GI Symbol News with Dr Alan Barclay

Dr Alan Barclay

Finding healthy low GI milks, yogurts and alternatives
In their ‘natural’ state, milks and yogurts are nutritious foods with a low GI. However, not everyone likes the au natural flavour of plain milks and yogurts, so food manufacturers add ingredients to appeal to a broader range of tastes and this can affect the GI and calorie count. Milk alternatives like soy, rice and oat milks don’t contain lactose and have different proteins and fats which is why their GI values range from low (soy milks) to high (rice milks). These plant-based milks are not naturally a good source of calcium, so look for calcium-fortified ones.

The key problem for us today with milk and milk alternatives is the amount and type of fats they contain. Mammal milk fat is predominantly saturated fat, so reduced or low fat versions are better choices for most of us (not kids under two). Milk alternatives can be a better choice from a cholesterol perspective because their fats are unsaturated. But choosing reduced fat versions is still going to be better for your waistline as unsaturated fats have the same number of calories as saturated fats.

Adding large quantities of sugar to flavoured milks and yogurts (and alternatives) of all kinds can increase their glycemic load and calories. So, products with no added sugar are going to be a better choice. The GI Foundation has developed the following guidelines for choosing healthy low GI milks, yogurts and alternatives:

Milk fluid and dried (as reconstituted) and dairy drinks
Examples: Dairy farmers Light White, Skim Milk and Just Natural Malt, Honey and Chocolate (99% fat free milk), Sustagen (vanilla and chocolate).

Skim milk

Soy and alternative beverages
Example: So Natural® Calci Forte.

So Natural® Calci Forte

Yogurt, or soy yogurt
Examples: Brownes Fresh 'n Fruity® Yogurt, Nestle All Natural 99% Fat Free Yogurt and Nestle Diet Yogurt.

Healthy low GI yoghurts

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For more information about the GI Symbol Program
Dr Alan W Barclay, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Glycemic Index Foundation (Ltd)
Phone: +61 (0)2 9785 1037
Mob: +61 (0)416 111 046
Fax: +61 (0)2 9785 1037