1 November 2005

Low GI Food of the Month

Porridge Power
For a high-energy breakfast that sticks to your ribs, warms you up on a crisp day and keeps you firing till lunchtime, it’s hard to go past porridge made with traditional oats—a good source of soluble fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and zinc. The GI value for porridge has been tested on a number of occasions and the published values range from 42 (for rolled oats made with water) to 82 (for instant oats).


Traditional rolled oats are hulled, steamed and flattened, which makes them a wholegrain cereal. The additional flaking to produce quick cooking or ‘instant’ oats not only speeds up cooking time, it increases the rate of digestion and the GI. This is why traditional rolled oats are preferred over instant in the low GI diet.

Porridge gourmets advocate steel-cut oats—the wholegrains are simply chopped into chunks. These oats may be hard to find but worth the hunt if you like a chewier porridge—and it has a low GI (51).

Follow the instructions on the packet (or use your favourite recipe) to make porridge. A fairly standard rule is one part rolled oats to four parts water. Cooking oats in milk (preferably low fat or skim) not only produces a creamy dish but supplies you with calcium and reduces the overall GI. Don’t skimp on finishing touches for perfect porridge. Choose toppings such as:

  • chopped fresh fruit or mixed berries
  • unsweetened canned plums or peaches in natural juice
  • a tablespoon or two of dried fruit such as chopped apricots

Source Low GI Eating Made Easy


Anonymous said...

In addition to dried apricots a
small amount of toasted almond flakes sprinkled over your porridge
makes it even tastier.

Anonymous said...

I like to add 1/3 cup of fresh frozen pomegranate arils to my oatmeal! I freeze the arils to extend the season.

hermin said...

1. just wondering if livers and lean meats (derived from muscle) are on the GI & GL lists? as far as i know, liver produces and stores glycogen, a polysaccharide which would be digested into glucose (and thus would increase blood glucose levels when absorbed).

2. i don't think that GI & GL lists would help in choosing healthy "non-tooth-decaying sweets", of which "sugar alcohols" (mostly xylitol and sorbitol) are the main constituents. they are metabolised slowly (by the means of gluconeogenesis) so they release glucose slowly, therefore little (if any) surge of glucose levels would occur & this would reveal a low GI score. HOWEVER, they do produce calories (at least after oxidised/converted into glucose) and, consequently, are likely to be obesogenic if taken in a considerably high amount. So in this case, a low GI doesn't tell whether something is better for people wanting to watch their weight.

gi group said...

The glycemic index is a measure of carbohydrate quality, that’s why there’s no point wondering about the GI of liver or lean meat--or of fish, chicken, eggs or cheese for that matter. These are all protein foods. But they are all part of a healthy balanced diet. Lean red meat, for example, is the best source of iron (the nutrient used for carrying oxygen in our blood) you can get. In The Low GI Diet, Brand-Miller et al suggest eating lean meat two or three times a week, and accompanying it with a salad or vegetables. One hundred grams of lean edible meat as part of a balanced diet will meet the daily nutrient needs of an adult, but larger amounts can also be part of a healthy diet. A couple of eggs or 120 grams of skinless chicken provide options for variety once or twice a week.

hermin said...

thanks for the fast reply - after searching for nutrient contents of those foods, i realised that their carbohydrate contents are not so significant. regarding the "sugar alcohol" issue, do you think it's a good idea to urge the authorities to apply a tighter control on their claims? (they might claim that they are safe even if consumed in large quantities, simply because they do not induce dental caries).

GI Group said...

Polyols are reduced in calories, have a reduced impact on blood glucose levels compared to sugars, and do not promote dental caries. The second point is full of errors.

Anonymous said...

i cant find the list ofglycemic foods where is it under???
thanks for the information.
Roma Mccormick