1 September 2018

GI News - September 2018

GI News

GI News is published online every month by the University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Charles Perkins Centre, and delivered to the mailboxes of our 97,000 subscribers. Our goal is to help people choose the high-quality carbs that are digested at a rate that our bodies can comfortably accommodate and to share the latest scientific findings on food and diet with a particular focus on carbohydrates, dietary fibres, blood glucose and the glycemic index.

Publisher:
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, AM, PhD, FAIFST, FNSA
Editor: Philippa Sandall
Scientific Editor/Managing Editor: Alan Barclay, PhD, APD AN
Contact GI News: glycemic.index@gmail.com

Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service
Manager: Fiona Atkinson, PhD, APD AN
Contact: sugirs.manager@sydney.edu.au

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

INTRODUCING NEW FOODS TO BABIES: WHEN AND WHAT
Recently, the Trump administration angered health experts around the world with its attempt to weaken a UN resolution encouraging breastfeeding. The US bid to promote the use of formula was unsuccessful and has prompted discussions about the importance of exclusively breastfeeding (if possible) for the baby’s first six months of life, before other foods are introduced. In this edited version of their article in The Conversation, Clare Collins and Jenna Hollis look at current recommendations on introducing new foods to babies.

“Guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. But our 2017 study of new mothers in Australia found many were unsure what exclusive breastfeeding meant. The World Health Organisation defines exclusive breastfeeding as feeding only breastmilk and no other foods or drinks, not even water. The definition does allow inclusion of oral rehydration solutions, or drops or syrups for vitamins, minerals, and medicines prescribed by a doctor. Preterm or underweight babies may need extra nutritious fluids, which are administered in consultation between parents and paediatricians.

Some mothers may not be able to breastfeed. Others may choose to move on from breastfeeding. If a baby isn’t breastfed, or is partially breastfed, commercial infant formula should be the only other food given until six months. Breast (or infant formula) feeding is recommended alongside other foods until the baby is 12 months and, for breastfeeding, for as long as the mother and her infant want to keep it going.

Introducing other foods Parents can start introducing other foods from around six months of age. At this age, the baby’s iron stores obtained from their mother will have started to deplete. Pureed meat or legumes and iron-fortified rice cereal, are good sources of iron and are recommended first foods. Next, parents can introduce a variety of vegetables, fruit, and other foods. New foods should be added one at a time. Gradually increase the texture from pureed initially at six months, then to lumpy, and to family food textures at 12 months of age. Take care to still avoid hard foods that don’t break up easily to prevent choking, such as nuts and small, hard pieces of vegetables and fruit.

Infant feeding

Cow’s milk products can be introduced, including full-fat yoghurt and cheese, but cow’s milk shouldn’t be given as the main drink until after 12 months (this is because it contains too much protein and salts). Boiled then cooled tap water can be given from six months and tap water should continue to be boiled first and cooled before given to baby until 12 months.

By 12 months, babies can be offered a variety of nutritious foods that are enjoyed by the rest of the family, except for choking hazards such as nuts.

Why does timing matter? Breastfeeding has many benefits for the mother and baby. It protects babies against infection, obesity, and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes later in life. Breastmilk has all the energy and nutrients babies need in the first months of life. Even when exclusive breastfeeding doesn’t work out as planned, every extra day a baby receives any breastmilk is beneficial. Breastmilk contains antibodies and helps to mature the infant’s gut.

At six months, babies also need semi-solid foods to help meet their energy needs for growth and development, and specific nutrient requirements. Iron deficiency anaemia is common in infants, mainly due to a low intake of iron-rich foods after six months of age. By six months, babies usually show signs they’re ready for food. These include sitting up, controlling their head, eyeing your food when you eat, and reaching out for food. In the 2016 study of mothers and their children we published, we found babies introduced to semi-solid foods at six months were less likely to experience feeding difficulties than babies who were given them between four and six months of age.”

Nutrition tips for baby’s first year

  • Seek advice on breastfeeding when you need it. 
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. 
  • Focus on developing healthy eating habits as a family. 
Read more about breastfeeding in The Conversation: 

WHAT’S NEW?

YOUR BABY’S THYROID GLAND PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE IN BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
Adequate concentrations of maternal and neonatal thyroid hormones are essential for fetal neural development and play a key part in regulating fetal growth, brain development, and metabolism. Fetal thyroid function begins at 12–14 weeks gestation; however, maternal transfer of thyroid hormones continues until full-term and has a protective role in fetal neurodevelopment until the first few days of life.

Thyroid
The thyroid gland

Thyroid hormone concentrations in newborn babies are affected by neonatal, maternal, and pregnancy-related factors, including maternal thyroid function and iodine status. Congenital hypothyroidism is defined as inadequate thyroid function in newborn infants and is one of the most readily preventable causes of intellectual disability in children.

A world-first University of Sydney study in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology reveals Australian babies born with moderately high concentrations of a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) have a higher risk of poor educational and development outcomes at school age. It suggests that the mother is not consuming enough iodine. This is the first population-based study demonstrating the association between moderately high TSH in infants and their later school age neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Congenital hypothyroidism refers to abnormal thyroid function in newborn infants. Globally, about one in 2000 children are born with congenital hypothyroidism each year and the incidence of subclinical thyroid disease is at least ten times higher than overt thyroid disease. If untreated for several months after birth, severe congenital hypothyroidism can lead to growth failure and permanent intellectual disability.

Screening for congenital hypothyroidism in the first days of life, done usually by testing concentrations of neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone in baby's blood, provides an opportunity to identify infants with abnormal thyroid hormone concentrations. In developed countries, newborn screening of TSH levels and early treatment for congenital hypothyroidism has nearly eliminated intellectual disabilities associated with congenital hypothyroidism. Currently, only newborns with TSH concentrations at the 99.95th percentile of the population range, are diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism and treated with the hormone thyroxine. At this percentile, blood concentration of TSH usually exceeds 20 mU per litre of whole blood.

The researchers found that infants with a neonatal TSH concentration just lower than the cut-off (20 mU/L blood, a near miss) have an increased likelihood of poor neurodevelopmental outcomes at school age. Said another way, the study reveals a gradual increasing risk of poor educational and development outcomes for newborns with increasing TSH concentrations from the 75th to the 99.95th percentile.

“The results showed a clear dose-response association between neonatal thyroid stimulating hormone and risk of scoring below the national minimum standard for numeracy and reading,” said the University of Sydney’s A/Professor Natasha Nassar, the study’s senior author.

“This study can't prove a cause and effect relationship between thyroid stimulating hormone levels in newborns and educational and development outcomes in school age children, but it suggests an urgent need for prospective studies examining different thyroid hormone thresholds for intervening with thyroxine,” said Dr Bridget Wilcken, Clinical Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. “Given that thyroxine is a relatively safe medication when indicated and properly monitored, this simple intervention may prevent significant learning and developmental problems in a small group of affected children.”

Read more 

ALL ABOUT IODINE 
Iodine is a naturally occurring mineral that is needed by the thyroid gland in order to synthesize thyroxine, an important hormone that regulates metabolism. In babies and young children, thyroid hormones play a key role in physical and mental development. A deficiency of iodine can lead to learning difficulties and affect physical development and hearing. The recommended dietary intake a day for iodine is 150 micrograms for most adults, but this increases to 220 micrograms during pregnancy and 270 micrograms while breast-feeding, as your baby will take the iodine it needs from you.

Iodine  
The mineral iodine

Iodine deficiency
Because Australian and New Zealand soils are low in iodine, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommend that all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy, take an iodine supplement. However, it’s best to speak with your doctor before taking a supplement, especially if you have a pre-existing thyroid condition.

Though iodine deficiency is not typically a problem in the United States, as most table salt is enriched with iodine, the American Thyroid Association recommends that all women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or considering pregnancy take an iodine supplement of 150 micrograms each day. Kelp and seaweed supplements are not recommended as they contain varying amounts of iodine and can even cause toxicity (too much iodine). Again, speak with your doctor first.

The best source of iodine in our diet is seafood. We also get iodine from other foods including milk and vegetables, but the amount varies depending on how these foods are grown and processed. In Australia and New Zealand, all salt used for making bread (apart from organic breads) must now be iodised, so bread has become a source of iodine. 
BABY FORMULA CAN CHANGE GUT BACTERIA 
A study of more than 1000 Canadian mothers and their infants in Journal of Pediatrics found exclusive breastfeeding in the first three months of life provided more protection against an infant becoming overweight at one year of age than either partial breastfeeding or formula feeding. This association is partially explained by the influence breastfeeding has on an infant’s gut microbiome say the researchers. “Breastfeeding is one of the most influential factors in shaping the infant gut microbiome,” says Dr. Meghan Azad.

“Our research showed that partial breastfeeding and exclusive formula feeding were associated with a higher microbial diversity at three months of age, meaning more types of microbes were present in the baby’s gut, as well as an abundance of a group of bacteria called Lachnospiracae, which has been associated with infant overweight,” explains Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj. “We also distinguished between partial breastfeeding mixed with formula versus partial breastfeeding mixed with foods,” adds Dr. Jessica Forbes. “We found that breastfed infants supplemented with formula were at increased risk for becoming overweight at one year of age, and had a different microbiota composition than exclusively breastfed infants; whereas breastfed infants supplemented with complementary foods only (no formula) were similar to exclusively breastfed infants with no increased risk.”

 “These results emphasize the importance of breastfeeding as a possible protective factor against infant overweight by modifying the gut microbiome,” says Azad. “They suggest that improved programs and policies to support exclusive breastfeeding could have a meaningful impact on infant health.”

Read more 
MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST FOR BABY’S FIRST FOOD 
Mother’s milk provides the perfect mix of nutrients – carbs, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals – for babies to grow and thrive for the first six months of life. Mother Nature made it sweet so it is very appealing to babies. The sweetness comes from a special sugar called lactose only found in milk. Our human milk has one of the highest concentrations of lactose of any mammal coming in at some 7 grams of lactose per 100 millilitres (3½ fluid ounces) which in household measures is little over ⅓ cup. It is about 1½ times that of cow’s milk. Why so much? One reason is probably to satisfy our fast-growing, energy-hungry, glucose-demanding brain. Scans show that a baby’s brain reaches more than half adult size in the first 90 days of baby’s life.

Breast feeding

Mother’s milk also contains special carbs called oligosaccharides (think of them as prebiotics, foods that friendly bacteria in the large intestine chomp on to thrive).

Human breast milk analysis
Source: The Good Carbs Cookbook

MATERNAL NUTRITION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE EVER IMAGINED
The man who transformed our thinking about the causes of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer was Sir David Barker (physician, biologist and epidemiologist). Caroline Fall and Clive Osmond remind us that Barker’s: “‘fetal programming hypothesis’ challenged the idea that these diseases are explained by bad genes and unhealthy adult lifestyles. Instead, he proposed, their roots lie in the early life environment: ‘The nourishment a baby receives from its mother, and its exposure to infection after birth, determine its susceptibility to chronic disease in later life’. By permanently ‘programming’ the body’s metabolism and growth, they determine the pathologies of old age. His now widely accepted ideas stimulated research into the developmental origins of health and disease. To pull back the modern epidemics of chronic disease we should prioritise the health and nutrition of girls, pregnant women and infants.” And he said this over 20 years ago.

“Maternal nutrition is more important than we ever imagined,” says Prof Jennie Brand-Miller. “Life inside the womb is a critical period for metabolic programming that influences a baby’s cell types, cell numbers, body composition, hormonal feedback, metabolic activity, and appetite. Our food supply and dietary recommendations should be based first and foremost on the needs of pregnant women,” she says. “If we cover them, we automatically cover everyone else. They should not be seen as the exception to the rule (and simply recommended nutritional supplements). We now also know that different patterns of growth have long-term effects on the risk of specific diseases. If growth is restricted, there is a higher risk of abdominal obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes as an adult. Over-nutrition, seen for example in maternal diabetes and obesity, is also linked to increased risk of obesity in adult life. The positive news is that we know that interventions in pregnancy are probably more effective than later interventions. So, we have to give Mum and her unborn baby much greater focus.”

Read more 
PLANNED PARENTHOOD TIPS FOR MUM AND DAD 
Improving your own health before conception and providing a healthy environment for your unborn child can go a long way towards ensuring they have the best possible start in life. Here are eight tips from The Low GI Plan for Optimal Pregnancy for improving your health three to six months before conception.
  1. Organise your pre-pregnancy health checks with your doctor. 
  2. Review your medications (including non-prescription medications and supplements) with your doctor. Optimal intakes of iron, folate and iodine is critical. 
  3. If you smoke, do your best to stop. 
  4. Avoid alcohol and perhaps coffee (and other highly caffeinated beverages). 
  5. Ensure your eating habits are healthy. 
  6. Be physically active. 
  7. If you are overweight, improve your diet and activity to achieve gradual weight loss. 
  8. Take folate and iodine supplements 
Read more: 
HEALTHY EAT OUT/TAKE OUT – MEXICAN 
Mexican restaurants are popping up all over. They are ideal for low GI choices because they make great use of beans and corn. They also have small portions such as tacos if you just want a light meal. There are usually plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian choices. Menus often include detailed descriptions of dishes so you know exactly what you are getting (and you can always ask). Good options include:
  • Tacos, burritos and quesadillas with mushrooms or vegetables, fish, seafood, pulled pork, beef, and chicken 
  • Salads and salsas of all kinds 
  • Chargrilled corn 
  • Ceviche bowls with tuna, salmon or kingfish 
  • Share plates with grilled octopus, guacamole, corn tamales.
Burrito

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

IODINE AND THE THYROID GLAND 
Iodine was one of the first trace-minerals to be identified as an essential nutrient. Nearly 5000 years ago, Chinese physicians treated goitre (enlarged thyroid gland in the neck) by feeding seaweed, seafood extracts and burnt sponge – we now know that these are all rich sources of iodine. In 1811, iodine was identified in seaweed in France, and 8 years later a Swiss physician named Dr Coindet used a burnt sponge and seaweed extract for the treatment of goitre, and reasoned that iodine could be the active ingredient in seaweed. In 1819, he tested tincture of iodine at 250 mg/day, in 150 goitre patients with great success. In the 1920s, iodine was shown to be an integral part of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) and in 1952 triiodothyronine (T3).

Blank Woman with goitre Blank

Very low levels of iodine intake (less than 50µg/day) cause goitre, which presents as an enlarged thyroid gland. Other symptoms include dry skin, fatigue and hair loss.


The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are required for the normal growth and development of essential organs including the brain and nervous system and have a broader role in the maturation of the body as a whole. They are important for energy production and oxygen consumption in all of our cells, helping to maintain the body’s metabolic rate. A typical adult body contains approximately 15–20mg of Iodine, of which 70–80% is in the thyroid gland (a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck) – which concentrates iodine. The rest is in our blood.

Iodine deficiency results in a range of conditions collectively termed iodine deficiency disorders. In severe deficiency, these have major effects on the developing foetus, such as abortion or stillbirth, congenital abnormalities, increased infant mortality, cretinism or mental deficiency with deaf mutism, spastic diplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), and even a form of dwarfism. In newborns, childhood or adulthood, iodine deficiency can lead to goitre or hypothyroidism as well as impaired mental and physical development. Paradoxically, excessive intakes of Iodine can also lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland.

The iodine content of most foods is low and is affected by the soil, irrigation and fertilisers used. Losses can also occur in cooking (e.g., boiling). Best sources include:
  • Seafoods – fish (e.g. canned salmon), shellfish (e.g. oysters), and seaweed (e.g., sushi). 
  • Dairy - milk, yoghurt, cheese, etc. 
  • Bread – Australian and New Zealand bakers are required to use iodised salt in bread. 
  • Salt – Approximately 120 countries, including Canada and the USA, have adopted mandatory iodization of all food-grade salt. In Australia and New Zealand, it’s optional. While Iodine fortified salt contains high levels of iodine, use of iodised salt has reduced due to increased awareness of the association between high salt consumption and high blood pressure. 
  • Supplements – Pregnant and breast-feeding women may require iodine supplements, though consultation with a doctor is recommended before commencing. 
Finally, it’s important to note that our ability to utilise absorbed iodine is influenced by goitrogens in foods. Goitrogens are found in brassica vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and can interfere with the synthesis of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Similarly, foods that contain goitrogenic cyanoglucosides such as sweet potato and corn release thiocyanate that competes with iodine, blocking its uptake by the thyroid gland. This doesn’t mean that we should avoid these vegetables – just consume them in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Read more: 
Dr Alan Barclay  
Alan Barclay, PhD is a consultant dietitian and chef (Cert III). He worked for Diabetes Australia (NSW) from 1998–2014 . He is author/co-author of more than 30 scientific publications, and author/co-author of  The good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books), Reversing Diabetes (Murdoch Books), The Low GI Diet: Managing Type 2 Diabetes (Hachette Australia) and The Ultimate Guide to Sugars and Sweeteners (The Experiment, New York).

Contact: You can follow him on Twitter or check out his website.

KEEPING IT GREEN – EATING FOR BODY AND PLANET

THE ANIMAL FOOD DILEMMA 
Meat and dairy products are valuable sources of nutrition yet a recent report by Greenpeace recommends limiting meat intake to 300g per week and dairy intake to 630g per week to lessen our environmental footprint. They say this would reduce global consumption of animal products by 50% by 2050. However, they did not have a nutrition expert involved so how can we be sure this advice supports good health? How do we reconcile the nutritional value of animal foods with their environmental footprint? We decided to delve deeper into the animal food dilemma.

Dairy foods  
What is the most sustainable diet? 
Meat has the greatest environmental footprint followed by dairy and then plant-foods. This is because livestock farming requires more land and water; and animals produce more green house gas (GHG) emissions compared to plant foods. You may think veganism (eating no animal products at all) is the most sustainable solution to feed our growing global population but you may be surprised to hear that it’s not, because growing crops doesn’t utilise all types of land. For example, some land is useless for growing fruits and vegetables but can be used for dairy farming or livestock grazing. In fact, a vegetarian diet including dairy products (lacto-vegetarian) has been identified as the most sustainable diet.

Eat a diet that is mostly plants, but some animal foods can be included in your diet and still be sustainable.

How much meat do you need?
In grappling with the animal food dilemma, we need to know how much we need – not want or crave, but actually need - for good health. National dietary recommendations are a good place to start. Meat is part of the ‘meat and protein alternatives’ group that includes red meat, white meat, fish, eggs and plant-based alternatives like pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds.

The US Dietary Guidelines recommend 5-6.5 ounces (around 140g-185g) of meat or protein equivalents per day for a sedentary person.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 2-3 ‘serves’ of meat or alternatives per day, where one serve is:

  • 65g of cooked red meat (100g raw); 
  • 80g cooked poultry (100g raw); 
  • 100g cooked fish (115g raw); 
  • 2 eggs; 
  • 1 cup (150g) cooked legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans); 
  • 170g tofu; 
  • or 30g of nuts or seeds. 
 If you do the math, both countries are recommending around 1300g (45oz) of meat (or equivalent) per week, which seems a lot more than the 300g limit Greenpeace is recommending, but of course not all serves from this group need to be meat. The Australian guidelines recommend limiting your cooked red meat intake to 455g per week and including plant-based foods in the mix. And remember smaller animals such as chickens and pigs, and wild animals such as deer, bison and kangaroo all have a smaller environmental footprint than cattle.

The question of how much meat we can get away with eating and still look after our health and the environment is hotly debated and depends on a myriad of factors including: location/region, climate, production method, land and water use, feed type, animal genetics, waste management, supply chain efficiency, transport and wastage. We as citizen-eaters can help by eating animals ‘nose-to-tail’ (not just our favourite bits) and not wasting any because throwing animal foods in the bin just adds insult to injury (it wastes the already significant environmental costs in producing it).

Enjoy a variety of protein sources including plant sources but limit meat intake – especially from large, high eco-footprint animals to around 400g a week, or two meals. Whatever you do, don’t waste a skerrick of food, especially animal food. 

How much dairy do you need? 
While Greenpeace recommend no more than 630g dairy food a week, Australian and US dietary guidelines recommend 2-3 serves of dairy products (or equivalent), or 500-750g a day of dairy milk.

One serve of dairy is:
  • 1 cup of milk or fortified soy milk; or 
  • 40g cheese; 
  • 200g yoghurt; 
  • 100g almonds; 
  • 100g firm tofu with calcium 
The dairy food group is a good source of many nutrients including calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. While you could meet these dietary requirements using only plant-based foods it is more difficult and you’ll probably need supplements or fortified foods. For example, calcium is available in foods such as almonds, however you would need to eat more than 3 handfuls of almonds (100g) to get just 1 serve of dairy alternatives. If you choose plant-based ‘milks’, choose one with added calcium.

Why is there conflicting advice? 
Greenpeace’s advice to consume no more than 300g of meat and 630g dairy products per week appears to conflict with both Australian and US national dietary guidelines, although it doesn’t have to if we chose more plant-based alternatives within the meat and dairy food groups. As Greenpeace correctly points out, you can meet your nutritional requirements with a vegetarian diet or vegan diet supplemented with Vitamin B12. However, there are still lingering nutrition questions we need to answer. For example, which groups (pregnant women, children, athletes, young women, teens?) are likely to experience nutritional shortfalls if meat and dairy are removed or limited from diets? How do we ensure those with higher needs have them met in an animal-food constrained world? If we are to solve the dilemma of animal foods, we need collaboration between environmental scientists and nutrition scientists and dietitians to ensure advice is evidence-based, and our sustainable diets are enjoyable.

The animal food dilemma in a nutshell: 
  • Eating less meat reduces your environmental footprint, but you still need to meet your nutritional needs - include healthy plant-based meat and dairy alternatives such as nuts, seeds, legumes, fortified plant ‘milks’ and tofu. 
  • If you eat meat make it a side show rather than the main attraction on your plate – fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter with grains (or starchy vegetables) and limit meat to a quarter of your plate. 
  • Replace some of your meat with plant proteins. For example, try adding lentils to your spaghetti Bolognese, burgers, meatloaf or casseroles; and adding chickpeas, tofu or nuts to curries, soups and salads. 
Thanks to Rachel Ananin AKA TheSeasonalDietitian.com for her assistance with this article.

 Nicole Senior    
Nicole Senior is an Accredited Nutritionist, author, consultant, cook, food enthusiast and mother who strives to make sense of nutrition science and delights in making healthy food delicious.   Contact: You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or check out her website.

GOOD CARBS FOOD FACTS A TO Z

STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, with one cup providing 180% of the recommended daily intake,” says dietitian Nicole Senior. “They are also high in the B-vitamin folate needed for a healthy heart and a healthy pregnancy. Like other berries, strawberries are low in natural sugars, low in kilojoules, low in sodium, and low GI. They are also a source of fibre for digestive health and potassium for better blood pressure.

STRAWBERRY

Food skills: shopping. Check the punnet closely (top and bottom) to make sure they all look well formed, fresh and dry (moisture attracts mould), have a uniform good bright colour, aren’t squashed or damaged (bruising or soft spots) and there’s no oozing juice or fermenting smell. Strawberries should have their green caps attached. Strawberries are best stored in the fridge, spread out in a single layer to avoid damage, but taste their best at room temperature so take them out for a while before eating.

Food skills: storing. Strawberries are among the most perishable of fruits and can turn soft and mouldy within 24 hours. They are hard to pass by, so open the punnet (or punnets) when you get home and sort and remove any bruised or damaged berries. Store in the refrigerator for two to three days in the punnet or place them on a plate in a single layer on paper towel and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to eat them, rinse gently in cool water (do not soak) before hulling and eating and allow to air-dry or pat gently with paper towel.

Strawberries nutrition facts
 Source: The Good Carbs Cookbook

IN THE GI NEWS KITCHEN

THE GOOD CARBS COOKBOOK 
The Good Carbs Cookbook (by Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie and Philippa Sandall) published by Murdoch Books helps you choose the best fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts and grains and explains how to use them in 100 refreshingly nourishing recipes to enjoy every day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert. The recipes are easy to prepare, (mostly) quick to cook, long in flavour and full of sustaining goodness, so you feel fuller for longer. There is a nutritional analysis for each recipe and tips and helpful hints for the novice, nervous, curious or time-starved cook.

THE GOOD CARBS COOKBOOK

STRAWBERRY, RHUBARB AND APPLE OAT CRUMBLE 
Rhubarb stalks can vary in colour from green to a perky bright red and we often, wrongly, assume that the red stalks are ‘ripe’ and sweeter. Colour and sweetness are not related and some green varieties produce very sweet stems. Smaller stalks will be tender, while thicker stalks tend to become stringy. Stalks the size of a finger are a good measure. Preparation time: 25 minutes • Cooking time: 30 minutes • Serves: 6

STRAWBERRY, RHUBARB AND APPLE OAT CRUMBLE

5 medium stalks rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
3 small cooking apples, cored and coarsely grated
200g (7oz) small strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup (90g/3¼oz) traditional rolled oats
50g (1¾oz) butter
½ cup (100g/3½oz) lightly packed soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅔ cup (100g/3½oz) coarsely chopped raw nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (fan-forced 160°C/315°F). • Put the rhubarb, apples, strawberries, honey and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss well and spoon into a deep baking dish. • In a bowl combine the oats, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and rub together with your fingers until the mixture is knobby. Spread over the top of the fruit and bake for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and bubbling and the top is golden and crunchy. • Tip: Thinly sliced ripe pear or blackberries would be a lovely addition to the fruit mixture.

Per serve 
1480kJ/355 calories; 6g protein; 18g fat (includes 5.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.4); 42g available carbs (includes 32g sugars and 10g starches); 6g fibre; 70mg sodium; 430mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.2

ANNEKA MANNING: BAKECLUB 
ANNEKA MANNING
Anneka Manning is an author, food editor, cooking teacher, home economist, mother of two and the founder of BakeClub. With over 27 years' experience, she specialises in teaching the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ of baking, giving home cooks the know-how, understanding and skill to bake with confidence and success, every time. She has written and contributed to a number of books, including The Low GI Family Cookbook (Hachette), Mastering the Art of Baking (Murdoch Books) and BakeClass (Murdoch Books).

STRAWBERRY, MAPLE AND PISTACHIO PARFAIT 
A delicious combination of nuts, seeds and oats layered with sweet fresh strawberries and thick Greek-style yoghurt, it is hard to go past this parfait at breakfast time. Keep a jar of this granola in an airtight jar or container in the pantry, so you can whip up the parfait anytime you please. The granola will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Preparation time: 15 minutes • Baking time: 12–15 minutes • Serves: 8

STRAWBERRY, MAPLE AND PISTACHIO PARFAIT

800g (1lb 7oz) natural Greek-style yoghurt
2½ punnets (60g/2oz) ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered

Maple and pistachio granola 
½ cup traditional rolled oats (oatmeal)
½ cup unsalted pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped
½ cup shredded coconut ½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup pure maple syrup or pure floral honey
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract

To make the granola, preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C/300°F fan-forced). Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper. • Combine the oats, pistachios, coconut, sunflower seeds, pepitas and cinnamon in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Combine the maple syrup and vanilla, pour over the oat mixture and toss to combine evenly.• Spread on the lined tray and bake in preheated oven for 12–15 minutes, tossing twice during baking, until golden. Set aside to cool to room temperature. • To assemble the parfait, layer the yoghurt, granola and strawberries in glasses or dishes, finishing with a little sprinkling of granola. Serve immediately.

Per serve 
1430kJ/ 340 calories; 14g protein; 21g fat (includes 7g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.33); 21g available carbs (includes 14g sugars and 7g starch); 6g fibre; sodium : potassium ratio 0.13

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Nutritional analysis To analyse Australian foods, beverages, processed products and recipes, we use FoodWorks which contains the AusNut and Nuttab databases. If necessary, this is supplemented with data from www.calorieking.com.au or http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search.

Disclaimer GI News endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-newsletter by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. GI News provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. All recipes that are included within GI News have been analysed however they have not been tested for their glycemic index properties by an accredited laboratory according to the ISO standards.

© ®™ The University of Sydney, Australia

1 August 2018

GI News - August 2018

GI News

GI News is published by the University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Charles Perkins Centre. Our goal is to help people choose the high-quality carbs that are digested at a rate that our bodies can comfortably accommodate and to share the latest scientific findings on food and diet with a particular focus on carbohydrates, dietary fibres, blood glucose and the glycemic index.

Publisher:
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, AM, PhD, FAIFST, FNSA
Editor: Philippa Sandall
Scientific Editor/Managing Editor: Alan Barclay, PhD, APD AN
Contact GI News: glycemic.index@gmail.com

Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service
Manager: Fiona Atkinson, PhD, APD AN
Contact: sugirs.manager@sydney.edu.au

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THE COOKING SKILLS CONUNDRUM 
Have We Lost Our Food Skills and How to Get Them Back was the bait-clicky headline of a recent piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. The article by Paula Goodyer with contributions from dietitians including Profs. Clare Collins and Margaret Allman-Farinelli makes the point that “a host of factors have led to a generation who lack cooking nous. The effect is a wider waistline and a thinner wallet”. It is worth reading. But we seriously question putting the food skills of previous generations on any sort of pedestal (think seriously overcooked vegetables for starters).

Historical mother in kitchen

Back in 2010 I created Recipes My Mother Cooked for Allen and Unwin. As well as their Mum’s recipes, I asked the book’s contributors (chefs, food writers, dietitians) to share some of their family fare memories. Some mothers were clearly truly amazing cooks. Many, however, had pretty basic skills and while family mealtimes were memorable, the meals themselves, not so much. Hadleigh Troy (then Restaurant Amuse, Perth; now Hampton and Maley) put it this way: “Although Mum says she taught me everything she knows when it comes to cooking, those who know her and love her are in on the joke.”

Recipes My Mother Cooked

By food skills, Paula Goodyer is essentially talking about learning to cook and to plan and prepare meals. Clearly, it’s important to be able to feed yourself (and your family if you have one) healthy fare. But, here at GI News we think it’s time to take off the nostalgia blinkers because what we all need today are some new healthy food skills to equip us to thrive in a world with a very different food supply from any previous generation. Along with an abundance of locally grown and imported fresh produce available year round, we have an abundance of convenience foods from frozen vegetables and meals to home-delivered meals and takeaways to help us put dinner on the table at the end of the day (and possibly provide breakfast and lunch as well).

The practical healthy food skills we need to develop or to upgrade are our:

  • Food knowledge skills to help us understand where the food we eat has come from, how it is grown, how animals are farmed, and whether or not it is sustainable. 
  • Food shopping skills to help us choose fresh produce and to make smart choices with convenience foods, home-delivered meals and takeaways. 
  • Food and nutrition skills to help us build healthy eating habits and to choose the sustaining foods we (and our families) need for good health and to cut through countless fads about foods, fad diets, and the misconceptions about healthy eating. 
As for the suggestion we need to turn off the tap with convenience foods, we think that’s idealistic rather than realistic in this day and age. Remember, in the end what really matters for good health, well-being and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is the overall quality and quantity of the foods we consume – and those foods may be home cooked from scratch, assembled, delivered from a restaurant or healthy food provider, picked up as a takeout, or purchased as a frozen or pre-packaged meal from the supermarket.

There are many reasons people choose convenience foods. Sometimes it’s the only option for those on the road or working insane hours; for people doing shift work; for the frail elderly who can no longer cook but want to stay in their own home; for those with a disability who can’t cook; and for those who don’t have cooking facilities. Other times convenience food buys us time. As Prof Jennie Brand Miller says: “I don’t want to spend more time in the kitchen. I know how to cook but I want the food industry to provide me with high quality, healthy convenience food (takeaway food, eat-in food, plonk-together-in-a-saucepan food) so I get to do other things higher on my priority list such as being outside, exercise, yoga, mindfulness, reading, sailing … We know the food industry can give us anything we want but they work by the law of supply and demand. We have to DEMAND.”

To help our readers choose healthy convenience meals of all kinds, we’ll be adding an Eat Out/Take Out story to What’s New? from this issue of GI News. – Philippa Sandall, Editor.
Read more: 

WHAT’S NEW?

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN 
Dr Jennifer Utter is an associate professor in public health nutrition at the University of Auckland's School of Population Health. Her main research interests are in adolescent eating behaviours, weight control, and obesity prevention. In recent years she has co-authored a number of papers on cooking skills and cooking programs.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN

#1 Do cooking skills in emerging adulthood predict better nutrition? 
The answer is possibly. The findings of a study (based on self-reported data) in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior suggests that developing cooking skills as a young adult may have long-term benefits for health and nutrition including fewer fast food meals, more meals as a family, and more frequent preparation of meals with vegetables in adulthood.

Utter and colleagues collected data as part of the Project Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults longitudinal study conducted in Minneapolis-Saint Paul area schools (USA). Participants reported on adequacy of cooking skills in 2002–2003 when they were 18–23 years old. Data was then collected in 2015–2016 on nutrition-related outcomes when participants were 30–35 years old.

Most participants perceived their cooking skills to be adequate at age 18–23, with approximately one quarter reporting their cooking skills to be very adequate. Later in adulthood those who perceived their cooking skills as adequate ate less fast food meals and, for those with children, had more frequent family meals and had fewer barriers to food preparation. The authors conclude that “ongoing and new interventions to enhance cooking skills during adolescence and emerging adulthood are warranted but require strong evaluation designs that observe young people over a number of years.”

#2 Cooking programs for kids – more than good nutrition 
That certainly was the case for GI News editor Philippa Sandall. She and her classmates at Remuera Intermediate donned white starchy aprons with big bows for cooking classes for two years. The big bow was the undoing. She and her cooking partner Helen Budd were having a chat as something bubbled away in a pot on the gas stove. It must have been a pretty interesting conversation because they didn’t notice Helen’s burning bow until Margaret Howie dashed up and doused the flames with a pan of water. Many lessons learned.

This comprehensive program review by Utter and colleagues in Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition describes the experiential cooking programs for children and young people that have been conducted and evaluated to date. They report that youth cooking programs appear to result in better nutrition and cooking skills and that cooking programs may also positively influence social aspects of well-being. However, the jury is out on the true impact that cooking programs can have on nutrition and social well-being as to date evaluations of these programs have been limited, and large-scale, randomized controlled trials are needed to quantify.

Read more: 

WERE OUR GRANDPARENTS REALLY HEALTHIER THAN US? 
It’s a common refrain that our grandparents were raised in simpler, more natural times, before processed foods and ubiquitous screens gave us all sorts of lifestyle diseases. But how true is that assumption? Were our grandparents really healthier than us? Or are we just romanticising a bygone era? Tegan Taylor of ABC Health and Wellbeing has put together a useful summary. She covers life expectancy, diet, activity, and medicines and medical care. Her verdict: “Looking at diet, the claim that our grandparents had healthier lives than us seems a little dubious, and we're definitely able to access better health care and preventative medicine than they had access to. But they were probably healthier in terms of the amount of physical activity they did throughout the day.”

Read more: 
AUSTRALIA VYING TO BE WORLD CHAMPION OF INACTIVITY
If we could go back 100 years in a time machine, what would kids be like? They’d be shorter, leaner, probably dirtier and less well-fed — but would they be fitter? It turns out reports Prof Tim Olds in The Conversation that we actually have a beautiful window on the past.

“In 1919, a young woman named E.M. Bedale started postgraduate research at University College London, an uncommon undertaking for a woman at that time. Her studies focused on energy balance in children, which led her to spend several years at a serendipitously eponymous school called Bedales in rural Hampshire. During her two years at Bedales, Miss Bedale measured the energy expenditure and intake of the school’s students, using methods that are still considered to be gold standards today. Her data provide a startling contrast to our time. Children from almost 100 years ago were 50% more active than kids today. They accumulated over four hours more of physical activity and sat for three hours less than today’s kids -  every day.”

And it’s not just the kids. He points out that: “In the 1960s, half the jobs in private industry in the United States required at least moderate-intensity physical activity, compared to less than 20% today. Work in factories and farms has given away to office work, and that has amounted to over 400 kilojoules less each day that adults expend at work. This difference alone results in a weight increase of about 13 kilograms over 50 years, which pretty closely matches actual changes in weight. The situation is similar here (Australia).”

He concludes: “The roots of inactivity go deep into the cultural and socioeconomic logic of post-industrial societies. In many ways, the whole ethos of ease now saturates our society, and efficiency is the hallmark of modernity.

Think about it this way – nobody is in the market for a labour-creating device. Sit-on mowers, leaf blowers, self-opening doors and automatic car windows, robot vacuum cleaners, sensor lighting, dishwashers and microwaves all yield daily microsavings in energy expenditure that add up to hundreds of kilojoules. In 1900, the average American housewife spent an estimated 40 hours every week in food preparation. Today, that time is barely four hours – and it appears to have reached an absolute minimum.

What can be done about it? We’re not going to wind back time to the days of kids playing cricket in the street, families driving the Vauxhall Viva with wind-down windows, dads pushing hand mowers and mums using wringers. The challenge is to fashion spaces where alternative forms of active leisure can be pursued. And we’ve already started: the gymnasium is such a space, internalising the lost world of manual labour. Exergaming (think Wii), which transposes outdoor play spaces into virtual worlds, is similar. We all need to re-imagine physical activity if we’re to overcome this malaise of post-industrial society.

Read more: 
HEALTHY EAT OUT/TAKE OUT 
Indian cuisine offers a variety of healthy meals including mains, salads and sides such as pickles and raita. On top of that opt for:
  • Meat (lamb, beef and goat), chicken, fish and other seafood curries
  • Vegetable curries including aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower); palak paneer (cottage cheese and spinach); and baingan patiala (eggplant and potato)
  • Tikka (dry roasted) or tandoori (marinated in spices and yoghurt) chicken, prawns or fish
  • Dhal (a good low GI choice)
  • Unleavened breads such as chapatis, plain naan or roti 
  • Rice, birayani and pulao – Basmati rice is lower GI but watch the quantity. 
Dahl with Basmati rice

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

IMPROVING CARBOHYDRATE LABELLING TO CUT THROUGH THE CONFUSION 
With carbohydrates top of the pops as the world’s favourite dietary villain, you’d think mandatory Nutrition Facts/Information panels would provide all of the important information about them to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. But they don’t.

Carbohydrates include the maltodextrins, starches and sugars that we are able to digest and absorb to provide our bodies with fuel such as glucose, plus dietary fibre that provides bulk and importantly is also a fuel for our microbiome.

How we label carbohydrates in foods varies around the world, with the USA now providing the most detailed information. Dietary Fiber is correctly listed under Total Carbohydrate, and Total Sugars are now broken down to include Added Sugars. While people who are limiting their added sugars intake may find this additional information useful, it doesn’t solve all of the problems with carbohydrate in the Nutrition Facts panel.

New Nutrition Facts

People with diabetes need to know how much available carbohydrate is in a serve of a food or beverage to estimate how much of an impact it may have on blood glucose (sugar) levels, and in many people’s cases to estimate how much insulin is required for optimal blood glucose management. It can be calculated using the following equation:

Available Carbohydrate = Total Carbohydrate (g) – Dietary Fiber (g) 

In Australia, the Nutrition Information panel only lists (Total) Carbohydrate and (Total) sugars. Unfortunately, dietary fibre is optional unless a nutrition claim is made about carbohydrates on the packaging. On the positive side, Carbohydrate is available carbohydrate, so people with diabetes don’t need to subtract fibre to calculate it.

Nutrition Information

In both countries, if you add Dietary Fiber and Total Sugars you will notice that it doesn’t add up to Total Carbohydrate. Question: what’s missing? Answer: maltodextrins and starches. They are the hidden carbohydrates in foods and beverages – not sugars. Does it matter? YES. Maltodextrins and starches provide more kilojoules per gram (17.5 kJ/g compared to 16 kJ per gram) and often have a higher glycemic index than sugars, and they also contribute to tooth decay.

When companies reformulate their foods and beverages to reduce the amount of Added Sugars they contain they often add in maltodextrins or starches to compensate, as they provide bulk and texture – a bit like sugars. While lower in Added Sugars, the reformulated product may not be a healthier choice at all. But because of current labelling laws you don’t know that.

Because, like starches, maltodextrins are chains of glucose (10+ glucose compared to 3–9 glucose molecules, respectively), that are broken down using the same digestive enzymes, they should be grouped together for simplicity. So, an ideal Nutrition Facts / Information Panel would include all of this important information about carbohydrate to ensure we can make truly informed purchasing decisions.

Since January 2018, GI News has included a new segment “GOOD CARBS FOOD FACTS A TO Z” and we have included more detailed information on carbohydrates in food to ensure our readers can make truly informed decisions:

GI News Nutrition Information

While we think it’s unlikely that any government will legislate to include this detailed information on all food packaging, it would be ideal if they at least included starches. We aren’t optimistic.

 Dr Alan Barclay  
Alan Barclay, PhD is a consultant dietitian and chef (Cert III). He worked for Diabetes Australia (NSW) from 1998–2014 . He is author/co-author of more than 30 scientific publications, and author/co-author of  The good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books), Reversing Diabetes (Murdoch Books), The Low GI Diet: Managing Type 2 Diabetes (Hachette Australia) and The Ultimate Guide to Sugars and Sweeteners (The Experiment, New York).

Contact: You can follow him on Twitter or check out his website.

KEEPING IT GREEN – EATING FOR BODY AND PLANET

To Vegan or Not? 
Vegan diets are often perceived as being a healthier, more ethical and more sustainable way to feed our growing global population. But do vegan diets really deserve their health halo?

Veganism

Vegan diets typically exclude animal derived ingredients (e.g. meat, dairy products, eggs and gelatine) and foods produced using animal labour, such as honey. Vegans eat grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. According to Google Trends, searches for the term “vegan” have almost tripled over the past 5 years. Despite the fact that “going vegan” is going viral, veganism is not new. The Indian religion of Jainism is centred on non-violence and has been practicing veganism since ancient times. Some Jains even avoid eating potatoes as uprooting them kills the plant along with any microorganisms living on it.

Are vegan diets healthier? In an article about Dr David Jenkins’ conversion to veganism (he’s the nutrition scientist who introduced the world to the glycaemic index), Leslie Beck claims that “plant-based eaters are thinner and have lower cholesterol and blood-pressure levels, a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and lower cancer rates – especially colorectal cancer.”

But this is plant-based and not plant-only diets – there isn’t much long term research on health outcomes of people following vegan diets. The fact plant-based diets are healthier might not be that surprising as veggies are well known to be great for your health; they are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals and low in kilojoules (calories). However, we can’t ignore that meat, eggs and dairy provide essential nutrients not naturally present in plants such as vitamin B12, vitamin D and long chain omega-3 fats (although mushrooms are fungi and not plants they contain small amounts of B12 and can contain vitamin D if they are exposed to sunlight).

While you can find some of these nutrients added to plant-based foods, you must look a bit harder to find them. Or take supplements. There are risks of missing out on these nutrients and a vegan diet is not necessarily a healthier diet – it all depends what foods you choose and the overall balance of foods. French fries, fake meats (meat analogues), veggie chips, vegan desserts are plant-based but they can also be highly processed and high in saturated fat, salt, refined carbs (starches and sugars) and additives. There are lessons to learn from our vegan friends: eat more legumes, wholegrain cereals, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, which are all healthy options for everyone.

Is veganism the most sustainable diet? You might think veganism is the most sustainable way to feed our growing global population and vegan activists certainly promote this as a reason to follow them into a plant-only lifestyle. They have a point. Meat has the greatest environmental footprint, followed by dairy and then plant-foods. This is because livestock farming requires more land and water; and animals produce more GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions compared to plant-based foods. However what may surprise you is that veganism doesn’t appear to be the most sustainable dietary pattern because it doesn’t utilise all types of land. Some less fertile land is not suitable for growing fruits and vegetables but can be used for livestock such as dairy cattle. According to a recent analysis the most sustainable eating pattern is (drum roll please) a vegetarian diet including dairy products (a lacto-vegetarian diet).

Another study found some vegan diets have higher environmental impacts than some omnivore diets. Eating locally and eliminating food wastage play a big role in sustainability too. For example, a locally raised free-range egg has a smaller environmental footprint than an avocado that has been flown halfway across the globe and then thrown in the bin because it went brown in the bottom of your fruit bowl.

Why vegan? 

  • Animal welfare: There are no cruelty issues with plants. 
  • Environment: Plant-based diets have the advantage, but it’s complicated. Reduce your impact by eating mostly plants, locally sourced, and don’t waste food. 
  • Nutrition: for good health, eat mostly plants and just enough animal food to meet your nutrient requirements. Vegans need to eat fortified foods or take supplements to meet their needs for hard-to-get nutrients. 
Thanks to Rachel Ananin AKA TheSeasonalDietitian.com for her assistance with this article.

 Nicole Senior    
Nicole Senior is an Accredited Nutritionist, author, consultant, cook, food enthusiast and mother who strives to make sense of nutrition science and delights in making healthy food delicious.   Contact: You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or check out her website.

GOOD CARBS FOOD FACTS A TO Z

PUMPKIN 
What’s not to like about rambling pumpkins with their softly hairy stems and elegant tendrils reaching for the sun. Boil and steam them for a quick side dish or soup, but roast when you want concentrated flavour and creamy sweetness. Toss some seeds on the compost and bingo, you’ll find yourself with a pumpkin patch.

PUMPKIN

“Pumpkins are nutritious as well as delicious. Their rich golden colour comes from high levels of beta-carotene, similar to carrots. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, and is also converted to vitamin A by the body. They also contain useful amounts of fibre, vitamins C, E and riboflavin,” says Nicole Senior.

Food skills – shopping: Look for pumpkins when shopping that feel heavy and hard with a firm unblemished skin and a consistent colour throughout. If there’s still a stem attached, make sure it is dry.

Food skills – storing: Whole pumpkins will keep for a long time when stored in a cool, dark well-ventilated area. If you buy a segment wrapped in plastic, it has a much shorter life as the cut surface can spoil quickly. Pre-packed peeled and chopped pumpkin is convenient but look for flesh that is close grained and not fibrous, dried or watery. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

PUMPKIN nutrition facts
 Source: The Good Carbs Cookbook

IN THE GI NEWS KITCHEN

THE GOOD CARBS COOKBOOK 
The Good Carbs Cookbook (by Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie and Philippa Sandall) published by Murdoch Books helps you choose the best fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts and grains and explains how to use them in 100 refreshingly nourishing recipes to enjoy every day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert. The recipes are easy to prepare, (mostly) quick to cook, long in flavour and full of sustaining goodness, so you feel fuller for longer. There is a nutritional analysis for each recipe and tips and helpful hints for the novice, nervous, curious or time-starved cook.

THE GOOD CARBS COOKBOOK

ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP WITH HARISSA 
We know how impossibly sweet pumpkin becomes when roasted. We know that harissa is a fiery chilli spice paste indispensable in North African cooking. Introduce one to the other with mild mannered and restorative chicken stock and you have a soup, the recipe for which you, understandably, will refuse to share. The sour cream can be left out or replaced with natural yoghurt. Preparation time: 15 minutes
• Cooking time: 40 minutes

• Serves: 6

ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP WITH HARISSA

1 kg (2lb 4oz) butternut pumpkin (winter squash)
4 large Roma tomatoes, halved
1 medium onion, peeled and thickly sliced
4–5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
⅓ cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon harissa paste
Salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra light sour cream

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (fan-forced 180°C/350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. • Peel the pumpkin, roughly cut into chunks and arrange on the baking tray with the tomatoes, onion, garlic and rosemary. Drizzle the oil over and then roast for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and just starting to blister. • Remove the rosemary sprigs and then tip everything into a blender, add the stock and harissa paste. If you prefer a more mouth puckering taste, add more harissa but only a little at a time. The mixture may be too much for the blender so you may need to work in batches. Blitz until smooth and add a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the soup into a pot and bring to a gentle simmer, adding more stock if you want a thinner consistency. Swirl in the cream and serve.

Per serve 
985kJ/235 calories; 6g protein; 15g fat (includes 2.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.2); 17g available carbs (includes 12g sugars and 5g starches); 5g fibre; 690mg sodium; 905mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.8

ANNEKA MANNING: BAKECLUB 
ANNEKA MANNING
Anneka Manning is an author, food editor, cooking teacher, home economist, mother of two and the founder of BakeClub. With over 27 years' experience, she specialises in teaching the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ of baking, giving home cooks the know-how, understanding and skill to bake with confidence and success, every time. She has written and contributed to a number of books, including The Low GI Family Cookbook (Hachette), Mastering the Art of Baking (Murdoch Books) and BakeClass (Murdoch Books).

SPICED BAKED PUMPKIN 
Jap or kent is a popular pumpkin variety with ribbed green skin covered with yellow flecks and sweetish orange flesh that is good roasted, boiled, steamed or stir fried. But, do not limit yourself to pumpkin, any leftover roasted vegetables and chickpeas will make a delicious salad with rocket or baby spinach leaves, then sprinkled with the dukkah and drizzled with the yoghurt sauce.

Serves 6–8.

SPICED BAKED PUMPKIN

650g jap or kent pumpkin, deseeded and cut into 2cm (¾in) thick wedges
2 tbsp (40ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ head cauliflower, cut into 3cm florets
400g/14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp smoked paprika Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Dukkah 
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp sesame seeds
¼ tsp salt (optional)

Tahini yoghurt sauce
¼ cup Greek-style yoghurt
1 tsp tahini
1 tbsp (20ml) lemon juice
½ clove garlic, crushed or finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper. • Spread the pumpkin on the lined tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place cauliflower and chickpeas in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread evenly on the oven tray, filling the gaps between pumpkin and bake for 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden. • Meanwhile prepare the dukkah and yoghurt sauce • Sprinkle the roasted vegetables with the dukkah and serve with the sauce.

To make the dukkah, place the cumin and coriander in a small frying pan and toast over medium heat for 1–2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, or until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or small food processor and grind until finely ground. Add the pine nuts to the pan and toast in the same way as the spices until golden. Add to the toasted spices and pound or pulse until roughly chopped (do not over-process or it will form a paste). Transfer to a small bowl, add the sesame seeds and salt, if using, and stir to combine.

To make the yoghurt sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir through 1 tablespoon water to thin to drizzling consistency, if desired.

Per serve 
780 kJ/ 186 calories; 8 g protein; 10 g fat (includes 1.3 g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 0.15); 15 g available carbs; 5 g fibre

Baker’s tips 
The dukkah will keep in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. The yoghurt sauce can be made up to 3 days head of serving. Keep covered in the fridge.

COPYRIGHT AND PERMISSION

University of Sydney

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This permission does not extend to material contributed and owned by other parties. We strongly recommend that you refer to the copyright statements at their respective websites and seek their permission before making use of any such material, whether images or text. Please contact GI News if you are in doubt as to the ownership of any material.

Nutritional analysis To analyse Australian foods, beverages, processed products and recipes, we use FoodWorks which contains the AusNut and Nuttab databases. If necessary, this is supplemented with data from www.calorieking.com.au or http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search.

Disclaimer GI News endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-newsletter by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. GI News provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. All recipes that are included within GI News have been analysed however they have not been tested for their glycemic index properties by an accredited laboratory according to the ISO standards.

© ®™ The University of Sydney, Australia

1 July 2018

GI News - July 2018

GI News

GI News is published by the University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Charles Perkins Centre. Our goal is to help people choose the high-quality carbs that are digested at a rate that our bodies can comfortably accommodate and to share the latest scientific findings on food and diet with a particular focus on carbohydrates, dietary fibres, blood glucose and the glycemic index.

Publisher:
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, AM, PhD, FAIFST, FNSA
Editor: Philippa Sandall
Scientific Editor/Managing Editor: Alan Barclay, PhD, APD AN
Contact GI News: glycemic.index@gmail.com

Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service
Manager: Fiona Atkinson, PhD, APD AN
Contact: sugirs.manager@sydney.edu.au

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BACK TO THE FUTURE 
Researchers from Oxford University and the Swiss agricultural research institute, Agroscope, report that the same food can have very different environmental impacts – the best growing practices achieved the same yield with about a third of the impact. For instance, the worst 10 per cent of beef production produces 12 times more greenhouse gas and requires 50 times more land to produce 100 grams of protein, compared to the best 10 per cent of beef production. The trend was the same among the major crops — wheat, maize, and rice.
Legumes
The idea behind the study was to help inform food producers and consumers on better ways to reduce their environmental impact. To do this they created a comprehensive database on the environmental impacts of nearly 40,000 farms, and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers for 40 major foods.

But the inescapable trend was that even the best managed livestock can’t produce the equivalent amount of protein as the worst managed vegetable crop, without causing a bigger environmental impact and why they conclude animal product-free diets are likely to deliver greater environmental benefits than changing production practices both today and in the future. Hence “Would you go vegan to save the planet?” headlines.

There’s no question in our minds here at GI News that making better choices about the food we eat – where it has come from, how it is grown and how animals are farmed – matters.

The researchers focused on environmental impacts. Not human health impacts. We are big fans of plant-based diets built around the foods the natural world has provided for us – good, wholesome carbs including fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, and grains. These foods and the traditional staples we make from them are both sustaining and sustainable.

In fact, you only have to look around the world to see that plant-based dietary patterns such as the traditional Mediterranean and Japanese diets are associated with good health and long life. The “Blue Zones” story is the same. In these communities where people are ten times more likely to be living a healthy, active life until they are 100 than the rest of us, author and researcher, Dan Buettner reports they:
• eat food, not too much, mostly plants
• are active every day
• get plenty of sleep
• are not stressed out, and
• have strong social connections.

He also found that their diets are as noteworthy for their diversity as for what they share. In Loma Linda, California, they are vegans. In Costa Rica, their diet includes eggs, dairy, and meat. In Ikaria, Greece, and Sardinia, Italy, they practice variations on the theme of Mediterranean diets. In Okinawa, Japan, a traditional plant-based, rice-centric diet produces the same outstanding results.

After infancy, we have considerable flexibility in our food choices because we are omnivores. We evolved to be adaptable. We are not “One Diet Fits All” people and we don’t think the only choice we have to deliver environmental benefits is ditching animal products. But we do think it’s back to the future time where we feel good about the food we produce, buy, cook and eat and we enjoy the pleasure it brings each day with family and friends. Our goal here at GI News is to help people simplify their lives and choose the sustaining and sustainable good wholesome carbs that are digested at a rate that our bodies can comfortably accommodate. That’s why we wrote The Good Carbs Cookbook where we list the 10 reasons why we love them.

1. We love the way they power the brain.
2. We love the way they fuel the muscles.
3. We love the energy they give.
4. We love the good stuff (vitamins and minerals) that comes with them.
5. We love their keep-it-regular fibre habit.
6. We love preparing meals for family and friends with them.
7. We love the traditional foods they put on the plate.
8. We love the variety and pleasure they bring to the table.
9. We love the way they feed the world.
10. We love their lighter footprint on the planet.

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WHAT’S NEW?

SUPPLEMENTS MAY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD 
The most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm, suggests a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto. “We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” said Dr. David Jenkins, the study's lead author. “Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm - but there is no apparent advantage either.”

Dietary Supplements

The study found folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. Meanwhile, niacin and antioxidants showed a very small effect that might signify an increased risk of death from any cause.

“These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they’re taking and ensure they’re applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider,” Dr. Jenkins said. “In the absence of significant positive data - apart from folic acid's potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease – it’s most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals.”

Writing in The Conversation, Prof Clare Collins says: “Most people in Western countries don’t have an optimal diet. This review shows taking supplements as an “insurance policy” against poor dietary habits does not work. If it did, there would have been a reduction in early death … The bottom line is we need to eat more nutrient-rich whole foods, including foods high in folate such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, poultry, eggs, cereals and citrus fruits. Many breads and breakfast cereals in Australia are fortified with folate. Good food sources of niacin (vitamin B3) are lean meats, milk, eggs, wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts, leafy green vegetables and protein-containing foods.”

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THE VEG ADVANTAGE 
Over the past twenty years, Dr Neal Barnard has undertaken a number of studies looking specifically at the benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets for people with type 2 diabetes. “A plant-based diet is the preferred approach to type 2 diabetes,” he says. “It is easy, effective, and all the ‘side-effects’ are good ones—weight loss, better blood pressure and cholesterol, and less need for medications.”
Vegetarianism
In a 74-week randomised trial, 99 adults with type 2 diabetes were placed on either a vegan diet or the 2003 American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet guidelines, which emphasised limiting calories and controlling carbohydrates. The vegan diet proved better at controlling BGLs and cholesterol. After an additional year of observation, the vegan group still had an edge when it came to controlling blood glucose and cholesterol.

A 10-city study conducted at GEICO plants around the US again showed that a vegan diet can improve body weight and blood glucose control. The researchers found that it is also promising for people with advanced diabetes. A randomised controlled pilot study showed that a low-fat vegan diet led to substantial improvements in painful diabetic neuropathy.

Research scientists know that adhering to all therapeutic diets requires some effort by the participants. Dr Barnard’s team has specifically monitored the acceptance of the vegan diet and reports that it appears to be no more challenging than other prescribed diets for people with type 2 diabetes.

In a 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis of 255 people (average age 42.5 years) followed for an average of 24 weeks (range 4–74 weeks) his team found that vegetarian diets were associated with improved glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes – a significant 0.39% reduction in HbA1c.

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LOWER-FAT DIET AND BREAST CANCER 
Of the 1764 women diagnosed with breast cancer during the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial, those following a lower-fat diet had increased breast cancer overall survival, although the increase was likely partly due to better survival from several causes of death. In the trial, 19,541 women followed a dietary intervention to reduce their fat intake to 20 percent of calories and increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and grains they were eating, while 29,294 women served as a usual-diet comparison group.

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CUT BACK SAT FAT TO REDUCE DIABETES RISK 
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In this small and short-term overfeeding study, the researchers gave overweight people an extra 1000 calories a day from saturated fat, unsaturated fat and carbohydrates (simple sugars). They found that where the extra calories came from made a difference to increases in IHTG (intrahepatic triglyceride). Saturated fat induced greatest increase in IHTG, insulin resistance, and harmful ceramides. They suggest that decreased intakes of saturated fat could be beneficial in reducing IHTG and the associated risk of diabetes.

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TWO RELIABLE REFERENCES 
Catherine Saxelby’s Complete Food and Nutrition Companion (second edition) A leading nutritionist for over 25 years, Catherine has educated a generation of Australians about healthy eating and getting the most from their diet. This A–Z guide is a practical family nutrition reference with more than 500 entries covering whole foods, processed foods, additives, nutrients, supplements and more.

Understanding the Science of Food from Molecules to Mouthfeel. Sharon Croxford and Emma Stirling wrote this as a food science text book. But anyone interested in food science will enjoy it. They describe the key processes in food preparation and the chemistry behind them in detail including denaturation and coagulation of proteins, gelatinisation, gelation and retrogradation of starches, thickening and gelling, browning reactions, emulsification, foams and spherification, chemical, mechanical and biological leaveners and fermentation and preservation. They also cover the science behind cooking techniques and the senses.