1 April 2007

GI Values Update

Eureka! A spud with a GI of 58 plus new values for parsnip, pumpkin, nectarines and hummus
Fiona at SUGiRS has been working overtime this month and has sent us the GI values for several popular staple foods. First of all she discovered a lower GI potato thanks to chef and potato expert Graham Liney, owner of restaurant/guest house Willow Vale Mill, near Goulburn. Less than a year ago, Fiona, Jennie and Philippa sat down with Graham and asked him what sort of potato he thought might have a lower GI. He suggested we check out a general purpose, waxy variety called Nicola, which is what’s known in the trade as a ‘hard cooking’ potato (doesn’t go mushy) that’s suitable for potato salads as well as steaming, boiling or baking. He was spot on. Nicola potatoes have a GI of 58. They are available in major supermarkets and produce markets as well as farmers’ markets and from organic growers around the world. Remember, however, to keep those portions moderate. For more information about Nicola potatoes contact: Graham Liney, Willow Vale Mill, Laggan, Ph: 612 4837 3319 Fax: 612 4837 3343


Graham's tips for baking potatoes

  1. Scrub potatoes clean then boil them for about 16–17 minutes in a pot with the skin on. They needed to be what he called ‘cooked to crunch’.
  2. Drain and pat dry with a clean cloth or kitchen paper.
  3. Place in a baking dish, spray or brush with a little olive oil and bake in a preheated oven (200ºC/400ºF) until golden and crisp on the outside.
Other healthy low GI fruit and vegetables staples for the month include:

Nectarines (fresh): GI 43
Butternut pumpkin/winter squash (boiled): GI 51
Parsnips (boiled): GI 52

As for our favourite low GI spread: hummus. We have just tested Chris brand Traditional Hummus – GI 22. But look at the GL on this one: with a 20 g serve size (about a tablespoon), you get 3.6 g carbohydrate and a GL of 1 (actually 0.8).


The latest North American values
Stonemill Sprouted Grains 3 Grain Bread GI 55
Tested by Glycemic Index Laboratories, Toronto.
Gustav Boehringer, master baker and founder of Stonemill Bakehouse, has been baking great tasting breads for over 50 years. To make the low GI Sprouted Grains 3 Grain Bread, the whole wheat kernel is sprouted for 48 hours. Each grain kernel grows a new shoot then the ‘live’ sprouted whole grains are mashed into the dough. Everything stays, the bran, germ and endosperm. The bread is made with no added sugar and is dairy and egg free. It’s available in major supermarkets across Ontario and greater Montreal. For more information contact: Stonemill Bakehouse on 1 416 757 7567.


Where can I get more information on GI testing?

North America
Dr Alexandra Jenkins
Glycemic Index Laboratories
36 Lombard Street, Suite 100
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2X3 Canada
Phone +1 416 861 0506
Email info@gilabs.com
Web www.gilabs.com

Fiona Atkinson
Research Manager, Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS)
Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences
Sydney University
NSW 2006 Australia
Phone + 61 2 9351 6018
Fax: + 61 2 9351 6022
Email sugirs@mmb.usyd.edu.au
Web www.glycemicindex.com

New Zealand
Dr Tracy Perry
The Glycemic Research Group, Dept of Human Nutrition
University of Otago
PO Box 56 Dunedin New Zealand
Phone +64 3 479 7508
Email tracy.perry@stonebow.otago.ac.nz
Web glycemicindex.otago.ac.nz

Where can I get more information on the GI symbol program?


Alan Barclay
Acting CEO, Glycemic Index Ltd
Phone: +61 2 9785 1037
Fax: +61 2 9785 1037
Email: awbarclay@optusnet.com.au
Web www.gisymbol.com.au

GI Symbol News
Moolgiri medium grain rice (GI 54) branded by Freedom Foods joins the GI Symbol Program. In Australia, you’ll find it in the health or gluten-free section of your supermarket. It will be available worldwide over the coming year.


For more information contact:
Mr Trevor R. Mayhew, Vice President, Moolgiri Rice
Peninsula Food Products Pvt Ltd, Chennai, India
p: + 91 4442613231; m: + 91 + 9840495557
email: trevor@moolgiri.com


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the web link to The Glycemic Research Group, Dept of Human Nutrition website in New Zealand doesn't appear to work. Do they still exist as an testing facility?

Anonymous said...

I love this newsletter! It's a lifesaver (literally), and has changed the way we eat in our household. Thank you for all this good information, and please keep the newsletters coming.

Jean in Arlington

Anonymous said...

Jean, you make our day! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yay!! A low-GI potatoe at last!! Thankyou God.....

fernsmon said...

Difficult to acquire GI products in Ireland. Even the flour to make your own bread. Help

Anonymous said...

I have a favourite treat that I take to barbeques and the like. Hummus with brocolli, snow peas, halved cherry tomatoes and quartered mushrooms. The fresh, raw vegetables are great dipped in hummus.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great information. I appreciate it so much. Wish the USA would do more with solid research.

Arizona Mom

Anonymous said...

Terrific newsletter! Thanks so much for all your hard work and providing up-to-date information.

A question about the GI of boiled parsnips - you have it listed as 52 in this newsletter, which would make it a low GI food. According to other info I found in The Low GI Diet Revolution published in 2005, it is considered a high GI food with a GI of 97.

Please advise which information is correct as I am just completing the manuscript for my new cookbook Norene's Healthy Kitchen (Whitecap), which includes lots of low GI recipes and tips which will be most helpful for people following GI guidelines.

Thanks for being such a helpful resource! I've learned so much from you.

Norene Gilletz in Toronto

Anonymous said...

Hi Norene, This latest result from SUGiRS is for boiled parsnips tested following the international standardised test procedure which is now the Australian Standard for GI testing and is being reviewed by ISO. We appreciate it can be confusing that values sometimes change. The 97 was from the very early days of GI testing. Even so, as I am sure you know, we don't advocate using the GI in isolation in creating a healthy eating plan. Parsnips are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable (an excellent source of vitamin C along with some vitamin E and folate), but not a major source of carbohydrate in the diet. Fiona at SUGiRS and I agree that boiled parsnips are fine, but the way to really enjoy them is baked!

Anonymous said...

It's important to say that homemade hummus is far more healthy than the industrialized version of the dish.
Average GI is around 12 and it has half the amount of fat in it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for confirming the information on the new GI of parsnips.

I love them roasted together with carrots, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and some herbs for at 375 F for 45 to 60 minutes, until caramelized and golden.

So many veggies are wonderful when roasted. Glad that parsnips are a good choice. It's time to get back to our roots!

Norene Gilletz in Toronto

Anonymous said...

About potatoes. Here in the UK i like to use a variety called Marfona which like Nicola is also a waxy variety. Another very waxy variety is Charlotte which is great for salads.Obviously no evidence that they also have a low GI but maybe worth a try if Nicola not available. Charlotte is available in lots of supermarkets. Marfona is sold in M&S (they also sell Nicola sometimes)
Lynne Yeovil UK

Anonymous said...

According to a paper published in 2006 from Jeya Henry's group at Oxford Brookes University, Marfona potatoes have a GI value of 56 +/- 3 (medium GI) and Charlotte have a GI value of 66 +/- 5 (medium GI). Therefore, the Marfona and Nicola potatoes have very similar GI responses.