Rice – the lower GI ones
Rice can have a very high GI value, or a low one, depending on the variety and its amylose content. Amylose is a kind of starch that resists gelatinisation. The colour or the length of the grain is not a guide to the GI. Although both white and brown rice are 'whole' grain foods, when you cook them, millions of microscopic cracks in the grains let water penetrate right to the middle of the grain, allowing the starch granules to swell and become fully ‘gelatinised’, thus very easy to digest. So, if you are a big rice eater, opt for the lower GI varieties with a higher amylose content such as basmati, Doongara Clever Rice™ or Moolgiri (see GI Symbol News for more information). These high-amylose rices stay firm and separate when cooked and combine well with Indian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. But keep those portions moderate. Even when you choose a low GI rice, eating too much can have a marked effect on your blood glucose. Here’s our tip: a cup of cooked rice combined with plenty of mixed vegetables can turn into three cups of a rice-based meal that suits any adult’s daily diet.
Indian mango and rice salad
Cooking time 10 minutes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small Spanish onion, diced
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) mango chutney
½ cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) warm water
1 cup (80 g/2½ oz) frozen peas
3 cups (525 g/1 lb 2 oz) cooked basmati rice
55 g (2 oz) unsalted roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
1 large mango, peeled, seeded and cut into 4 cm dcubes
½ cup (a small handful) fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes. Add mustard seeds and fry for 1 minute. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder. Fry for 2 minutes then stir in the mano chutney and water. Bring to the boil and remove from heat.
- Meanwhile steam or microwave the peas until tender.
- In a large bowl, combine the peas, rice, cashew, mango and mint leaves. Pour over the dressing and toss well. Serve warm or cold. In the photograph the salad is served with baked chicken kofta and plain yoghurt.
Nutritional analysis per serving
Energy 1105 kJ/ 264 Cal; 7 g fat (includes saturated fat 1 g); 4 g fibre; 6 g protein; 42 g carbohydrate
Jean Carper talks about controlling dangerous blood glucose
Jean Carper, one of America’s most trusted sources of nutritional information, wrote about food, GI and blood glucose in a recent ‘EatSmart’ column in USA Weekend Magazine. If you missed her story, click HERE.