
|The quick-smart GI guide||High GI: 70 +||Medium GI: 56-69||Low GI: 55 and under|
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