Feedback—Your FAQs Answered

I'm a very keen cook. Here's one burning question for me: what about flour? If I make my own bread (or dumplings, pancakes, muffins etc) which flours, if any, are low GI? There's some implication in the book that chickpea flour (baisen) is low GI. How about soy flour? Wholemeal flour probably isn't any better than white, judging by the results on commercial breads ...

To date there are no GI ratings for refined flour whether it’s made from wheat, soy or other grains. This is because The GI rating of a food must be tested physiologically that is in real people. So far we haven’t had volunteers willing to tuck into 50 gram portions of flour on three occasions! What we do know, however, is that bakery products such as scones, cakes, biscuits, donuts and pastries made from highly refined flour whether it’s white or wholemeal are quickly digested and absorbed.

What should you do with your own baking? Try to increase the soluble fibre content by partially substituting flour with oat bran, rice bran or rolled oats and increase the bulkiness of the product with dried fruit, nuts, muesli, All-Bran or unprocessed bran. Don’t think of it as a challenge. It’s an opportunity for some creative cooking. Here’s how we reduced the overall GI of our baking in The Low GI Diet Cookbook.

Photo: Ian Hofstetter, The Low GI Cookbook, Buckwheat Pancakes

And remember, you don’t have to avoid all high GI foods. While you will benefit from eating low GI carbs at each meal, this doesn't have to be at the exclusion of all others.’ So enjoy baking your own bread or occasional treats. And if you combine high GI bakery products with protein foods and low GI carbs such as fruit or legumes, the overall GI value will be medium.