1 June 2014

Q&A and New Product News

Prof Jennie Brand-Miller answers your questions.  
What’s the GI of coconut flour?


We don’t have a GI value for coconut flour. As with regular flour, it’s just not reasonable to ask volunteers to eat a 50-gram portion of neat (indigestible, uncooked) flour. However, back in 2003, PhD candidate T.P. Trinidad GI tested a number of coconut flour supplemented bakery products including pancakes, pan de sal (a sweet bread roll), multigrain bread and carrot cake, and found that with increasing amounts of dietary fiber from coconut flour, the GI in the foods decreased. The results were published in the British Journal of Nutrition. When looking at the following data from this study, remember that the GL reflects the amount of available carbohydrate in the serving. The GI stays the same, whatever the serving size.

  • Multigrain bread (30-gram slice) containing coconut flour GI 60 (available carbohydrate per serving 12 grams; GL7)
  • Pancakes (80-gram serving) prepared with coconut flour GI 46 (available carbohydrate per serving 22 grams; GL 10).
  • Pan de sal (80-gram serving) containing coconut flour GI 61 (available carbohydrate per serving 36 grams; GL 22)
  • Carrot cake (60-gram serving) prepared with coconut flour GI 36 (available carbohydrate per serving 23 grams; GL 8) 
      GI News Product News
      Co Yo Coconut Milk Yoghurt Alternative 
      Anneka served her Rhubarb and Pear Coconut Crumble with a dollop of creamy Co Yo Coconut Milk Yoghurt Alternative, chosen to match the flavour of the coconut story we tell in this issue. As it’s not a product we have come across before, we went shopping. “Heaven in a mouthful” is what the label claims enticingly. So, what’s in “heaven in a mouthful”? No dairy, gluten, soy or added sugar. It is sweetened however, originally with xylitol (a sugar alcohol or polyol), but they seem to have dropped that for stevia according to the latest Australian label. And the label is rather coy about confessing that this product is high in fat and calories.
      • Ingredients: Organic coconut milk (98%), starch (tapioca, pectin), stevia, live vegan cultures including lactobacillus casei, L.rahamnosus, L.acidophillus, L.bulgaricus, Bif.bifidum, Bif.lactis, S.Thermophilus.
      • Nutrition analysis (per 100 grams, the recommended serving size): 691 kJ/ 165 calories; 1.5g protein; 16.6g fat (includes 12.9g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 3.5:1); 4.5g available carbs; 0g fibre.
      Reviewing this product on her Foodwatch website back in 2013, Catherine Saxelby makes the point that it’s better to think of coconut milk yoghurt alternative as an alternative to cream rather than an alternative to yoghurt. We absolutely agree. What’s great about yoghurt apart from the creamy taste and texture is the protein and the bone-boosting calcium it’s going to give you. Co Yo hasn’t got any calcium at all. You can read Catherine’s review HERE.

      Coconut sugar has a low GI value. 
      This traditional, partially refined Asian sugar made from freshly harvested sap from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) has a low GI value. Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS) recently tested one of the most popular and widely available brands of coconut sugar in Australia following the international standardised procedure for GI testing. Here are the results:
      • Glycemic index = 54 
      • Available carbohydrate per 5g serving (1 level teaspoon) = 4 grams
      • Glycemic load per 5g serving (1 level teaspoon) = 2 
      • Energy per 5g serving (1 level teaspoon) = 67kJ/ 16 calories