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.”

Read More:

WHAT’S NEW?

HOW STARCHY CARBS ADVANCED THE HUMAN RACE 
Starchy carbohydrates were a major factor in the evolution of the human brain say researchers in the Quarterly Review of Biology, challenging the long-standing belief that the increase in size of the human brain around 800,000 years ago was the result of increased meat consumption.

Starchy veges
“Global increases in obesity and diet-related metabolic diseases have led to enormous interest in ancestral or ‘Paleolithic’ diets,” said Professor Jennie Brand-Miller. “Up until now, there has been a heavy focus on the role of animal protein in the development of the human brain over the last two million years. The importance of carbohydrate, particularly in the form of starch-rich plant foods, has been largely overlooked. Our research suggests that dietary carbohydrates, along with meat, were essential for the evolution of modern big-brained humans.”

According to the researchers, the high glucose demands required for the development of modern humans’ large brains would not have been met on a low carbohydrate diet. The human brain uses up to 25 per cent of the body’s energy budget and up to 60 per cent of blood glucose. Human pregnancy and lactation, in particular, place additional demands on the body’s glucose budget, along with increased body size and the need for mobility and dietary flexibility.

Starches would have been readily available to early human populations in the form of tubers, seeds and some fruits and nuts. But it was only with the advent of cooking that such foods became more easily digested, leading to “transformational” changes in human evolution, said co-author Professor Les Copeland.

Researchers also point to evidence in salivary amylase genes, which increase the amount of salivary enzymes produced to digest starch. While modern humans have on average six copies of salivary amylase genes, other primates have only an average of two. The exact point at which salivary amylase genes multiplied is uncertain, but genetic evidence suggests it occurred in the last million years, around the same time that cooking became a common practice. “After cooking became widespread, starch digestion advanced and became the source of preformed dietary glucose that permitted the acceleration in brain size,” Professor Copeland said. In terms of energy supplied to an increasingly large brain, increased starch consumption may have provided a substantial evolutionary advantage.”

According to the researchers, a diet similar to that which gave us our large brains in the Paleolithic era would be positive for human health. That diet should include underground starchy foods such as potatoes, taro, yams and sweet potatoes, as well as more recently introduced starchy grains like wheat, rye, barley, corn, oats, quinoa and millet. “It is clear that our physiology should be optimised to the diet we experienced in our evolutionary past,” Professor Brand-Miller said. “Eating meat may have kickstarted the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods, together with more salivary amylase genes, made us smarter still.”

Read more:

WHAT’S HOT?

PORRIDGE OATS 
For a high-energy breakfast that sticks to your ribs, warms you up on a crisp day and keeps you firing till lunchtime, it’s hard to go past porridge made with traditional oats – a good source of soluble fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and zinc. Oats make really great porridge because they become comfortingly thick and soothingly creamy when you cook them, thanks partly to their soluble fibre. Exuding a warmth and goodness health halo they are so successful at kick-starting the day for porridge people and muesli fans alike that they have become stuck in the stacks in the breakfast cereal aisle. But oat groats (de-hulled oat grain) have a place at the table for other meals, too. You can use them in salads, pilafs and soups instead of pearl barley or spelt.

PORRIDGE OATS
WHAT’S IN PORRIDGE? Half a cup (about 130g or 4½oz) of cooked traditional rolled oats have about 270 kilojoules (65 calories), 2g protein, 1.5g fat, 10g carbs (0g sugars/ 10g starches), 1g fibre, 0mg sodium, 48mg potassium.

WHAT ABOUT GI? SUGiRS have tested various types of porridge oats over the years and have found they can range from low GI to rather high. Why the difference? It’s all in the processing. After harvesting, raw oats are cleaned and hulled. Oat groats or whole oats are the de-hulled oat grain (they have not been GI tested but we would guesstimate they would have a low GI value similar to steel cut oats). You can use them in salads, pilafs and soups instead of pearl barley or spelt. Oat groats are then processed to produce a range of products to make your breakfast porridge including:

  • Steel-cut oats (also called pin-head or Irish oats) are groats that have been chopped up with a steel blade (GI 42–52 depending on the brand). 
  • Scottish oats are stone-ground oat groats. 
  • Traditional rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal) are groats that are steamed (to soften) then rolled to produce flakes (GI 57) 
  • Instant oats (quick oats) are very fine oat flakes milled from steamed steel-cut oats or groats (GI 82). Some brands are pre-cooked so you just add hot water to make porridge. Some have flavourings and sweeteners added. 
 If you want to serve your porridge with oat milk (GI 69), this is made from steamed or heat-treated oat flakes or oat flour.

Overnight oats (oats soaked in milk overnight and eaten cold the next morning) are increasingly popular for brekkie. GI Labs in Toronto recently carried out a randomised controlled trial to see if the oats served this way retained their lower glycemic response. Dr Thomas Wolever, Principal Investigator at GI Labs, and the study’s lead researcher says: “Both the method of preparation and whether a food is consumed hot or cold have significant effects on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. In this study, we demonstrated that when oats are soaked in milk (cow’s) overnight, they retain their low glycemic and insulinemic impact.” Check out their findings in “Read more”.

Read more:

PRODUCT REVIEW


POTATO, PASTA OR RICE? WHAT’S IN YOUR STARCHY CARB PICK? 
Potato, pasta or rice? We thought it would be interesting to compare what you are putting on your plate. For the potato we followed the standard dietitian guidelines for a serve (if you like two potatoes, double the numbers). For pasta and rice, we used the serving sizes recommended on the packet and opted for the white stuff because that’s what most people choose. With wholemeal pasta or brown rice, you’ll be adding a little more fibre to your day. Peel the potato and you lose a little fibre.

POTATO, PASTA and RICE
POTATO, SCRUBBED 
Ingredients: Potato.
POTATO
PASTA (Penne) 
Ingredients (Barilla Penne Rigate): Durum wheat semolina, water.
PASTA
What’s in 100 grams of cooked penne? As Barilla only provide nutrition information for dry pasta on the packet, here are the numbers you need to compare cooked penne with cooked rice. 100g al dente penne (cooked from about 35g dry pasta) provides 555kJ/135 calories and 25g available carbohydrate.
RICE (Low GI White) 
Ingredients (SunRice Doongara): Doongara Low GI White Rice
RICE

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

HOT POTATOES 
While they are a pariah in many parts of the developed world, due to the current popularity of low carbohydrate diets, potatoes have been eaten and enjoyed all over the world for centuries. Even today, roots and tubers are the third largest carbohydrate-containing food source in the world, with potatoes representing nearly half of those consumed.

Potatoes
Potatoes are classified as a starchy vegetable, due to the fact that they are predominantly composed of carbohydrate (86% of energy), and most of that carbohydrate is starch. Whatever the variety of potato, potato starch consists of amylopectin and amylose in a fairly constant ratio of 3:1, which is one of the reasons why the average potato has a high GI.

The average GI of potatoes is 77, with a range between 54 to 101, depending on the variety and how they are cooked and eaten. A medium-sized (around 150g) boiled potato provides approximately 23 g of available carbohydrate, so the average GL is 15, which is moderate.

Despite their generally high GI, research from single meal studies suggests that boiled potatoes are more filling (satiating) than equal kilojoule (calorie) portions of other common carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, rice and pasta.

A small proportion of the starch found in potatoes is resistant to enzymatic degradation in the small intestine and therefore reaches the large intestine essentially intact, where it becomes fuel for the microbiome. The amount of resistant starch in a potato depends on how it is cooked and eaten: 

  • boiled potatoes – 2.4g per 100g 
  • cooled-and-reheated potatoes – 3.5g per 100g 
  • baked potatoes – 3.6g per 100g 
  • cold potatoes (whether originally baked or boiled) – 4.3g per 100g. 
The protein content of potatoes is comparable to that of most other root vegetables and tubers with approximately 2–4 g per serve (medium-sized potato). On a dry-weight basis, this is comparable to that of cereals and, with the exception of beans, exceeds that of other commonly consumed vegetables. Potatoes have a relatively high biological value (BV) of 90 compared with other key plant sources of protein (e.g., soybean with a BV of 84 and beans with a BV of 73). Unlike many vegetables, potatoes contain all nine essential amino acids and are therefore a complete protein.

Potatoes contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals most notably vitamins B (B6, riboflavin, thiamin and folate), C and the minerals potassium, magnesium, and iron. A medium-sized boiled potato provides 17 mg of vitamin C – more than half of the estimated average requirement for adults. Potatoes provide one of the most concentrated sources of potassium with a medium-sized boiled potato providing 647 mg, or nearly 20% of the Adequate Intake for adults – significantly more than those foods commonly known as high in potassium, like bananas, oranges, and broccoli.

While they are not particularly high in iron compared to meats, poultry and seafood, potatoes are a reasonable source of non-heme (i.e., plant sourced) iron, and importantly, the bioavailability of iron in potatoes exceeds that of many other iron-rich vegetables owing to extremely low or non-existent levels of antinutrients, chelators and ligands that inhibit iron absorption in the gut (e.g., tannins, oxalates, phytates) and high levels of vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption from the gut.

Frying potatoes (French fries and potato crisps/chips) increases their energy (kilojoules or calories) density, and acrylamide levels, and may also make them high in saturated and trans fats (depending on the fats/oils used) and sodium (from added salt). Also, the kind of potato used to make hot chips commercially has a very high GI, so the average GI of French fries is 75.

So, the answer to “should I be eating potatoes?” is yes. Boiled, baked or cold potatoes (potato salad) are a delicious, nutritious and very affordable staple that can be included in moderation in a healthy balanced diet. However, save fried potatoes for special occasions because they are a treat not daily fare – and be fussy about the fats/oils they are fried in.

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

OUR CLOTHING CONUNDRUM 
OK so clothing isn’t really about eating, but it’s a household issue so we thought it was worth talking about. According to ABC’s program War on Waste, Australians throw a massive 6000kg of clothing into landfill every 10 minutes. For those of you thinking you are in the clear because you donate old clothes to charity, sorry to burst your bubble but 85% of donated clothing ends up in landfill. Charities are groaning under the weight of donations.

Old clothes
Producing a single item of clothing uses a massive amount of resources. According to Fashion Revolution, 2,720 litres of water is used to make just one t-shirt. That’s how much water we normally drink in around 3 years! Not to mention the greenhouse gases released into the air along with the fertilisers, pesticides and toxic dyes that are contaminating waterways. The True Cost movie uncovers the devastating impact that chemicals from textile production have on the health of local communities. Communities located in cotton producing areas are exposed to pesticides and some leather tanneries contaminate drinking water. Sadly, these communities experience high levels of particular diseases like cancer and early death.

What Can You Do to Help? 

  • Choose versatile pieces that you love and will wear over and over again. For special occasions consider renting or borrowing an outfit. 
  • Buy pre-loved vintage items from a charity store to rescue an item from landfill and buy quality items at a bargain price. 
  • Support sustainable companies like those using organic cotton, recycled materials and those avoiding toxic dyes. Check out Greenpeace’s list of brands that are working to eliminate hazardous chemicals. 
  • Spend a little more on well-made timeless items. Look for heavier fabrics as well as strong and tidy stitching so they last longer. 
  • Synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon and acrylic are types of plastic so when they are washed, tiny plastic particles enter our waterways. Instead choose natural fabrics like cotton (e.g. denim), linen, silk or wool that don’t release micro-plastics and decompose faster in landfill. A linen sleeveless top can decompose in as little as 2 weeks compared to a polyester dress that may remain in landfill for over 200 years. 
  • Use aprons when cooking to protect clothes from hot oil and food stains. Launder dark items inside out to preserve their colour as they may fade in the wash when rubbing against other garments. Do up zips or hooks and turn garments inside out so fabric doesn’t snag. 
  • Learn how to sew on a button or re-dye your favourite black jeans that have faded over time. 
  • When items are beyond repair, give them a second life. Turn old worn out clothing, tea towels and tablecloths into shopping bags, aprons, cleaning rags and much more! 
 Ethical Clothing in a Nut Shell
  • Be mindful of the human and environmental costs of fast fashion. 
  • Buy only what you need. 
  • Choose good quality products made from natural fabrics that will last longer. 
  • Only launder garments when they are dirty. 
  • Repair worn textiles or get creative and turn them into new useful items. 
 Further reading
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

SWEET POTATO
They were cultivating sweet potatoes in Central and South America for about 7–8000 years before Columbus arrived. He thought they looked like yams and tasted like chestnuts, and shipped them back to Spain along with chillies and chocolate. Like ducks to water they took to local conditions and thrived in the Mediterranean climate.

SWEET POTATO
This was just the beginning of their global conquest – they are now grown in more developing countries than any other root crop. They have a big advantage over regular potatoes – their skin does not develop green patches. They are easy to prepare – peel or scrub and roast, boil, steam, mash, add to stir-fries or use in place of pumpkin in desserts (although they are not as sweet and are much starchier, so they will thicken a dish more).

Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. It’s the orange-fleshed sweet potato that we like to roast and use in recipes for its colour and sweet flavour. It also has a moderate GI value (65). The white-fleshed sweet potatoes that have been tested have a high GI (75).

When shopping, look for small to medium even toned sweet potatoes with firm skin that are free from blemishes, cracks and soft spots. They should be plump in the middle and tapered ends. Buying similar sized ones makes it easier to get cooking times right. They are good keepers. Store them in a cool, dark, well ventilated place for up to 2 weeks. Don’t store sweet potatoes in the fridge – that will promote softening, sprouting and can cause them to develop a permanently hard centre.
    Nutrition Facts Sweet Potato  
Source: The Good Carbs Cookbook (by Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie and Philippa Sandall) published by Murdoch Books

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
PAN ROASTED SWEET POTATO AND BEETROOT WITH SHARP GRAPEFRUIT GLAZE Roasting is one of the easiest and best-tasting ways to cook autumn-winter veggies – just toss everything with oil, throw them in a baking dish and cook them in a hot oven. The more the surface area of veggies to be roasted the crisper they become. The aptly named, sweet potatoes turn remarkably sweet as they cook and caramelise while the roasted beets provide a bright colour contrast. The sharp sweet-sour glaze (lemon, blood orange or pomelo can replace grapefruit) adds significantly to the dish’s Vitamin P – Pleasure that is – eating enjoyment. Preparation time: 15 minutes • Cooking time: 35 minutes • Serves: 6
PAN ROASTED SWEET POTATO AND BEETROOT WITH SHARP GRAPEFRUIT GLAZE
6 small beetroot
1 medium (orange-fleshed) sweet potato
2 medium red onions
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest
¼ cup grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (fan-forced 180°C/350°F). • Simmer the beetroot in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. Drain into a colander and when cool enough to handle, peel and halve. • Peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks the size of the beetroot pieces. Slice the onion into thick wedges and put into a roasting pan with the beetroot, sweet potato, balsamic, oil, grapefruit zest and juice. • Tumble them all together and roast for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender and slightly caramelised. • Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle over the currants and pine nuts. Give the pan a few quick sharp tosses and serve.

Per serve 
970kJ/230 calories; 4.5g protein; 13g fat (includes 1.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.13); 22g available carbs (includes 16g sugars and 8g starches); 6g fibre; 60mg sodium; 560mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.1

GOOD GUT HEALTH 
The Glycemic Index Foundation, a not-for- profit health promotion charity committed to providing people with the tools to help them improve their wellbeing with healthy low GI healthy eating principles, have teamed up with the CSIRO to promote the online Total Wellbeing Diet Gut Health Program. Find out how you can participate here.
GI Symbol
BROWN RICE, CHICKEN AND ROAST VEGETABLE SALAD WITH PESTO 
Use a pre-cooked chicken if you don’t have time to roast your own. You can also prepare the roast vegetables ahead of time and serve cold, or re-heated with the salad. Serves 2

BROWN RICE, CHICKEN AND ROAST VEGETABLE SALAD WITH PESTO
200g/7oz lean chicken breast
Butternut pumpkin, 0.25 average pumpkin(s), diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Olive oil spray
1 x 250g (9oz) pouch SunRice Medium Grain Brown Steamed Rice in 90 Seconds
2 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons basil pesto

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C/350°F fan forced). • Place the chicken breast, pumpkin and zucchini on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle over the smoked paprika, spray with cooking oil and toss well to combine. • Roast for 20–25 minutes or until golden and tender. Once cooled slice the chicken thinly across the grain. • To serve combine the brown rice, roasted vegetables and baby spinach in a large bowl. Top with sliced chicken and pesto.

Per serve 
2151kJ/514.5 calories; 33.6g protein; 15.6g fat (includes 2g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.15); 56.1g available carbs (includes 10.2g sugars; 37.3g starches); 8.6g fibre; 336.9mg sodium

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1 February 2019

GI News - February 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

Like us on Facebook

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FERMENTED FOODS ARE BACK 
Fermented foods have burst onto the health scene and are packing the supermarket shelves. What are they? Do the health claims stack up? Here, dietitian Nicole Senior checks them out and Prof Jennie Brand-Miller explains why many are low GI. 

Everywhere you look there is a revival of time-honoured food preserving skills including jams, preserves, pickles and chutneys. What was once a prudent method for prolonging the nutrition and enjoyment of a seasonal harvest has become an uber-cool way to turn your back on mass-produced food and make your own local artisanal, bespoke food with heart.

Pickles
What is fermentation? Fermentation occurs naturally when bacteria is given an opportunity to transform the carbohydrates into more complex substances. It is a process of using microorganisms such as yeasts, bacteria and fungi as a food production or preserving method. In the case of alcoholic beverages, yeast is used to ferment sugars into alcohol, whereas in yoghurt bacterial cultures are used to ferment lactose into lactic acid. Fungi can also be used to ferment foods, such as the Japanese filamentous fungi Aspergillus oryzae called koji used to make miso. Sourdough bread is another example of a fermented food using wild yeasts in a sourdough culture. The ripening of cheeses involves the introduction of microbes that develop flavour from breakdown products of proteins and fats, and moulds are sometimes introduced such as in blue-vein cheese. Fermented foods tend to be sour tasting but can be very complex in flavour which adds to their culinary appeal. Here are some common fermented foods and beverages:

  • Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage 
  • Kim chee – Korean sauerkraut with added chilli 
  • Tempeh – fermented soybean cake, similar to tofu but with a beanier, lumpier texture 
  • Miso – fermented soybean paste used as a soup base and marinade 
  • Yoghurt – cultured milk using a variety of lactobacillus strains 
  • Kefir – milk drink cultured with bacteria and yeasts – the bacteria is different to yoghurt 
  • Kombucha – an effervescent fermented tea 
Are fermented foods better for you? They seem to have taken on superfood status and this invites some pretty fanciful marketing hype; everything from preventing intestinal gas to preventing cancer. Most evidence for the benefits of fermented foods is for supporting gut health, particularly their probiotic effect of promoting beneficial gut flora, although other benefits are likely. Most research has been done on dairy foods and consuming fermented dairy foods (yoghurt and cheese) is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, although more research is needed. But for most fermented foods, there is very little scientific evidence at all except centuries of traditional use and folklore. Enjoy them for their interesting tastes and textures and the nutritional value of the food itself, and any additional effects are a bonus.

Why do many fermented foods have a low GI? Prof Jennie Brand-Miller explains. “One reason many fermented foods are beneficial to health is the production of organic acids such as lactic acid, acetic acid (the same acid as in vinegar), etc. These are by-products of the fermentation process when the bacteria/yeast metabolise the carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in the food or drink. These organic acids not only add distinctive flavours to the food or drink, they also lower the pH, making it difficult for harmful microorganisms to grow. In our stomachs, they slow down a food’s rate of emptying into the intestine, which in turn slows the rate of digestion and absorption of the food’s carbohydrates into the blood stream, lowering the overall GI.

In traditional breads (e.g., sourdoughs), the slow fermentation not only produces the organic acids that create that unique flavour, but also the slow rise of the dough due to the production of gases (e.g., carbon dioxide). This helps the bread develop the bubbly and chewy texture characteristic of a quality bread. The gluten (protein in wheat) matrix slowly develops and traps the bubbles of gas, which is why traditional sourdough breads have a low GI (54), even when they are made of refined white flour.

Yoghurt and fermented milk drinks like kefir, lassi, leben, and Yakult all have a low GI. There are several reasons why.
  • Unique proteins in milk increase insulin production which accelerates the removal of glucose from the bloodstream. 
  • Milk sugar (lactose) has a lower GI (46) than sucrose (65) because the enzyme lactase works more slowly. 
  • Finally, the lactic acid produced by the fermentation of the lactose by various strains of bacteria like of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles slows stomach emptying and therefore the rate that food is digested and absorbed. 
While milk itself is low GI (20–34), the GI values of natural yoghurts (the fermented version of milk) are even lower, ranging from 10–19, depending on whether full cream or skim milk is used. Even sweetened yogurts have a GI in the 30s and 40s.

WHAT’S NEW?

YOGHURT – ITS INSULINEMIC INDEX IS HIGHER THAN ITS GI
Numerous studies over the past 20 years have shown that high yoghurt intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. In Nutrition Today, Prof Tom Wolever talks about yoghurt’s glycemic and insulinemic impact of yoghurt.

Yoghurt
“There is evidence that low GI and low GL (glycemic load) diets are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The 93 GI values for yoghurt in the University of Sydney’s GI database have an average of 34 and most (9 out of 10) of the yoghurts are low GI. The 43 plain yoghurts in the database have a lower GI (average GI = 27) than the 50 sweetened yoghurts (average GI = 41). This difference is not explained by sugar, per se, but rather by the higher protein-to-carbohydrate ratio in plain yoghurt. Although yoghurt has a low GI, its insulinemic index is higher than its GI. High insulin responses may be deleterious because hyperinsulinemia is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, this may not be a concern for yoghurt because, although its insulinemic index is higher than its GI, the insulinemic index of yoghurt is within the range of insulinemic index values for non-dairy low-GI foods. In addition, mixed meals containing dairy protein elicit insulin responses similar to those elicited by mixed meals of similar composition containing non-dairy protein. Because the GI of yoghurt is lower than that of most other carbohydrate foods, exchanging yoghurt for other protein and carbohydrate sources can reduce the GI and GL of the diet, and is in line with recommended dietary patterns, which include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, vegetable oils, and yoghurt.”

What’s the Insulinemic Index? Prof Jennie Brand-Miller explains. “One of insulin’s many functions is to act as a growth hormone designed to drive nutrients into cells – not just glucose but also amino acids, the building blocks of new tissue. When we eat carb-rich foods our blood glucose levels rise and our pancreas then releases insulin (a hormone) that drives the glucose out of our bloodstream and into our body’s cells where our body can use it as an immediate source of energy or store it as glycogen. What many people don’t realise is that protein foods (meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods) also stimulate insulin secretion – that’s why you may see them described as insulinogenic.”

Scientists at the University of Sydney have been researching the food insulin index or FII for more than 20 years. “The FII looks at how much insulin the body normally releases in response to a whole food or meal (its carbohydrate and the quantity and quality of its protein and fat). Some foods need more insulin to help utilise them, while other foods need much less. Choosing foods with a lower FII can help reduce your overall insulin demand on your pancreas or insulin requirements,” says dietitian and diabetes educator Dr Kirstie Bell.

Read more:

WHAT’S HOT?

KOMBUCHA 
Does kombucha shape up as the magic elixir of life that “wellness” gurus make out? Is it a “super food”? Dietitian Catherine Saxelby, who maintains the popular Foodwatch website, investigates.

kombucha
Should you start making it at home? Is it something to add to your daily intake? The short answer is "not really". If you want to add fermented food to your diet you’d be better off making your own sauerkraut which is quicker and easier to do. The long answer? Well, you MAY be getting some friendly bacteria to help your digestion or gut function but no-one knows for sure, and there is likely to be significant differences due to natural variations in the organisms used in the fermentation. There’s not a huge amount of research into Kombucha’s health benefits. To my way of thinking, its greatest advantage is its lower sugar content combined with its refreshment value as a tart, effervescent drink.

Kombucha is a slightly sweet, slightly acidic, fermented beverage based on tea, generally black tea but occasionally green or herbal tisanes. It is made from water, tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It’s a little fizzy which is refreshing and is drunk for its supposed health benefits which are mainly improved digestive balance and gut health from the bacteria you ingest. It’s been drunk for this health reason for centuries in Japan, China, Russia, Germany and the USA. It is obtained from an infusion of tea leaves with a SCOBY (which stands for a “Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast”). The fermentation by this “tea fungus” or “mother” is the process that ferments the sugar and yields acetic acid (which gives a characteristic sharp taste), carbonic acid, alcohol and carbon dioxide gas that adds the bubbles.

At around 1 per cent sugars, Kombucha is much lower in kilojoules/calories than other sweet drinks, such as juices (8–14 per cent) or iced teas (range 5–6 per cent). A half cup (125ml) of kombucha has 75kJ/18 calories while the same amount of iced lemon tea has 380kJ/90 calories. Of course, all this depends on what brand you buy or how you brew it. Devotees of kombucha claim it can stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, improve digestion, prevent heart disease and boost liver function, claims similar to those made for vinegar. It may but it all depends on how you’ve brewed it. There’s scant scientific research to support these health claims. An excellent summary of the research can be found in a review in Comprehensive Reviews of Food Science and Food Safety. In it, Jayabalan et al sum up my thoughts nicely when they say: “Currently Kombucha is alternately praised as ‘the ultimate health drink’ or damned as ‘unsafe medicinal tea’. There are many conceptions and misconceptions regarding the health benefits and toxicity of Kombucha beverage. Though it is claimed to be beneficial for several medical ailments, very little or no clinical evidence is available for that.”

You can buy bottled kombucha, both pasteurized and unpasteurized, in various flavours everywhere from health food stores to supermarkets. The downside is that kombucha’s probiotics do not survive the pasteurization process, and drinking it unpasteurized, if it was not produced in sanitary conditions, may pose a food safety threat, especially for those who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems. So be careful where you buy it. And only buy it if it’s refrigerated.

Read more: 

PRODUCT REVIEW

WHAT’S IN KOMBUCHA? 
Mostly water. To brew a batch that’s all you need along with a few black or green tea or teabags, some sugar and a SCOBY “pancake”. For flavour, add slices of lemon, orange, strawberries or ginger root when serving. Most recipes we looked at make around 2 litres (quarts) which makes the price per 100ml/3½fl oz around the cost of a teabag and a couple of teaspoons of sugar (say 30 cents) – most people get the SCOBY from a neighbour or friend already brewing. We took a look at what’s in three top-selling brands owned by international corporations. We found that they cost significantly more – around AUD$1–1.35 per 100ml/3½fl oz serving.

KEVITA Master Brew Kombucha – Ginger (PepsiCo) 
Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Kombucha Culture (Filtered Water, Black Tea Extract, Green Tea Extract, Natural Flavor), Filtered Water, Cane Sugar, Ginger Extract, Bacillus coagulans LactoSpore MTCC 5856, Black Tea Extract, Black Tea Essence, Caffeine (Green Coffee Bean Extract), Green Tea Extract, Stevia Leaf Extract.

  • LactoSpore is a commercial probiotic preparation containing L(+) lactic acid producing microbial preparation from Bacillus coagulans, MTCC 5856 (earlier known to be Lactobacillus sporogenes). 
  • Stevia Leaf Extract is a collection of intense sweeteners derived from stevia leaves. These contain a number of steviol glycosides – a type of very sweet molecule. Stevioside, rebaudioside A and M have been commercialised and are added to foods and beverages and used in tabletop and pourable products.
Nutrition Facts
MOJO Crafted Kombucha – Ginger (Coca-Cola) 
Ingredients: Organic Crafted Kombucha (Water, Organic Sugar, Organic Tea, Kombucha Culture), Ginger Juice (2%), Probiotic (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086).
Nutrition Facts

REMEDY Organic Kombucha – Ginger Lemon (Lion Nathan) 
Ingredients: Certified organic raw kombucha, (pure water, wild kombucha culture, organic black tea, organic green tea), organic ginger, naturally fermented organic glucose (erythritol), organic lemon, organic stevia (steviol glycosides).
  • According to the nutrition information panel, Remedy contains 5g carbohydrate but no sugars. So where do the carbs come from? We think it is probably the erythritol which is a derivative of glucose (a monosaccharide sugar). It would be interesting to know how much glucose goes into the pot. 
  • Erythritol is a polyol (sugar alcohol), which is a type of carbohydrate with a chemical structure that partially resembles sugar and partially resembles alcohol. It’s naturally found in very small amounts in some plants (grapes, melons, and mushrooms), and is manufactured in commercial quantities by a fermentation process typically using wheat or cornstarch. In the US and Canada, polyols are listed on food labels in the carbohydrates section; Australia’s regulations are unhelpful for consumers in this regard which is a pity as they are increasingly being added to the food supply as sugar replacers – and the more you consume the more likely you will succumb to the potential laxative effect. 
  • While most polyols have a reputation for having a gassy and laxative effect, erythritol doesn’t because most of it is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and excreted unchanged in urine. Only about 10 per cent enters the large intestine, where either the healthy bacteria feast on it, or it is excreted in faeces. 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. 
Nutrition Facts

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

DOES THE MICROBIOME AFFECT THE RISK OF DEVELOPING TYPE 1 DIABETES? 
The number of people developing type 1 diabetes has increased significantly all around the world since World War II, but incidence rates (number of new cases in a year) vary amongst regions. It is most common in Northern Europe, with Finland having the highest rate in the world, with more than 60 new cases per 100,000 people per year. Surprisingly, there is a 5- to 6-fold higher incidence of type 1 diabetes in Finnish Karelia compared to Russian Karelia. Karelia is a region in Finland that crosses into Russia. The border between Finnish and Russian Karelia marks one of the sharpest boundaries in the standard of living and health in the world.

Karelia
The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still not fully known or understood and are the subject of ongoing scientific research. Environmental factors (e.g., sunlight and vitamin D production) and exposure to certain infectious diseases have been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but the research is not conclusive. There is emerging evidence that the microbiome can affect the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible individuals.

Recently, 148 infants who were at risk of developing type 1 diabetes and living in Finland and Russia were followed from birth to 3 years of age. Each month, stool samples and laboratory assays were collected, and questionnaires regarding breastfeeding, diet, allergies, infections, family history, use of medications, and clinical examinations were conducted. It was found that Finnish infants had a greater proportion of Bacteroides species, whereas the Russians had more Bifidobacterium in their stools. The nature and composition of different lipopolysaccharides derived from the respective microbiomes determined the level of immune activation in the infants. It is interesting to note that it has also been found that the injection of an immunogenic subtype of lipopolysaccharides from E. coli in to mice can decrease the incidence of diabetes. More research is needed to determine if changing the microbiome can decrease the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in susceptible humans.
Table
The gut microbiome composition within the first year of an infant’s life is largely shaped by milk, the sole nutrient source available to infants, whether from breast- or bottle-feeding. After that, foods and drinks consumed have an increasingly large impact. Traditional Russian Karelian cuisine has been developing for centuries and incorporates a variety of local foods including fish (lake), wild mushrooms, berries and honey. Milk and dairy foods are popular, along with bread made from barley, rye or oat flour. Meat is traditionally a winter dish and is not eaten every day. Drinks include bread and turnip “kvas” (In Russian “kvas” means mildly alcoholic drink made from fermented rye bread, yeast or berries) and teas from wild raspberries and currants.

While we are unable to prevent type 1 diabetes at this point in time, research into our microbiome may help certain at-risk individuals prevent it in the future. Stay tuned.

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

OUR E-WASTE PROBLEM 
Were you gifted yet another unneeded donut maker or fondue fountain for Christmas? After being stored in your kitchen for a short while, your electronic waste or ‘e-waste’ will eventually be thrown into landfill. E-waste includes any gadgets with a battery or power cord, including kitchen appliances and white goods. Throwing these unwanted items into landfill isn’t just wasteful; it is harmful to our environment.

e-waste
The issue with e-waste The consequences of our lust for the latest and greatest gadgets are disturbing. According to the government of Victoria, Australia, in 2016 we produced almost 45 million tonnes of e-waste globally and sadly only 20 per cent was recycled. The rest went straight to landfill. Burying enormous volumes of e-waste is simply not sustainable.

When we throw away electronics, we waste the resources used to make them and produce even more greenhouse gases trying to mine and process more metals for new ones. E-waste contains valuable metals that can be recycled and reused multiple times. We are literally throwing away tonnes of precious metals like copper, gold and silver every year. These resources are limited, once they end up in landfill, they are gone forever. The Victorian Government is putting a ban on e-waste in landfill from 1 July 2019 (you could lobby your government to do the same).

If not recycled properly, our devices can end up in e-waste graveyards in Asia, Africa and South America. There you find children gathering and burning e-waste while inhaling toxic fumes that increase their risk of lead poisoning. Burying it is also a bad idea as heavy metals can leach into the soil and potentially enter the food chain. According to community group Clean Up Australia, a massive 70% of the toxic chemicals in landfill, such as mercury and lead, come from e-waste.

Do you really need to upgrade? Only upgrade your gadgets when they have reached the end of their life and cannot be repaired. Before buying new electronics do your research and invest in items that can be repaired and recycled. Often slimmer designs are glued or soldered together, making them difficult to recycle or repair. Support companies that create sustainable designs.

How to recycle your e-waste If you have somehow ended up with more electronics than you can use, give them to friends or a local charity. Check out online communities like Oz Recycle where you can give away unwanted electronics to people who need them. For any electronics containing personal data such as mobile phones or computers, use the factory reset setting to wipe the data before giving them away.

If your e-waste can’t be re-used, recycle it. You can often recycle e-waste for free, just Google ‘nearby e-waste drop off locations’ or contact your local council. Some governments have implemented stewardship schemes that require manufacturers of electronics to fund the collection and recycling of their products when they can no longer be used. In Australia, visit Recycling Near You to find local drop off points for a range of e-waste, even whitegoods and light bulbs. In Europe you can return e-waste to the retailer, as they are required by law to organise suitable recycling (why isn’t the rest of the world doing this?). Whereas in the US, recycling schemes vary in each state so you will need to contact your local government authority to find drop off points.

E-Waste in a Nut Shell 

  • To reduce your environmental footprint, minimise your e-waste. 
  • Extend the life of your electronics by repairing them and replace only as needed. 
  • Recycle electronic appliances and gadgets at the end of their life. 
  • Choose electronic goods carefully and support companies with repairable and recyclable designs. 
Read more: 
 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

CABBAGE
Dietitian Nicole Senior wrote this for us a few years ago. We asked her to update it for Good Carbs Food Facts this month as sauerkraut is a must for our fermented issue. 

Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, cabbage is one of those veggies you can enjoy in many different ways. Some people hold back because it’s famous for causing profuse bottom burps high on the malodorous meter. The gas is due to high fibre and FODMAP content and the whiff is caused by a sulfurous compound called sulforaphane. FODMAPs (an acronym for Fructose, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) are essentially poorly absorbed sugars and polyols (sugar alcohols) that ferment in the bowel and create gases that are actually beneficial but can also cause misery in people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) who tend to be sensitive to FODMAPs.

Cabbage
Cabbage is most aggressive when raw and is tamed by cooking and particularly by fermenting; another bonus for this ancient preservation method. Cabbage can become stinky even before you eat it but you can prevent this by not over cooking it. Try it stir-fried with sliced onion and finished with a dash of balsamic or raspberry vinegar.

Sauerkraut is one of the most well known fermented foods. The word sauerkraut is German but it’s popular throughout Eastern Europe, and the Dutch and French also have their own versions. Fermenting cabbage was traditionally used to preserve a glut of cabbage without refrigeration and has become popular again with a trend toward more wholesome, home-made, natural foods, as well as food preserving. The recipe is very simple and the flavour comes from the magic that happens when lactic acid bacteria have their way with shredded cabbage – a process similar to making yoghurt from milk. Sauerkraut is basically cabbage that has been left to stew in its own juice. The result is sour, a bit salty and marvellously complex. Making sauerkraut is pretty simple as it only requires salt and a bit of elbow grease. Simply bruise shredded cabbage, add salt, weigh the cabbage down with something heavy and fill with water. You could add some spices such as juniper berries to the water, or mix in some red cabbage to make pink sauerkraut. You need to leave it about a month.

Slaw is short for coleslaw, also known as cabbage salad and is a recipe as old as the hills and used to be as uncool as they come. It just goes to show everything old can be new again. I’m delighted this salad classic is having its moment in the sun. I was amazed to discover that slaw was not invented by the Australian Country Women’s Association (a group of strong, resourceful rural women famous for their food skills), but rather it is quite cosmopolitan in its provenance. The American classic is made with mayonnaise rather than vinaigrette dressing; the German version krautsalad often has apple; the Italians have one called capricciosa; the Swedes have pizzasallad (and they eat it with pizza); and the British version has carrot and red onion (and this is the one I grew up with). The ’slaw I make most often now is Asian style with cabbage, carrot, spring onion, fried noodles and sesame oil vinaigrette- yum. ‘Slaw adds colour, crunch, flavour and health to rolls, wraps and sandwiches, and makes a smashing side to grilled meats or fish.   Nutrition Facts Red Kidney Beans

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

FERMENTED BEETROOT, CARROT AND CAULIFLOWER 
The vegetables must be of the highest quality for fermenting. Broccoli florets the same size as the cauli or small trimmed halved Brussels sprouts make a lovely ‘green’ addition. Other than the ratio of sea salt to water for the brine, there’s no standard recipe. You create your own.
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised (optional)
2 cups small cauliflower florets, rinsed in cold water
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into thin sticks
3 tablespoons (12 teaspoons) sea salt
3 cups (1.25 litres/24 fl oz) filtered water

Place the garlic in the bottom of clean jars or large container. Cover with even layers of beetroot, cauliflower and carrot leaving a space at the top of about 2.5 cm (1 inch). • Dissolve sea salt in the water and pour slowly over the vegetables. Use a thin utensil (a chopstick is ideal) to release any trapped air bubbles. Add more brine if necessary to completely cover the vegetables. Weigh the vegetables down with the weight of choice. • Cover each jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, cabbage leaves or coffee filter secured with a rubber band. • Ferment at room temperature until the desired flavours and textures are achieved. If using a tight lid without an airlock, “burp” daily by gently starting to unscrew the lid to release excess pressure. Once the vegetables are finished, secure with a tight lid on the jars and move to cold storage or refrigerate.

Per serve
430kJ/103 calories; 5g protein; 0.5g fat (includes 0g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.0); 15g available carbs (includes 15g sugars and 0g starches); 9.5g fibre; 3065mg sodium; 920mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 3.3

A DOLLOP MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Jalna yoghurt is made the traditional pot set way to produce a thick and creamy texture. Inspired by the flavour, colour, texture and taste of the vegetable garden, they have developed a range of recipes to help us up our veg intake by adding a dollop of their pot-set Greek yoghurt toppings. They have kindly shared the following recipes with GI News readers.
Jalna yoghurt

QUINOA CRUSTED VEGGIE CAKES WITH HORSERADISH YOGHURT 
Horseradish yoghurt is a great way to add oomph to veggie fritters. Add other vegetables such as wilted kale, grated eggplant, zucchini or corn and substitute wasabi for horseradish and amaranth for quinoa if you wish. Serves 6

QUINOA CRUSTED VEGGIE CAKES
400g (14oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g (14oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup coriander leaves
1 medium red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 cup cooked quinoa
⅓ cup edamame, blanched
⅓ cup green peas, blanched
1 green onion, finely sliced
⅓ cup quinoa flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten with
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1½ cups quinoa flakes
Vegetable oil or oil spray
Lemon wedges to serve

Horseradish yoghurt 
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1½ tbsp (6 tsp) prepared horseradish
1½ tbsp (6 tsp) lemon juice
Salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat oven (220°C/200°C fan forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper • Puree cannellini, chickpeas, coriander, chilli, garlic, egg and yoghourt in a food processor until coarsely mashed but mixture holds together. • Place mixture in a large bowl and add quinoa, edamame, green peas, green onion, and salt and pepper to taste if desired. Shape approx ¼ cup of mixture into balls and flatten slightly. Dip in flour, dust off excess, dip in egg and yoghurt mix, then roll in quinoa flakes. • Spray or lightly brush with oil and bake, for 20 minutes or until golden, turning halfway through. • To make horseradish yoghurt, place all ingredients in a bowl & whisk to combine. • Serve fritters with horseradish yoghurt and lemon wedges.

Per serve
2025kJ/485 calories; 25g protein; 10g fat (includes 2.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.33); 64g available carbs (includes 15g sugars and 49g starches); 15g fibre; 465mg sodium; 943mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.49

COPYRIGHT AND PERMISSION

University of Sydney

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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, Australi

1 January 2019

GI News - January 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

AN EMPTY HOUSE IS BETTER THAN A BAD TENANT 
Farts. Flatus. Wind. Gas. Whatever you call it, everyone does it. It’s a natural part of life. Don’t hold back. Here, Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle shares some facts about flatus (and what happens when you try to hold on) in a piece first published in The Conversation (Australian edition) entitled “What Happens When You Hold in a Fart”. 

The Conversation
Flatus, farts and breaking wind refer to intestinal gases that enter the rectum due to the body’s usual gastrointestinal processes of digestion and metabolism and then leave via the anus. As your body digests food in the small intestine, components that can’t be broken down move further along the gastrointestinal tract and eventually into the large intestine called the colon. Intestinal bacteria break down some of the contents by fermentation. This process produces gases and by-products called fatty acids that are reabsorbed and used in metabolic pathways related to immunity and preventing disease development. Gases can either be reabsorbed through the gut wall into the circulation and eventually exhaled through the lungs or excreted via the rectum, as a fart.

Fart cartoon
HOW MUCH GAS IS NORMAL? It can be challenging for researchers to get people to sign up for experiments that measure farts. But thankfully, ten healthy adults volunteered to have the amount of gas they passed over a day quantified. In a 24-hour period all the flatus they expelled was collected via a rectal catheter (ouch). They ate normally but to ensure a boost in gas production they also had to eat 200 grams (half a large can or 7oz) of baked beans. The participants produced a median total volume of 705ml (24fl oz) of gas in 24 hours, but it ranged from 476ml (16fl oz) to 1490ml (50fl oz) per person. Hydrogen gas was produced in the greatest volume (361ml/12fl oz over 24 hours), followed by carbon dioxide (68ml over24 hours). Only three adults produced methane, which ranged from 3ml over 24 hours to 120ml (4fl oz) over 24 hours. The remaining gases, thought to mostly be nitrogen, contributed about 213ml (7fl oz) over 24 hours. [Imperial measure conversions rounded.]

Men and women produced about the same amount of gas and averaged eight flatus episodes (individual or a series of farts) over 24 hours. The volume varied between 33ml (1fl oz) and 125ml (4fl oz) per fart, with bigger amounts of intestinal gas released in the hour after meals. Gas was also produced while they were asleep, but at half the rate compared to during the day (median 16ml/½fl oz per hour versus 34ml/1fl oz per hour).

FIBRE AND FLATUS What happens to intestinal gas production when you put people on a high-fibre diet? Researchers got ten healthy adult volunteers to eat their usual diet for seven days while consuming 30 grams (1oz) of psyllium a day as a source of soluble fibre, or not. In the psyllium week, they were asked to add 10 grams – about one heaped tablespoon – to each meal. At the end of each week, the participants were brought into the lab and, in a carefully controlled experiment, had an intra-rectal catheter inserted to quantify how gas (in terms of gas volume, pressure and number) moved through the intestine over a couple of hours. They found the high psyllium-fibre diet led to longer initial retention of gas, but the volume stayed the same, meaning fewer but bigger farts.

WHERE DO THE GASES COME FROM? Gas in the intestines comes from different sources. It can be from swallowing air. Or from carbon dioxide produced when stomach acid mixes with bicarbonate in the small intestine. Or gasses can be produced by bacteria that are located in the large intestine. While these gases are thought to perform specific tasks that impact on health, producing excessive intestinal gas can cause bloating, pain, rumbling sounds (borborygmus), belching and lots of farts.

The smelliest farts are due to sulphur containing gases. This was confirmed in a study of 16 healthy adults who were fed pinto beans and lactulose, a non-absorbable carbohydrate that gets fermented in the colon. The odour intensity of flatus samples was evaluated by two judges (pity them). The good news was that in a follow-up experiment, the researchers identified that a charcoal-lined cushion was able to help quash the smell of the sulphur gasses.

HOLDING ON TO A FART Ever been in a situation where passing wind is going to be hugely embarrassing and you’ve had to hold in a fart? Let’s face it – we all have. Trying to hold it in leads to a build-up of pressure and major discomfort. A build-up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled through your breath. Holding on too long means the build-up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart. The research is not clear on whether the rise in pressure in your rectum increases your chance of developing a condition called diverticulitis, where small pouches develop in the gut lining and become inflamed – or whether it doesn’t matter at all.

GI team: “Where ’ere you be let your farts go free” is what our Dads used to say and they were right. It’s best for health. Just say “Beg pardon.”

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WHAT’S NEW?

FOODS THAT MAY CAUSE GAS 
The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (a non-profit) is a handy website to head over to if you are looking for reliable digestive health knowledge, support, and assistance about functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders (FGIMDs). Here’s a slightly edited version of what they say about the foods that cause gas. 

Most foods that contain carbohydrates (sugars, starches and dietary fibres) can cause gas. By contrast, fats and proteins cause little gas (although certain proteins may intensify the odour of gas).

Milk
SUGARS The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, lactose, fructose, and sorbitol.

  • Raffinose — Beans contain large amounts of this complex sugar. Smaller amounts are found in cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains. 
  • Lactose — Lactose is the natural sugar in milk. It is also found in milk products, such as yoghurt and ice cream, and processed foods, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing. Many people, particularly those of African, Native American, or Asian background, have low levels of the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose. Also, as people age, their enzyme levels decrease. As a result, over time people may experience increasing amounts of gas after eating food containing lactose. 
  • Fructose — Fructose is naturally present in onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat. It is also used as a sweetener in some foods and drinks. 
 POLYOLS (SUGAR ALCOHOLS)
  • Sorbitol — Sorbitol is a sugar found naturally in fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. It is also used as an alternative sweetener in many dietetic foods and sugar-free candies and gums. (GI eds: It’s not the only polyol that can cause gas. Isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, maltitol syrup, and mannitol do too. You won’t find most polyols on the supermarket shelf. They are primarily used by the food industry as sugar substitutes, so read the ingredient panel on packaged foods.) 
STARCHES Most starches, including potatoes, corn, noodles, and wheat, produce gas as they are broken down in the large intestine. Rice is the only starch that does not cause gas.

FIBRE Dietary fibre is carbohydrate that is indigestible in the small intestine and reaches the colon relatively intact. In the colon, certain bacteria digest fibre (fermentation), which produces gas. Dietary fibre can be classified as either soluble or insoluble. 
  • Soluble fibre dissolves in water and becomes a soft gel. It is found in oat bran, beans, barley, nuts, seeds, lentils, peas, and most fruits. 
  • Insoluble fibre does not dissolve or gel in water. It absorbs liquid and adds bulk to stool. Cellulose (found in legumes, seeds, root vegetables, and vegetables in the cabbage family), wheat bran, and corn bran are examples of insoluble fibre. 
High fibre substances containing both soluble and insoluble fibres have the properties of both. They include oat bran, psyllium, and soy fibre. Methylcellulose is a semi-synthetic fibre. It is soluble and gel forming, but not fermentable.

The solubility and fermentation of a particular fibre affects how it is handled in the GI tract. However, the effect of identical fibres varies from person to person. A gradual increase in dietary fibre can modify and improve symptoms. But individual responses vary and too much of a type of fibre can worsen symptoms. It may be necessary to try different types of fibre. With any dietary fibre it is best to start out low and go slow.

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BRING ON THE BEANS 
A 3-month randomised controlled trial with a group of 121 people with type 2 diabetes by Dr David Jenkins and colleagues found consuming about 1 cup (190g or 7oz) of cooked legumes (beans, chickpeas or lentils) helped people with diabetes manage their blood glucose and reduce their heart disease risk through a reduction in blood pressure. After three months, hemoglobin A1c levels had dropped from 7.4% to 6.9% in people eating beans, while it had fallen from 7.2% to 6.9% in those getting extra whole wheat. Even though the drops were not huge says Jenkins, they were impressive in part because the whole-grain comparison diet is a healthy one and in part because people in the study were already on diabetes and blood pressure medications. “We hope that this could be the point that allows a person with diabetes to delay medication use,” he said.

Beans
What about wind? The study didn’t find any more gastrointestinal complaints in the legume group, although the comparison group also got a lot of fibre, which could have drowned out a potential effect.

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  • Effect of Legumes as Part of a Low Glycemic Index Diet on Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes MellitusA Randomized Controlled Trial 
THE FIBER–FODMAP CONTROVERSY 
In an article in Cereal Foods World, Prof Fred Brouns and colleagues discuss whole grain foods and their contribution of significant amounts of dietary fibers that are crucial for optimizing gut health. Here we post their key points summary of what is known and what is new/needs attention.

Wheat

WHAT IS KNOWN
  • Dietary fibers and prebiotics are important for gut health and function, and increased consumption is generally recommended. 
  • Avoidance of FODMAPs (nondigestible, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates) is being recommended for persons suffering from irritable bowel syndrome to alleviate abdominal distress due to intestinal gas production and fluid shifts that lead to bloating. 
  • Small osmotic effects and gas formation are normal processes in a healthy gut and are not disease symptoms. 
  • Cereals contain small quantities of rapidly fermentable carbohydrates. 
 WHAT IS NEW/NEEDS ATTENTION
  • Avoidance of fermentable dietary fibers may impair favorable gut flora metabolism, gut function, and health. 
  • Eliminating grains from the diet to avoid FODMAPs means also eliminating a wide range of other components that are known to be beneficial. 
  • Increasingly FODMAP-free foods are being marketed and promoted to the general public and the hype surrounding them seems to be increasing. 
  • Avoidance of FODMAPs to relieve intestinal discomfort is only recommended on an individual basis and under medical/dietetic supervision. 
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