Feedback—Your FAQs Answered

My 10-year-old daughter has recently been diagnosed with insulin resistance. We are already eating a low GI diet but I need some help with portion sizing and interesting meals that are kid-friendly. I am having great difficulty finding this information – can you give me some advice?
‘That’s a tough one,’ says dietitian Kaye Foster-Powell who helped us answer this. ‘Insulin resistance at age 10. It may be a good idea to consult a registered dietitian with special expertise in children’s needs as well as an understanding of the GI, in the meantime, here are some ideas.’

A typical day
Plus the following incorporated as part of these meals or as snacks:
Some typical main meals
[KAYE]
Kaye Foster-Powell

Why aren’t the GI values of all those vegetables we are urged to eat 5 serves a day of on the GI database?

The GI is a measure of carbohydrate quality and only applies to carb-rich foods. Most vegetables from artichokes to zucchini along with all your favourite greens and salad veggies contain so little carbohydrate they won’t have much effect on blood glucose levels at all, and their GI can’t be measured following the international standardised procedure. Root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips and squash such as butternut pumpkin/winter squash contain a little carbohydrate and have low GI values, so pop them on the plate when serving dinner.

What we say is, brighten your plate (at least half of it) with a variety of colourful vegetables. They are full of fibre and essential nutrients that fill you up without adding extra kilojoules/calories. Try leafy green and salad vegetables; green peas and beans; broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower; zucchini and baby squash; onions and leeks; fennel and asparagus; carrots, parsnips and pumpkin; and don’t forget mushrooms (yes we know that they are really fungi). Opt for flavour and enjoy vegetables fresh in season or frozen year round. If choosing canned convenience, make sure you buy brands with no added salt.

[VEGGIES]
Photo: Ian Hofstetter, from Zest by Catherine Saxelby and Jennene Plummer

Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potato, sweet corn, yams, taro and legumes, belong in the carb-rich foods (not the vegetables) part of the plate. You need to keep portions moderate (a quarter of the plate as the diagram shows) and choose the low GI types. These carb-rich foods are all in the GI database and listed in The New Glucose Revolution Shopper’s Guide to GI Values.

If you are unsure about how to use the GI database, just scroll down to the bottom of GI News and see the step-by-step guide.