Low GI (Glycaemic Index) Foods

Understanding low GI foods will assist your health, fitness and weight loss

Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy but some types are better for you than others. Glycaemic index (GI) measures food types according to how quickly they raise blood sugar levels in the blood. Carbohydrate-containing foods with a low GI are less likely to put a strain on your pancreas, reducing your risk of diabetes. Another benefit of low GI foods is that they are digested more slowly and this can provide a sated feeling that can curb your appetite.

However, while GI can be a useful guide in planning a diet and controlling blood sugar levels, you also need to consider serving size and nutritional quality of the food.

For example, whole milk has a relatively low GI value of 31 but is high in fat and would therefore be a poor choice for weight loss. The key is to replace as many high GI foods in your diet with healthy low GI options.

The Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel, provides these tips for healthy eating:

  • Use a breakfast cereal based on oats, barley or bran.
  • Use grainy breads or breads with soy.
  • Enjoy a range of fruit and vegetables.
  • Eat plenty of salad vegetables with vinaigrette dressing.
  • Eat a variety of carbohydrate-containing foods. If the main sources of carbohydrates in your diet are bread and potatoes, then try lentils, legumes, pasta, basmati rice and pita breads.

For more information about carbohydrates and GI, visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au