Feedback—Your FAQs Answered

Why Is There No GI for Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries?
Janey Berry, a spokesman for Waitrose reports that the UK’s ‘craze’ for the GI diet has boosted sales of berries, porridge and bananas, as people seem to have reposed their faith in the new diet rather than Atkins. Waitrose UK recorded a 264 per cent rise in demand for blackberries, while sales of breakfast oats rose 80 per cent. 'The GI diet has definitely had an impact on sales of berries, but there has been a return to old-fashioned fruit we had when we were kids,' she said.

However, what you really need to know is that apart from strawberries (GI 40), most berries actually have so little carbohydrate it’s difficult to test their GI. Their low carbohydrate content means their glycemic load will be low, so you really can enjoy them by the bowlful. They are a good source of vitamin C and fibre and some berries also supply small amounts of folate and essential minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Eat them fresh, add them to fruit salads and frappés, use them in a delicious dessert, decorate cakes with them, or make them into jams, fruit spreads and sauces.

As for fresh strawberries, they are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate, fibre and protective anti-oxidants. Because the average serve has very little impact on blood glucose levels, people with diabetes can eat them freely. So reap the health benefits as you enjoy them by the bowlful, but hold the cream! A word of warning: don’t eat too many strawberries in a single day. They can have diuretic and laxative effects if you overdo it.

From Low GI Eating Made Easy. Available in Australia and New Zealand (Hachette Livre); UK: December 2005 (Hodder Mobius); USA: January 2006 (Marlowe & Company)

I Have Type 2 Diabetes. How Can I Feed a Big Family with Cost-effective, No-hassle Low GI Foods?
Feeding a big family on a budget can be hard. But low GI eating often means making a move back to the inexpensive, filling and healthy staple foods that our parents and grandparents enjoyed. This includes traditional oats for breakfast porridge, legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils (available in cans), cereal grains like barley, and of course plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, which naturally have a low GI. Some of these foods may take a little more time to prepare than high GI processed, packaged, and pricey ‘convenience’ foods piled high on supermarket shelves, but the savings will be considerable and the health benefits immeasurable. For a list of the top 100 low GI foods, check out Low GI Eating Made Easy. This book also includes plenty of ideas for using these foods in everyday meals. Or take the Diabetes Australia Healthy Shopping Tour ( Your diabetes dietitian or educator will also have plenty of ideas for low-cost, low GI meals that the whole family will enjoy.