1 May 2019

GI News - May 2019

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

FATS Q and A: OUR EXPERTS ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS 
Prof Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr Alan Barclay answer the most common questions we are asked about dietary fats. 

WHAT ARE FATS? They are an essential nutrient like protein and carbohydrate playing numerous roles in our bodies including:

  • Forming the structure of our body cells 
  • Helping make bile and sex hormones 
  • Insulating us from cold 
  • Surrounding and protecting vital organs like our kidneys 
  • Providing us with fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), and 
  • Storing energy. 
They are also energy dense – 37kJ per gram (9 calories), compared with 17kJ per gram (4 calories) for protein and carbs.

Range of fats and oils
Most of the fats we eat are triglycerides – fat molecules composed of three fatty acids joined to a glycerol (sugar alcohol) backbone. During digestion our bodies break the fatty acids down into free fatty acids which the cells in our intestine absorb and release into the bloodstream.

Fats may lower insulin requirements when we first consume them because they delay the rate that foods are emptied from the stomach into the small intestine, and are absorbed into the blood. However, an increasing body of evidence suggests that they raise insulin requirements 3–5 hours after a meal, most likely due to increased insulin resistance.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FATS IN OUR DIET? Saturated fat, trans fat, mono-unsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat are the main fats in the foods we eat. Collectively, mono-unsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat are called unsaturated fats because of their chemical structure. Most fats and oils, however, are a combination of saturated, poly- and mono-unsaturated fats.

WHY ARE SOME FATS CALLED GOOD FATS? Unsaturated fats are the ones with a health halo. These are the fats found in plant foods including nuts and seeds, avocadoes and olives, and oils and spreads made from plants and seeds. They can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol reducing our risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart disease and stroke). It’s important to eat some good fats every day.

Polyunsaturated fats are particularly important because they provide us with the essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which our bodies can’t produce. Best sources are oily fish (e.g. salmon and mackerel), seeds (flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds) and nuts (especially walnuts and Brazil nuts). For mono-unsaturated fats, enjoy avocadoes, almonds cashews and peanuts or use oils made from them along with olive oil of course.

WHY ARE SOME FATS CALLED BAD FATS? Saturated fats have earned the label “bad fats” because too much of them will raise our LDL (bad) cholesterol which can block blood vessels and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). Trans fats not only increase LDL cholesterol, they also lower HDL (good) cholesterol so their overall effect is even worse for our health.
  • Foods naturally high in saturated fats include animal foods like fatty meats (sausages, bacon, salami, Devon, etc), butter, ghee, cream, hard cheese, and full cream milk. 
  • Foods high in trans fats include some margarines (e.g., cooking and some cheap table varieties), and cooking fats for deep-frying (particular those used in fast food restaurants) and shortening for baking (pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits/cookies, buns, etc). 
WHAT ABOUT CHOLESTEROL? This is a special kind of fat that’s only found in animal foods such as meat and dairy foods. It’s actually the saturated fat and trans fats in these foods that cause LDL cholesterol levels to rise, which is why for many years, dietary advice to help people lower their blood cholesterol has focused on the fats in our diets. There is now growing evidence that the kind of available carbohydrate (sugars, maltodextrins and starches) that we eat has an effect on our blood cholesterol levels too.

However, when it comes to lowering blood cholesterol levels, some carbs are helpful. For example, oats, legumes, fruits and vegetables, contain certain kinds of fibre (e.g., beta-glucans) that may help lower blood cholesterol levels by binding it in our guts.

HOW MUCH FAT SHOULD I EAT? It all comes back to balance. Because the different kinds of fats are found in such a broad range of foods, it’s essential to eat a variety of foods, avoid trans fats as much as possible and for every gram of saturated fat you consume, eat 2 grams of unsaturated.

You only have to look around the world to see that there are very different dietary patterns with very different fat intakes that are associated with good health and long life. For example, traditional Mediterranean and Japanese diets, which are both linked with a long and healthy life, couldn’t be more different. The Mediterranean diet is relatively high in fats and tends to be rather moderate in carbs. The Japanese diet, like most Asian diets, is high in carbs and low in fats. What they have in common and what seems to matter most is that they are based on good, wholesome foods and ingredients. Mostly plants. If you need advice on what to eat, see a registered/accredited dietitian.

HOW MUCH FAT SHOULD CHILDREN EAT? Children need fat for energy, growth, brain development and a healthy immune system. For babies, breastmilk and infant formula are high in fat to sustain the rapid growth during the first year of life. Once weaned, children start obtaining fat from other foods and between 2 and 3 years of age, growth slows down and fat becomes less important in the diet. As children begin consuming a more varied diet, the type of fat in their diet should become a higher consideration. A reasonable amount of fat for a child is around 30 per cent of their daily kilojoule intake. For 4–8-year-olds this equates to 50–60 grams, for older kids around 60–80 grams of fat per day.

Read More:

WHAT’S NEW?

WHICH FAT IS WORSE FOR FATTY LIVER DISEASE? 
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver. Many people have no symptoms of the disease, but can end up with cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. In addition, the liver can scar and not work properly, causing serious health issues if the problem isn’t dealt with.

Fatty meats
While obesity is a major risk factor for fatty liver disease, some overweight people develop it and others don’t. A group of researchers in Europe designed an overfeeding study to see if it’s the type of fat that makes a difference to the amount of fat that accumulates in the liver. Thirty-eight overweight volunteers were split into three different groups. Along with the food they normally ate each day, they consumed 4200kJ (1000 calories) extra for three weeks. The extra foods were provided and the participants were carefully monitored throughout.

  • The fats in group 1’s extra calories were mainly saturated including coconut oil, butter, and blue cheese. 
  • The fats in group 2’s were mainly unsaturated fats including olive oil, pesto, pecan nuts, and a little butter (20g). 
  • Group 3’s extra calories came from naturally occurring and added sugars in fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, and candy. 
While all three extra calorie diets produced an increase in the amount of fat in the liver, the diet rich in saturated fats produced a greater amount of liver fat than the others along with increased insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes. In their conclusion, the researchers recommend that people with fatty liver disease should avoid foods rich in saturated fat to help reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Read more:

WHAT’S HOT?

PLANT MILKS
Gone are the days when the lactose intolerant or those with milk allergy had to opt for soy or rice milk. Zoom around the supermarket and you are spoiled for choice – regular, light, flavoured, and calcium enriched plant milks from numerous nuts and grains and even a fruit (coconut). It’s a growth industry.

Plant milks
WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS IN PLANT “MILKS”? It’s important to read the label as a typical ingredients list can contain from 3 or 4 to 13 or 14 ingredients. Remember, ingredients are listed on a food label from the greatest to smallest amounts that have been added.

  • Soy “milks” are water (about 85–90%) and ground whole soy beans or soy protein isolate powder. 
  • Nut “milks” (almond, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia) are water (about 97%) and ground nuts/nut pastes. 
  • Grain/seed “milks” (hemp, quinoa/chia, oats, rice) are water (about 85–90%) and a mix of flours and/or brans. 
  • Coconut “milk” is water (about 70%) and coconut cream/milk. 
WHAT ELSE IS IN THEM? Food manufacturers add a number of ingredients and approved food additives to make them more nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk, to provide a creamy mouth-feel and to make them tasty. We have put together this table to help you decode the ingredient list so you know what you are buying and can make an informed decision.

Plant milk ingredient table
In a review of plant milks in The Conversation, dietitian Suzie Ferrie makes the point that many consumers are probably being misled by the labelling of these alternative products as milk and that some are startlingly low on nutrition. She says: “The large amount of added water means that many of these products are quite dilute. Other than soy milk, none of the others have even a tenth of the protein in animal milks. If you adjust for the amount of added water by looking at their nutrition relative to calorie content (instead of just per 100ml as most labels show), then some of the nut products look a bit better ...Then, there’s added salt, which surprisingly seems to be a supplement to every nut milk product on the market. Calcium content is not comparable either, unless it has been added. Unfortunately, the form of calcium commonly used is not easily absorbed by the human body compared to what’s present in animal milks.”

If you need to manage your blood glucose, you need to know that there’s here’s also a considerable difference in GI values of plant milks as you can see in the following table.

Plant milk table
Read more:

PRODUCT REVIEW

THE FREE-FROM-DAIRY MILK BAR 
If you check out the ingredient list on a carton of cow’s milk, there’s one ingredient: milk (or low-fat milk). That’s because it’s a whole food that’s minimally processed (pasteurised and possibly homogenised). Plant “milks” on the other hand tend to have a longish list of ingredients because they are processed foods from factories not farms. We took a look at four calcium-enriched plant milks (soy, rice, almond and coconut) for product review this month to help you choose one that’s right for you. The nutrition data comes from the manufacturers’ websites, which we found very comprehensive and much easier to read than the small print on the nutrition label on the containers.

Plant milks
SO GOOD SOY 
Ingredients: Filtered water, soy protein (3.5%), corn maltodextrin, vegetable oils (sunflower, canola), cane sugar, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium), acidity regulators (332, 450), antioxidant (ascorbic acid), vitamins (A, B12, D2, B2, B1), natural flavour.
Plant milk 1
VITASOY RICE MILK 
Ingredients: Filtered water, whole brown rice (min. 13%), sunflower oil, mineral (calcium phosphate), sea salt.
Plant milk 2
SO GOOD ALMOND MILK 
Ingredients: Filtered water, almonds (2.5%), mineral (calcium), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), natural flavour, salt, mineral salt (sodium bicarbonate), vegetable gum (gellan), antioxidant (ascorbic acid), vitamins (B12, B2, B1).
Plant milk 3
SO GOOD COCONUT MILK 
Ingredients: Filtered water, coconut cream (9%), chicory inulin, mineral salt (tricalcium phosphate), flavour, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), salt, vegetable gum (gellan).
Plant milk 4

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

FATS AND BLOOD CHOLESTEROL 
As well as being a highly concentrated source of energy and a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins, fats provide food with a pleasant mouth feel and carry many of the flavours that make certain dishes taste delicious. Current dietary guidelines advise people to eat less saturated fat to help improve blood cholesterol levels, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Will simply eating less saturated fat improve your blood cholesterol or is it more complicated than that?

fats in food  

WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL? Cholesterol is a kind of fat that is a part of all of our body’s cells. It is essential for many metabolic processes, including the production of hormones (e.g., oestrogen and testosterone), vitamin D and bile for digesting fat, and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins from foods. It is produced by the liver and also made by most cells in the body.

WHERE DOES CHOLESTEROL IN FOODS COME FROM? Cholesterol is only found in animal foods like meat, poultry, seafood, dairy and eggs. Plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains do not contain any cholesterol in their natural state.

WHAT ABOUT BLOOD CHOLESTEROL? Cholesterol is carried around in the blood by little “couriers” called lipoproteins, which include:

  • LDL cholesterol Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, takes cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body’s organs. When levels are too high, cholesterol can build up in the walls of blood vessels, eventually blocking them. Having high levels of LDL in the blood is therefore a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Aim for an LDL cholesterol level less than 2.0 mmol/L (77 mg/dL). 
  • HDL cholesterol High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, seems to protect against cardiovascular disease because it clears cholesterol from our blood vessels and helps in its removal from the body. Having low levels of HDL in the blood is therefore a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Aim for a HDL cholesterol level of at least 1.0 mmol/L (39 mg/dL). 
The main nutrients in food that cause LDL cholesterol levels to rise are saturated and trans-fats, not cholesterol. However, if you eat a diet high in saturated fat, eating high cholesterol foods can raise some people’s blood cholesterol levels by an additional 10-20%. On the other hand, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol.

The Heart Foundation currently recommends that we consume less than 10% of energy from saturated fat and less than 1% of energy from trans-fat. Dietary Guidelines recommend we consume 20-35% of energy from fat in total. Therefore, the optimal ratio for saturated and trans fats to unsaturated fats is no more than 1 : 2, or 0.5 if you prefer (this is what we use for recipes in GI News). In other words, for every gram of saturated fat, make sure you consume 2 or more grams of poly or monounsaturated fat.

It is of course important to note that no one has, or is, recommending complete avoidance of saturated fat, or foods high in saturated fat – it’s the balance that counts. It is therefore ok to enjoy butter instead of margarine as long as you have olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, etc...to balance it out.

Triglycerides
So, the answer to the question “Will simply eating less saturated fat improve your blood cholesterol” is possibly – provided you replace the saturated fats with healthy alternatives.

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.

BEST FOOD FORWARD

CARBS AND YOUR HEART, FOR WOMEN 
Perhaps you’ve heard of Go Red for Women, the movement to end heart disease and stroke in women? Unfortunately, we need a movement because while heart disease is our greatest health threat, women are too busy looking after others to take personal prevention seriously. This needs to change and we can start with choosing heart-friendly food, including good carbs.

Heart health
Despite the anti-carb hype in the pop-diet world, carbohydrates like dietary fibre and resistant starch are nutritional superstars. They not only keep your gut healthy, but they also help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. We know you show plenty of love to your family, but we encourage you to show your own heart some love, and ‘keep calm and eat good carbs’.

It’s well known the types of fats you eat greatly influence your cholesterol levels, but it’s less well known that carbohydrates are no longer neutral in the cardiovascular risk equation. Choosing the wrong carbs increases your risk of heart disease. This was demonstrated in a study published by the Harvard Group in 2015. They compared the effect of saturated fats, unsaturated fats and sources of carbohydrate on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in two large cohorts (84,628 women nurses and 42,908 male health professionals) followed up over 24-30 years. They found saturated fats increased risk and unsaturated fats (especially polyunsaturated fats) were protective. This was a result consistent with previous studies. Wholegrains were also protective. But the real newsflash came with their finding that refined starches and added sugars were positively associated with coronary heart disease. While the message is well and truly out about reducing added sugars, we’re clueless about refined starches. Here’s our three-step plan to help you choose good carbs.

ENSURE AT LEAST HALF YOUR GRAIN FOODS ARE WHOLEGRAIN 

  • Choose wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereals 
  • Use wholegrain bread and crispbread 
  • Buy wholemeal pasta, noodles, couscous and brown rice 
CHOOSE LOWER GI CARBS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
  • Look for dense grainy breads, breads with seeds or soy, or sourdough breads 
  • Buy lower GI rices such as Basmati, or Doongara 
  • Include legumes (beans, split peas and lentils) in your meals 
  • Choose lower GI potatoes (Nicola, Carisma) and starchy vegetables (carrots, parsnips, butternut pumpkin and orange-fleshed sweet potato) 
LIMIT ADDED SUGARS AND REFINED STARCHES 
  • Leave soft drinks, flavoured waters and sports drinks to special occasions • Enjoy confectionery such as candy and chocolates occasionally and in small amounts 
  • Enjoy cakes, biscuits (cookies), pastries, sweet buns and donuts sometimes and in small amounts 
  • Limit the quantity and frequency of white bread, white rice (and rice crackers), regular potatoes and low-fibre breakfast cereals (e.g. puffed rice, flaked corn) 
  • Limit highly processed food products with high levels of refined starches such as potato crisps, rice crisps and crackers, extruded savoury snacks (potato thins, cheesy puffs, twists etc.) 
  • Limit foods with high levels of added refined starches such as maltodextrin (check the label) and all the food additives with the term ‘starch’ in the name (additive code numbers 1400-1451). Remember, the ingredients are listed in order by weight on the label so starches near the top of the ingredients list are present in the largest proportion. 
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

MILK 
Milk and other nutrient-rich dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese are one of the most affordable sources of nutrition. They provide us with energy, protein and carbohydrate; and with minerals including calcium, potassium, phosphorus; and vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin. While milk a valuable source of nutrients for young and old alike, it is very easily overconsumed. So, think of it as food in liquid form. The recommended intakes vary for different ages and stages of life, but for healthy, non-pregnant adults around 250–450ml of low-fat milk a day is suitable. For children, reduced fat dairy foods are recommended from two years of age.
Milk
Lactose, the sugar that occurs naturally in milk, is digested into glucose and galactose by the enzyme lactase found in the small bowel of all mammals at birth (apart from those born with lactase deficiency). A person without enough lactase has digestive problems when they consume foods and drinks that contain lactose. About a third of the world’s population continues to produce lactase throughout life. The rest don’t. However, there are many lactose-free milks on the market, so there’s no need to go without calcium-rich dairy foods. Some people who are lactose intolerant find they can enjoy yoghurt because the micro-organisms added to milk to make yoghurt breakdown lactose - in other words, the “bugs” help do the job of lactose digestion for you. People with lactose intolerance can eat cheese because it is made from milk solids (curd); the lactose-rich whey has been drained off during the early stages of processing.

Calcium is essentially why dairy foods are recommended throughout childhood and beyond as it’s the key to strong healthy bones. But dairy milk is not for everyone. If you are lactose intolerant, have a milk allergy or eat only plant foods, non-dairy options that will boost your calcium intake include almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, dried figs, dried apricots, soybeans, dark leafy greens, dried legumes, Asian greens such as bok choy, calcium-enriched tofu and calcium-fortified breakfast cereals.
 Nutrition Facts Peanuts - no salt  
Source: AUSNUT2013

IN THE GI NEWS KITCHEN

Anneka Manning’s Salmon and Roast Vegetable Frittatas • Dr Nick Fuller’s Whole Roast Cauliflower with Lemon and chilli • SunRice Breakfast Rice Puddings

ANNEKA MANNING’S FAMILY BAKING. 
SALMON AND ROAST VEGETABLE FRITTATAS
Anneka Manning – author, food editor, home economist, mother of two and the founder of BakeClub – 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 suggests roasting extra vegetables when making them for dinner so you have them on hand for a quick and easy lunch or light meal the next day. Makes: 8 • Preparation time: 15 minutes (+ 5 minutes cooling time) • Baking time: 25 minutes

SALMON AND ROAST VEGETABLE FRITTATAS
Olive oil, to grease
3½ cups chopped roasted vegetables (see Annie’s Tips)
210g/7oz can red or pink salmon in spring water, drained and coarsely flaked
½ cup coarsely grated vintage cheddar cheese
⅓ cup chopped chives, flat-leaf parsley and/or basil
6 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (170°C/325°F fan-forced). Grease 8 holes of a 1/3 cup (80ml) muffin pan with olive oil or alternatively line with paper muffin cases. • Place vegetables, salmon, cheese and herbs in a large mixing bowl and toss gently to combine evenly. Spoon the mixture into the muffin holes, dividing evenly. Crack the eggs into a jug, season well with salt and pepper and then use a fork to whisk to combine. Carefully pour into the muffin holes over the vegetable mixture, dividing evenly. • Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until set and golden. (The eggs will continue to cook in the muffin pan, so it’s ok if the centre is a little soft, just not runny). Stand in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then use a small palette knife or butter knife to remove the frittatas. Serve warm or room temperature with a green salad.

Annie’s tips

  • Roasted pumpkin, capsicum, carrots, sweet potato, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms all work well in these frittatas. 
  • Add chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage or thyme to your vegetables before roasting them for an extra flavour hit. 
  • These frittatas will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F (160°C/320°F fan-forced) for 5–10 minutes. 
Per frittata 
630 kJ/ 150 calories; 13 g protein; 8 g fat (includes 3 g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.6); 5 g available carbs (includes 2.5 g sugars and 2.5 g starch); 5 g fibre; 340 mg sodium

WHOLE ROAST CAULIFLOWER WITH LEMON AND CHILLI 
We are big fans of cauliflower here at GI News. It’s what we called a three-in-one- veg in our Good Carbs Cookbook because it gives you an edible head of creamy florets and crunchy white stems encased by tender green leaves. This recipe is from Dr Nick Fuller’s new book, Interval Weight Loss for Life (Penguin), a practical guide to helping people reprogram their body after weight loss. A small head of cauliflower roasted will serve 4.

CAULIFLOWER
1 small head cauliflower
Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
Olive oil, for drizzling
Dried chilli flakes, for sprinkling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Pre-line a baking tray with baking paper. • Place the whole cauliflower in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Drain. Cut off the stalk and remove the leaves. • Place the cauliflower in the baking tray. Scatter over the lemon zest, and pour over the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with chilli flakes, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 minutes or until tender and lightly golden. Cut into wedges and serve.

Per serve 
320 kJ/ 77 calories; 5g protein; 3g fat (includes 0.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.2); 4.5g available carbs (includes 4.5g sugars and 0g starch); 6g fibre; 100mg sodium; 635mg potassium; sodium to potassium ratio 0.16

Interval Weight Loss
Nick’s Interval Weight Loss isn’t a diet, it isn’t intermittent fasting, or anything similar; it’s an evidence-based plan to help people redefine their set point so they can prevent the ever-so-common weight regain that happens after people lose weight. Losing weight is the easy part, keeping it off is the hard part, and this is why more than 95% fail on their long-term weight loss journeys. To find out more, check out the Facebook page.

SUNRICE BREAKFAST RICE PUDDING
Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen, SunRice Health and Wellness Ambassador, developed this recipe to showcase their Doongara Clever Low GI White Rice which carries the GI Symbol. Doongara is a low GI (54) variety of long-grain rice grown in Australia that is ideal to serve with curries and stir-fries as well as use to make a simple rice pudding for a leisurely breakfast or brunch, or for dessert. • Preparation/cooking time: 25 minutes. • Serves 6

SUNRICE BREAKFAST RICE PUDDING
1½ cups SunRice Low GI White Rice (raw)
400ml (14fl oz) almond milk
1 cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup mixed seeds and/or nuts

Add the rice, almond milk, cold water, seeds and/or nuts, and maple syrup to a saucepan. • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. • Remove from heat and stand, covered, for 5 minutes. • Serve with your choice of toppings such as berries, fruit, or extra toasted seeds/nuts. .

Per serve
1087kJ/ 260 calories; 5.4g protein; 5.7g fat (includes 0.6g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.12); 45.0g available carbs (includes 4.3g sugars); 1.0g fibre; 46mg sodium; 99mg potassium; sodium to potassium ratio 0.46

LOW GI LIVING 
Foods with the GI Symbol have been laboratory tested and meet strict nutrient criteria in line with international dietary guidelines including specified limits for carbohydrates, energy, total and saturated fat, sodium and, where appropriate, fibre and calcium. The independent certification program is run by the Glycemic Index Foundation, a not-for-profit health promotion charity. For updates on low GI products that carry the GI Symbol and for recipes, sign up for the Foundation’s electronic newsletter, Low GI Living.
GI Symbol

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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.

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1 April 2019

GI News - April 2019

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

SUGAR ALCOHOLS (POLYOLS) QandA: OUR EXPERTS ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS 
Prof Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr Alan Barclay answer 7 of the most common questions we are asked about sugar alcohols. 

WHAT ARE SUGAR ALCOHOLS (POLYOLS)? 
Erythritol, glycerol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol are sugar alcohols. They are a type of carbohydrate. Their somewhat confusing name comes from their chemical structure with its characteristics of both sugars and alcohol. But they don’t actually contain sugars nor do they contain the type of alcohol found in beer, wine or spirits. They are sweet but, except for xylitol, generally much less sweet than sucrose, which is why food and beverage manufacturers often combine them with intense sweeteners such as stevia in foods and beverages.

WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM? 
Food manufacturers use sugar alcohols as reduced-calorie (kilojoule) sugar substitutes to sweeten “diabetic friendly”, sugar free and no added sugars products including chewing gum, candy (lollies), ice cream, dairy desserts, yoghurts, baked goods such as cakes and cookies, and fruit spreads and jams. They also add them to tabletop and spoonable or pourable high-intensity sweeteners such as stevia as bulking agents. You’ll also find them in toothpastes, mouthwashes, breath mints, cough syrups or drops and throat lozenges in the pharmacy aisles. Apart from xylitol, you’ll be very unlikely to see them on the supermarket shelf as they are not commonly used as ingredients in home cooking.

Chewing gum
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? 
Most sugar alcohols are produced in commercial quantities for the food industry from various sugars or starches. However, they do occur naturally in many plants. For example:

  • Erythritol is found in small amounts in grapes, melons and mushrooms and in fermented foods such as wine, beer, sake, cheese, and soy sauce. 
  • Sorbitol occurs naturally in many fruits and berries. It was first “discovered” way back in 1872 in the berries of Sorbus aucuparia – mountain ash. 
  • Xylitol is found in birch bark and in the dietary fibre of many fruits and vegetables. 
ARE THEY LIKE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS? 
No. They are quite different. Sugar alcohols (polyols) are found in nature and are nutritive sweeteners with an average of 2 calories or 8 kilojoules per gram (versus the 4 calories or 17 kilojoules per gram of sugars and starches). Artificial sweeteners like saccharin and sucralose on the other hand are non-nutritive intense sweeteners with zero calories/kilojoules and come directly from the chemistry lab.

WHAT’S THE UPSIDE OF CHOOSING FOODS SWEETENED WITH SUGAR ALCOHOLS?
They have a couple of advantages over sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, etc.)
  • First, they may have less effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) because the body treats them as dietary fibre, which means they are slowly and incompletely absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream. See Perspectives below for GI values. 
  • And they are “tooth friendly.” They don’t provide energy for plaque bacteria in the mouth so don’t cause cavities. FDA has approved the use of a “does not promote tooth decay” health claim in labelling for sugar-free foods that contain polyols, and in other parts of the world they may be labelled “safe for teeth.” 
WHAT’S THE DOWNSIDE OF CHOOSING FOODS SWEETENED WITH SUGAR ALCOHOLS?
Some (isomalt, lactitol, maltitol and maltitol syrup, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol) may have a laxative effect and/or cause bloating, rumbling, gas, or diarrhea if you consume them in large amounts.
  • Foods that contain more than 10 grams of lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, and xylitol per 100 grams, or more than 25 grams of erythritol, sorbitol, or isomalt per 100 grams, carry warning statements about the possible laxative effect on their labels. These products can be a particular problem for children and adolescents because of their smaller body size. 
  • In Europe, the labelling of foods containing more than 10 per cent added polyols must include the advisory statement “excessive consumption may produce laxative effects.” EU approval for erythritol excludes its use in beverages, as there is a concern that the laxative threshold value may be exceeded when it is consumed this way, especially by young people. 
  • Those following a low-FODMAP diet due to digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may need to avoid them. (FODMAPs are sugars in foods that are poorly absorbed by the gut. The “P” stands for polyols. 
HOW CAN I MONITOR MY INTAKE OF SUGAR ALCOHOLS?
Products that contain sugar alcohols (polyols) will list them in the ingredients (in descending order by weight). However, you’ll be hard pressed to find out exactly how much you are getting per serving or per 100 grams because you won’t find any hard data in the carbohydrates section of the nutrition facts panel in most parts of the world.

In the USA, food manufacturers may voluntarily list the amount in grams per serving of sugar alcohols on the Nutrition Facts Label (under Total Carbohydrate). They may also list the name of a specific sugar alcohol if only one is added to the food. However, if a statement is made on the package labelling about the health effects of sugar alcohols or sugars (when sugar alcohols are present in the food), food manufacturers are required to list sugar alcohols.

Read More: 

WHAT’S NEW?

WILL A TREAT A DAY KEEP THE WEIGHT AWAY? 
Possibly. Back in 2005, when researchers from the University of Toronto deprived a group of women volunteers of chocolate for a week, they found that the restrained eaters in the group experienced more intense, chronic chocolate cravings and swallowed approximately double the amount of the forbidden food when it was finally allowed. “When you cut something out of your diet, you’re more likely to overeat it when you do encounter it,” says lead author Janet Polivy.

Chocolat
A new study in Psychological Science suggests that indulgent foods like chocolate may in fact promote better choices. Duke University researchers designed a study to look at how viewing treats such as Snickers and Oreos affected the choice of healthier foods such as salmon or grapefruit. They invited the participants – 79 young adults from the Durham-Chapel Hill area – to fast for four hours beforehand, so they arrived hungry.

First, participants chose between indulgent foods (tasty but not healthy) and disciplined foods (healthy but not tasty). When given a simple one-to-one choice, say between canned salmon and Oreo cookies, nearly all preferred the indulgent snack. But researchers then took the same options and paired each with an indulgent food. For instance, participants saw salmon paired with Oreos, and Snickers paired with Oreos. Participants were told they had a 50 percent chance of getting either item in a pair. When presented with that choice, participants were twice as likely to choose the pair that included a healthy option, such as salmon and Oreos.

One possible explanation involves attention. The healthy item – salmon, say – was the different item among the choices, so it stood out visually. Researchers tracked subjects' eye movements and found that subjects spent more time looking at salmon and other healthy foods when they were surrounded by indulgent treats.

Paradoxically, the nearby presence of an indulgent treat can cause more people to opt for a healthy food, said study co-author Scott Huettel, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. Context, in other words, affects food choices. “When people choose foods, they don't simply reach into their memory and pick the most-preferred food. Instead, how much we prefer something actually depends on what other options are available,” Huettel said. “If you see one healthy food and one unhealthy food, most people will choose the indulgent food,” he said. "But if you add more unhealthy foods, it seems, suddenly the healthy food stands out.”

Read more 

WHAT’S HOT?

CHOCOLATE 
Observational studies suggest that the flavonoids in cocoa can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage. Cocoa, which is made from cacao beans (the seeds of the cacao tree), is one of nature’s richest sources of flavonoids. Others sources include green and black tea, red wine, certain fruits (berries, black grapes, plums, apples) and vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, russet and sweet potatoes).

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Vincenza Gianfredi and colleagues suggest flavanol intake from chocolate may be useful in preventing heart disease and stroke (cardio-cerebrovascular diseases) in their systematic review and meta-analysis published in Nutrition. Future studies should focus on the type of chocolate responsible for the beneficial effect they say and remind us in their conclusion that: “These results do not exclude that overconsumption of chocolate/cocoa can have harmful effects. Further studies are required to confirm these data before any recommendations about chocolate intake can be made.” We have reported on the upside and downside of chocolate on a number of occasions. Here’s a summary of some key points.

CHOCOLATE AND BLOOD GLUCOSE Although most chocolates have a relatively high added sugars content, they don’t have a big impact on your blood glucose levels. The average GI is around 45 because their high fat content slows the rate that the sugars are released from the stomach into the intestine and absorbed into the blood.

CHOCOLATE AND WEIGHT Most chocolates are energy dense – you get a lot of kilojoules (calories) in a little piece. This is good if you are trying to gain weight, travel long-distances with limited storage space, or participate in an endurance sport where it is an advantage to be able to carry around a concentrated and highly palatable source of carbohydrate and energy. But it is obviously not good if you are trying to lose weight. Sugar-free chocolate provides a modest saving in calories (see Product Review).

CHOCOLATE AND FATIGUE A nice cup of hot chocolate could be a safe, easy way to reduce fatigue symptoms associated with inflammation in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to international researchers reporting on a randomised controlled feasibility trial in Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. The research team asked 40 people with MS to drink high- or low-flavonoid cocoa every day for six weeks. They found those who drank high-flavonoid cocoa rated their fatigue as lower, and were also able to cover more distance in 6-minute walking tests. If these results can be confirmed in larger studies, dark chocolate and cocoa could be an easy (and tasty) way to reduce fatigue symptoms, the researchers say.

THE FATS IN CHOCOLATE In good quality chocolate, cocoa butter is the main source of fat. It is rich in a particular kind of saturated fat called stearic acid, which raises the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol the least of the saturated fats, but raises the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol more. The net effect on your total blood cholesterol levels is not bad at all. The amount of cocoa butter in chocolate varies. As a rough guide, better quality chocolate generally will have more cocoa butter.

HOW MUCH CHOCOLATE? “Keep your portions small,” says dietitian Nicole Senior, “because it’s the transition from cocoa to chocolate that adds the fat, sugar and kilojoules. Luckily, the intensity of flavour helps keep small amounts deeply satisfying. If I could borrow and modify an often-used phrase from Michael Pollan, I’d say this: Eat good honest chocolate; mostly dark; not too much.”

Read more: 

PRODUCT REVIEW

WITH OR WITHOUT SUGAR? WHAT’S IN CHOCOLATE?
People with diabetes don’t need to eat low or reduced-sugar chocolates to avoid high BGLs provided they don't eat too much. However, alternatively sweetened chocolates usually do provide fewer calories, an advantage if you are trying to lose weight. “Chocolate is a supremely pleasurable ‘sometimes food’ to be enjoyed in small amounts without guilt,” says dietitian Nicole Senior. “A good way to do this is to naturally limit the amount by eating the best quality chocolate, and ideally buying Fair Trade.”

Chocolates
We took a look at what you get with dark chocolate with or without added sugars for product review. We provide you with nutrition information for the serving size the manufacturer recommends as well as per 100 grams so you can compare the data on a level playing field. The nutrition data comes from the manufacturers’ websites.

LINDT EXCELLENCE DARK CHOCOLATE, 70% COCOA 
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soy lecithin), vanilla.
Chocolate
WELL NATURALLY NO SUGAR ADDED RICH DARK CHOCOLATE (70%) 
Ingredients: Cocoa mass & cocoa butter (70% cocoa solids), polydextrose, erythritol, soy lecithin, natural flavour, stevia.
Chocolate
CHOCOLOGIC NO ADDED SUGAR BELGIAN DARK CHOCOLATE
Ingredients: Cocoa Mass, Alimentary Fibres (Dextrin, Inulin, Oligofructose), Sweeteners (Erythritol, Steviol Glycosides), Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Natural Flavouring (Vanilla), Plain Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 55% minimum
Chocolate

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

SWEET NOTHINGS? 
Consumer demand for reduced sugar, no-added-sugar and sugar free foods and beverages has increased, as people look to cut back on processed foods with added sugars without cutting sweet treats out of their lives. Sugar alcohols or polyols are increasingly replacing them in foods and beverages, often along with intense sweeteners, as they provide similar bulk and texture to sugars but fewer kilojoules/calories. We put together the following table to show you how sugar alcohols compare with added table sugar (sucrose).

Polyol comparison table
A couple of points. While sugar alcohols occur naturally in many plant foods, they are extracted for the food industry from various starches and sugars. You may also notice that the GI values differ from some of the claims you will see on-line and on product packaging. This is because much of the original GI testing was done before ISO 26642:2010 (Food products -- Determination of the glycaemic index (GI) and recommendation for food classification) was gazetted in 2010. The ISO sets out how much available carbohydrate each sugar alcohol (polyol)provides and therefore how much is required for GI testing. Prof Tom Wolever has adjusted older GI test results based on the amount of available carbohydrate they contain, and it’s his result we have included.

As they are generally poorly absorbed in our intestines (with the notable exception of erythritol), polyols all provide much less energy than regular sugars. But, with the exception of xylitol, they are not as sweet as sucrose. Therefore, more polyols need to be used to attain the same sweetness in a product, or (more typically), they are blended with an intense sweetener to achieve the same sweetness as sucrose. A very common example is erythritol, which is on average only 70% as sweet as sucrose. It is typically blended with steviol glycosides (“stevia”) to achieve a final product that has a similar bulk, texture and taste as sucrose, that is also “natural”.

Most have a lower GI and all have a lower glycemic load (GL) than sucrose. However, most do provide some available carbohydrate, so if consumed in large amounts, they will have an effect on blood glucose levels – though much less than sucrose.

Finding them in the packaged foods or beverages you buy can be tricky. The good news is that ingredient lists must include the name of individual sugar alcohols/polyols if they are used. The bad news is that they are not a mandatory component of the Nutrition Facts panel in most countries, and therefore are rarely included. The USA is the notable exception where they must be included under Total Carbohydrate when a “sugar free”, “no added sugar” or other sugar claim is made.

Given they are a kind of carbohydrate and excessive consumption can cause wind, bloating and diarrhoea, we think this “invisibility” could be a problem for a significant proportion of the population. It also reminds us that carbohydrates are generally labelled poorly and that it’s not the sugars that are hidden. It’s the sugar alcohols/polyols.

We like the following Nutrition Facts panel for ProYo ice cream and would like to see this approach or something similar widely adopted so people can see what’s sweetening the processed food they buy.

NIP with polyol
Ingredient list: Skim Milk, Whole Milk, Whey Protein Concentrate, Xylitol (Natural Sweetener), Cane Sugar, Inulin, Natural Flavors, Ground Vanilla Bean

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.

BEST FOOD FORWARD

ICE CREAM – IT’S IMPACT ON OUR PLANET AND HEALTH 
“You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream” is a soundtrack to food joy. Now vegans, sustainable shoppers and calorie-conscious consumers can get their food joy fix with many big-name brands launching products to cater for their dietary desires. But are these alternative ice creams healthier for us and better for the planet?

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Plant-based foods generally use fewer resources (water, feed, energy) and have lower greenhouse gas emissions. However, not all vegan foods are sustainable options due to their high level of processing – they use more energy and their long supply chains add transport inputs and create emissions. For example, the new Magnum Classic Dairy-Free ice cream contains pea protein, but quite a number of steps and resources are required to turn peas into pea protein and then add it to ice cream. Remember, these vegan products are developed to meet consumer demand and increase market share, not to boost sustainability. Big picture. The planet could do with fewer ice creams (and highly processed foods generally) rather than vegan ones.

Today, there are ice creams on the market to cater for nearly every diet: vegan, low-calorie, higher protein, gluten-free and even “guilt-free” (whatever that means). When we compared the nutrients in Magnum Classic to the new Magnum Classic Dairy-free (Unilever Australia) per 100 grams, we found that the nutritional profiles are quite similar, with a similar ratio of fat to sugar to obtain the desired flavour and texture. The protein content of the Magnum Classic is slightly higher than its dairy-free counterpart. But (and it’s a big but) they are both still highly processed, discretionary (treat) foods. They both contain plenty of calories and roughly half your daily saturated fat allowance.

GI Symbol
The take-home: “Low-calorie” and “guilt-free” ice creams are probably not as virtuous as the marketing suggests. While they may be a little lower in calories (or sugar) than the real deal, they are still highly processed treat foods best enjoyed occasionally. And unlike the real deal, they may also come with an unwanted side of diarrhoea, bloating or gas for some people, as they are often sweetened with sugar alcohols (polyols).

It’s OK to enjoy ice cream as a treat, but enjoy a modest portion and savour every mouthful. At other times, choose fruit and yoghurt such as our favourites Greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts or seasonal fresh fruit salad with vanilla yoghurt. For a treat that satisfies, try a portion of Kate McGhie’s Banana and Peanut Ice Cream recipe in this issue of GI News. Add a drizzle of melted dark chocolate if you fancy it.

Ice Cream in a Nut Shell 

  • Vegan and low-calorie ice creams are still highly processed “sometimes” foods that have an impact on our environment and health, just like regular ice cream. 
  • No foods are off-limits; enjoy a good quality ice cream from time to time. 
  • For everyday sweet treats, choose satisfying wholefoods such as fruit and yoghurt.
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

PEANUTS
We think of peanuts as nuts, and for all culinary, research and nutritional purposes they are. But they aren’t a typical “nut” – botanically a fruit whose ovary becomes hard at maturity. This is because along with peas, beans and lentils, they belong to the legume family, whose members produce those familiar pods typically with one to twelve seeds and whose root nodules are home to the helpful nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium bacteria.

Peanuts
Peanuts (also called groundnuts) are the seeds of Arachis hypogaea and originally came from South America. The earliest evidence of people tucking into them as a food crop (along with squash, beans, quinoa and coca) comes from Nanchoc Valley in northern Peru where macro and micro-fossils (from the calculus of human teeth) suggest they were part of the local diet between at least 9500 and 7000 BP. They arrived in Europe with the conquering Spaniards at the end of the fifteenth century and then speedily made their way around the world to Asia, Africa and North America.

Dr George Washington Carver is considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry in the US. He began his peanut research in 1903. He suggested to farmers that they rotate their cotton plants (which deplete the nitrogen in the soil) and cultivate peanuts which puts it back.

With their protein, fibre, unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and phytochemicals, these popular nibbles pack a nutritional punch. They are also rich in substances considered protective for the heart: an amino acid (building block of protein) called arginine; vitamin E, folate, copper (a mineral) and plant sterols.

What about aflatoxin? Processed peanuts are quality-controlled for the presence of fungus that produces a toxin called aflatoxin. Because peanuts in the shell are not screened, throw away any mouldy ones.

What about peanut allergy? This is an increasingly common food allergy especially in children. One-third of all peanut-allergic people are also allergic to tree nuts such as brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts and cashews. See Read More for fact sheet sheet.
   Nutrition Facts Peanuts - no salt  
Source: USDA

Read more:

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
BANANA AND PEANUT ICE CREAM 
Blitzed frozen bananas make this one of the easiest and amazing ice-cream recipes ever. Good Carbs Cookbook author, Kate McGhie, says a powerful blender will do the job better than a food processor. They go from crumbly and gooey to looking a bit like oatmeal and finally achieve the consistency of a soft serve ice-cream. If you like, replace the chopped roasted peanuts with ½ cup blueberries. Preparation time: 15 minutes + freezing • Serves: 6

BANANA AND PEANUT ICE CREAM

4 large ripe bananas, peeled cut into chunks and frozen
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup runny honey
⅔ cup natural yoghurt
⅓ cup chopped roasted peanuts

Put the frozen banana into a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. (Because the bananas are frozen solid this is a noisy process.) When the mixture is smooth add the peanut butter, honey, yoghurt and peanuts then pulse-blend. Pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container with a lid and freeze.

Per serving
Energy: 1125kJ/270cals; Protein 8g; Fat 11g (includes 2g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0. 22); Available carbohydrate 34g (includes 30g sugars, 2g starches); Fibre 3.5g; Sodium 50mg; Potassium 470mg; sodium to potassium ratio 0.11

LOW GI LIVING 
The Glycemic Index Foundation, a not-for- profit health promotion charity, have recently launched a new electronic newsletter to share their low GI recipes along with the latest news about GI and better carbs. It’s aimed at the general community as well as those living with diabetes. Click the link to sign up to receive Low GI Living in your mailbox.   

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MOROCCAN STYLE CHICKEN WITH PEARL COUSCOUS
Ready in just 40 minutes, this fibre and protein rich recipe from Gabriel Gaté is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s quite a large meal and we feel it could easily stretch to more than the four serves they suggest. • Serves: 4.

MOROCCAN STYLE CHICKEN WITH PEARL COUSCOUS

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp mustard seeds tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp chilli paste
¼ tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 skinless chicken drumsticks
½ brown onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup shelled peas
250g (9oz) pearl couscous
2 cups low/reduced-salt but strong chicken stock
a handful of coriander leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). In a bowl mix 2 teaspoons of olive oil with the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, chilli paste, the tomato paste and a little salt and pepper. • Place the chicken drumsticks in a bowl and season with the spicy oil mix. Place the chicken on an oven rack and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, turning the drumsticks from time to time. • Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the chopped onion and ground cumin and stir for 1 minute. Add the diced capsicum and stir on medium heat for 3 minutes. • Add the peas and pearl couscous and stir well for 30 seconds, before adding the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes on very low heat. • Serve the chicken drumsticks on a bed of pearl couscous garnished with coriander leaves and a large, crispy garden salad on the side.

Per serve 
3070 kJ/ 730 calories; 68g protein; 25g fat (includes 6g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.32); 56g available carbs (includes 5g sugars and 51g starch); 4g fibre; 960mg sodium; 1330mg potassium

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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.

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© ®™ The University of Sydney, Australia

1 March 2019

GI News - March 2019

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

STARCH Q and A: OUR EXPERTS ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS 
Prof Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr Alan Barclay answer 5 of the most common questions we are asked about starch.

Starch structure
WHAT IS STARCH? Starch is found naturally in grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), potatoes and other starchy vegetables (e.g., parsnip, potato, pumpkin, squash), nuts and seeds. It’s the plant’s reserve energy supply that it stores in seeds and tubers. In fact, there are two types of starches which are part of the large group of polysaccharides – chains of glucose joined together by chemical bonds. 

  • Amylose is a straight chain of glucose molecules that tend to line up in rows like a string of beads and form tight, compact clumps that are harder for our bodies to gelatinise and digest. 
  • Amylopectin is a string of glucose molecules with lots of bushy looking branching points, such as you see in some types of seaweed or a tree. Amylopectin molecules are larger and more open and the starch tends to be easier for our bodies to gelatinise and digest. 
 WHAT IS GELATINISATION? Ever tried to eat raw rice or dried beans or raw potato? Not a good experience. Possibly mission impossible. That’s because the starch in these foods is stored in hard, compact granules that make it virtually impossible for our starch-digesting enzymes (amylases in our saliva and intestinal digestive juices) to attack and digest. And that’s why we cook these foods. It makes the difference called gelatinisation. It softens them up you might say.

Let’s take rice. The cooking instructions for the absorption method tell us to throw 1 cup of rice into the pot with 1½ cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat, keep covered and set aside for 5 minutes. So, what happens? The starch granules absorb the water, swell up and some burst, freeing the thousands of individual starch molecules. We now have fluffy rice and a food we have no difficulty digesting because our highly specialised starch-digesting enzymes (amylases) have a lot more accessible surface area to attack.

WHAT IS GLYCOGEN? Glycogen is very similar to starch in its chemical structure. Our bodies make it from glucose and store it as backup in the liver and muscles (we can store about 1500 to 1900 calories worth). It comes from the carb foods (starches and sugars) we consume and provides energy we can draw on when our carb stores run low with fasting or intense exercise. When carb stores run low, our bodies convert the glycogen back to glucose to power our muscles and brains.

WHAT IS RESISTANT STARCH? Many scientists categorise resistant starch as another form of dietary fibre these days because of what it does. It actually is starch that resists digestion and absorption in the small intestine and zips through to the large intestine largely intact to be fermented into short chain fatty acids, like acetate, propionate and butyrate by those good gut bacteria we have down there (our microbiome). Research in recent years suggests it may well be as important as fibre in helping reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, so it has a lot of fans. It’s found naturally in unprocessed cereals and whole grains, firm (unripe) bananas, beans and lentils. But you can create it in your own kitchen too when you make potato salad, rice salad or pasta salad – starchy foods that you cook and then cool. The same goes for old-fashioned oatmeal if you cook up a pot one day and reheat individual portions the next.

WHAT ARE MALTODEXTRINS? Maltodextrins don’t occur naturally in foods, they are chains of glucose molecules ranging from three to nine glucose units long produced by processing corn (maize), potato, rice, tapioca, or wheat to break down the starch in a factory. We call them highly refined carbohydrates. As they are flavourless and only slightly sweet, they are commonly added to processed foods to provide bulk and texture and to help blend ingredients together. You will also find them in the single-serving, tabletop packets of some intense sweeteners and in pharmaceuticals.

Are they gluten-free? In the United States and Canada, maltodextrins are most often made from corn, potato, or rice but in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, wheat is widely used. It seems to be generally accepted that the source may not matter, since the original grain or starchy vegetable is highly processed to remove all the gluten-containing protein. However, dietitian Dr Kate Marsh, always recommends people with celiac disease avoid maltodextrin derived from wheat as there is a possibility it may contain small amounts of gluten. She says: “Wheat will appear on the label when it has been used to make maltodextrin. If you have celiac disease and are concerned about a particular product, your local celiac society should be able to help. Alternatively, check with your doctor or dietitian.”

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