Article 6


Most of us have heard about the glycaemic index and we probably decided to choose foods that have low glycaemic index label attached.


That is not all; here are important factors you probably should consider.  

ü  Intact grains such as whole wheat, barley, whole corn and whole rye have much lower GI values than flours (tiny particles) made from the same grains.

ü  Milling, beating, grinding, mixing, mashing and refining foods raise the GI of that food.

ü  Foods containing soluble fibre, such as oats and legumes, have a lowering effect on the GI because they delay gastric (stomach) emptying.

ü  Phytates, lectins and polyphenols (tannins) normally slow digestion and thereby decrease the GI. These are found in vegetables, fruits, legumes and tea.

ü  Acidity will lower the GI of a meal. Add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to meals as a dressing. For example, beetroot salad with a vinegar dressing will have a lower GI than hot cooked beetroot without the dressing.

ü  Cold cooked starches, (e.g. boiled, cold potatoes in a potato salad, cooked cold maize porridge) have a lower GI than the hot freshly prepared starches.

ü  Cooking food raises the glycaemic index, thus include raw uncooked vegetables in your meals.

ü  The glycaemic index of a meal is determined by all food items combined. A low GI food items can lower the glycaemic index of another food, e.g.  The addition of milk to weetbix can lower its glycaemic index.

ü  Fibre, particularly soluble fibre can lower GI. Add psyllium husks or oatswell product or any fibre supplement to breakfast cereal; add vegetables salad to a sandwich or add lentils to soup.

ü  Always look for the amount of fibre in all processed carbohydrate rich products. Choose products with more than 5g of fibre per serving.