Dr Alan Barclay
Put your money where your mouth is
This is a popular challenge in a variety of situations, but I have rarely heard it in the context of what we actually do put in our mouths. As Dr David Katz points out in Food for Thought ‘We respect how money will affect the quality of our lives, but overlook it with regard to food’.
‘Healthy food costs more’ is a popular tabloid headline along with hard-luck stories such as ‘I can’t afford healthy food’. But healthy food does not cost more. Not if you make the most of the inexpensive, filling and healthy staples that our parents and grandparents enjoyed. This includes naturally low GI foods like traditional oats; legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils (dried or canned) and split peas (channa dal), grain foods like barley (pearl), burgul, pasta, noodles and low or lower GI rices; starchy veggies like carrots, potatoes (Carisma and other lower GI varieties), taro, yams, parsnips and sweet corn; fresh green and salad veggies and fruit in season; and dairy foods like milk and yogurt (or the calcium enriched soy alternatives). For frugal low GI food know how, check out websites like food cents and Money Saving Meals (which has recipes packed with low GI ingredients).
And cooking healthy food doesn’t have to take longer. Check out Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals. This man knows how to make the most of a can of beans or a packet of pasta to create meals that will have the family coming back for more and the kids eating their greens. Possibly.
We do appreciate that some healthy low GI foods such as bread can cost a little more than the high GI alternatives. This is because the quality of the ingredients usually needs to be higher in order for the product to have a low GI, and processing techniques may also be different. However, quality really counts when it comes to your daily bread because for many of us, it is the number one source of glycemic carbohydrate in our diet. This is partly because it is such a versatile product – we can eat it for breakfast, use it to make sandwiches for lunch, and serve it with dinner all of which makes choosing a lower GI bread one of the easiest ways of lowering the overall glycemic impact of our diet. I realise for families, it's tempting to take advantage of supermarket price wars that drive prices down on staples like bread, but the cheap white stuff on offer is going to drive those BGLs up, and is not a good long-term investment.
So, invest your hard-earned cash in your health and buy healthy, low GI food and a low GI bread (it will also keep you feeling fuller for longer). In Australia and New Zealand, it is easy to find low GI breads – simply look for those that carry the GI Symbol:
- Bürgen® Soy-Lin GI 52
- Bürgen® Pumpkin Seeds GI51
- Bürgen® Rye GI53
- Bürgen® Fruit & Muesli GI53
- Bürgen® Wholemeal Seeds GI39
- Bürgen® Wholegrain & Oats GI51
- Cripps 9 Grain Sandwich GI53
- Tip Top Original 9-grain GI53
- Tip Top 9 Grain Wholemeal GI53
- Tip Top 9 Grain Mini Loaf Original GI53
- Tip Top 9 Grain Pumpkin Seeds GI53
- Tip Top 9 Grain 9 Seed GI53
If you don't have the GI Symbol to guide you, look for quality breads like authentic sourdoughs, dense grainy breads and pumpernickel or rye bread.
The GI Symbol, making healthy low GI choices easy choices
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