1 January 2012

GI News—January 2012


  • Putting health first no matter what your size;
  • Fuelling willpower to stick to New Year resolutions needs glucose;
  • Dr Alan Barclay on Australia’s new dietary guidelines;
  • Diet quality and stroke prevention;
  • Three low GI recipes to try;
  • The health benefits of low GI Meatless Mondays;
  • Do you need to eat meat to get enough protein?
Human routines are stubborn things, which helps explain why 88% of all resolutions end in failure according to Professor Richard Wiseman. Did you know that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit and for some unlucky people up to 254 days says Dr Anthony Grant Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney and that people revert to their old habits between five and seven times. What to do? Frame changes as aspirations rather than resolutions so you don’t set yourself up to fail. So, here’s a tasty New Year’s aspiration – instead of ‘going on a diet’, why not opt to go meatless on Mondays with a low GI diet based on minimally processed plant foods and moderate amounts of protein foods. It’s a flexible, liveable, and family friendly aspiration and it will also help you optimise your insulin sensitivity and decrease your insulin levels over the whole day. To top it off, it’s good for the environment and the housekeeping budget. Healthy and sustainable nutrition all round we say.

Good eating, good health and good reading.

Editor: Philippa Sandall
Web management and design: Alan Barclay, PhD

Food for Thought

Meatless Mondays for healthy, sustainable nutrition.
Building your diet around low GI plant foods such as wholegrains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds gives you all the nutrients you need for long-term health and wellbeing along with plenty of protective antioxidants and phyto-chemicals. Not only that, there’s a wealth of evidence to support the fact that eating a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Back in November, Fiona Atkinson asked GI guru Prof David Jenkins about the benefits of going meatless? ‘I think the benefits are basically, on an humanitarian perspective,’ he said. ‘I used to put that as a sort of rider at the end but I think now it’s becoming the first issue as human beings. Second, I think one has to think of the environmental issues. They always say it’s a ten to one ratio for plant-based diet versus an animal -based diet in terms of land consumption, water usage, which is obviously a problem in many places, and basically environmental impact and environmental degradation. We can not afford to have the whole planet geared to feeding cattle that feed us, this seems to be an insanity that we accept because it’s palatable. I think those are really strong reasons. I think that if one is sensible and one watches B12 and one’s diet, one can live very well on a vegetarian or vegan diet.’

For those of us who don’t want to go all the way, there’s the low GI Meatless Mondays option. This is simply making a commitment to going without meat one day a week for your and the planet’s health. Where did the idea come from? It actually goes back nearly 100 years … We turned to the US Meatless Monday organisation for some background and discovered that during World War I, the US Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. The message was ‘Food Will Win the War’ and Meatless Monday and Wheatless Wednesday were introduced to encourage people to do their bit. The Food Administration (spearheaded by Herbert Hoover), published and distributed recipe booklets and menus. The effect was overwhelming according to Meatless Mondays. ‘Some 10 million families, 7000 hotels and nearly 425,000 food dealers pledged to observe national meatless days. In November 1917, New York City hotels saved some 116 tons of meat over the course of just one week.’

In 2003, the Meatless Monday message was revived by health advocate Sid Lerner, backed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future and endorsed by 30 schools of public health. It’s now a global movement.

In the UK, Sir Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney launched the Meat Free Monday campaign in 2009. Going meatless on Mondays is a ‘fun challenge with an achievable goal that will bring many benefits, whilst providing you with the opportunity to broaden your culinary horizon along the way,’ they write in the introduction to The Meat Free Monday Cookbook. And you can listen to Paul singing all about it HERE.

For more information on Meatless Mondays, check out:

To inspire you, we’ll be publishing a low GI Meatless Monday recipe every month. For recipes from vegetarian and vegan books we have previously reviewed in GI News, check out:

  • Prof Jennie Brand-Miller’s The Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook
  • New York Times best-seller Forks Over Knives
  • Dr Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes

News Briefs

Fuelling willpower with glucose.
At a time of year when many people are resolving to go on a diet, we thought we’d remind readers that willpower seems to be affected by the brain’s glucose supplies – so don’t skip meals. Self-control requires a certain amount of glucose to operate unimpaired. Writing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Matthew Gailliot and researchers from Florida State University found that even relatively small acts of self control are sufficient to deplete the brain’s available supply of glucose thereby impairing the control of thought and behavior, at least until your body can retrieve more glucose from its stores or you have something to eat. Their laboratory tests with volunteers found that:

  • Acts of self-control reduced blood glucose levels
  • Low levels of blood glucose after an initial self-control task predicted poor performance on a subsequent self-control task
  • Initial acts of self-control impaired performance on subsequent self-control tasks, but consuming a glucose drink eliminated these impairments.
‘… the body’s variable ability to mobilise glucose may be an important determinant of people’s capacity to live up to their ideals, pursue their goals and realize their virtues’ they conclude.

The Florida study involved numerous tests but a key one found that people who drank a glass of regular lemonade (i.e. sweetened with sugar) between one task requiring self control before beginning a second also requiring a fair bit of willpower performed equally well on both tasks, while people who drank a ‘diet’ lemonade in between made more errors on the second task than on the first. They used sugar in their studies because it is fast acting and convenient, but make the point that ‘complex carbohydrates may be more effective for sustained self control.’ Research in memory tests has certainly shown that low GI carbs enhance learning and memory more than high GI carbs, probably because there is no rebound fall in blood glucose.

Diet quality a good guide in stroke prevention.

Prof Graeme Hankey
Professor Graeme Hankey

‘While we have seen a reduction in incidence of stroke and mortality in the past 20 to 30 years due to better control of blood pressure and smoking we are seeing a deceleration in that decline,’ says Prof Graeme Hankey head of Royal Perth Hospital’s stroke unit. ‘We are seeing the emergence of the beginning of a trend to increases in stroke incidence because all our kids are overweight and not exercising and we are seeing strokes in young people as diabetes and metabolic syndrome take over.’

The overall quality of a person’s diet and the amount of food they eat rather than individual foods and nutrients is a better guide to whether he or she will suffer a stroke he says in his review of a raft of international studies on risk factors for stroke in Lancet Neurology. Weighing up the evidence he says:
  • Poor nutrition in the first year of a mother’s life and undernutrition in utero, infancy, childhood, and adulthood predispose individuals to stroke in later life, but the mechanism of increased stroke risk is unclear.
  • Reliable evidence suggests that dietary supplementation with antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, and calcium does not reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Less reliable evidence suggests that stroke can be prevented by diets that are prudent, aligned to the Mediterranean or DASH diets, low in salt and added sugars, high in potassium, and meet, but do not exceed, energy requirements.
Low GI eBooks now available.
Many of Prof Jennie Brand-Miller's low GI books are now available as eBooks from online retailers in Australia, the US and Canada and the UK including Amazon, Apple, ebooks.com, Google Books and Kobo.

Australia/New Zealand/UK editions (Hachette) now available
  • Low GI Diet Handbook – ISBN 9780733628078
  • Low GI Diet Shopper’s Guide 2012 – ISBN 9780733628559
  • Low GI Diet 12-week Weight-loss Plan – ISBN 9780733627781
  • Low GI Diet for Childhood Diabetes – ISBN 9780733628221
  • Low GI Diet for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – ISBN 9780733628375
US/Canada editions (Da Capo Lifelong Press/Perseus Books) now available
  • Low GI Handbook – 9780738214139
  • Low GI Shopper's Guide to GI Values 2012 – 9780738215211
  • Low GI Diet Revolution: The Definitive Science-Based Weight Loss Plan – 9780786727803
  • New Glucose Revolution for Diabetes – 9780786751341
  • New Glucose Revolution Low GI Gluten-Free Eating Made Easy – 9780786746538
  • Low GI Guide to Living Well with PCOS – 9780738214498
Learn to love lentils and you’ll have a deliciously natural low GI diet and a great ingredient for ‘Meatless Mondays’. Now an enterprising pair up in the stunning hinterland of beautiful Byron Bay has made it really easy for everyone to learn to love lentils. Back in 2009, Anthea Packshaw and Sharna Glasser started their Lentilicious business and they have been enthusiastically making and marketing their range of five flavoured, pre-packed lentil meals that include herbs, spices and other flavourings ever since. The Lentilicious range of flavours includes Coconut Fusion, Lime Time, Mediterranean, Turmeric Magic and Red Chilli. All you need to do is tip the lentils into a saucepan, add cold water, bring to the boil then simmer gently for 25 minutes and the meal is ready. Each package serves 2–3 people.

Lentilicious range

The Lentilicious story Sharna and Anthea met while working at a resource centre in Mullumbimby. Passionate about vegetarian cuisine and inspired by traditional Indian dahl, they set about creating a range of delicious, modern lentil meals designed to make lentils mainstream. You can find out more about Lentilicious here.

Sharna and Anthea

Get the Scoop with Emma Stirling

The scoop on putting health first in 2012

Emma Stirling
Emma Stirling APD

Do you have weight loss goals as part of your New Year’s resolutions? Well here's a new idea to consider. Forget about the idea of dieting altogether. That’s right. Completely put weight loss out of your mind and take a leaf out of the Health At Every Size Approach (HAES) and put healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle first.

Health at every size Championed by Linda Bacon, PhD nutrition researcher at the University of California-Davis and author of Health at Every Size: the surprising truth about your weight, the focus of HAES is on improving health outcomes, not on the “perfect” body. You see for some people, especially those who have been on the dieting roller coaster, the key is a change in mindset to avoid the repeated cycle of yo-yo dieting and lapses, relapses and collapses. Instead of weight loss as the end goal which places an emphasis on body image, you put healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle first. You may actively work on switching to more low GI choices in order to better manage your blood glucose levels, then set up a program to eat more intuitively for better digestion and next set goals to increase your physical activity to boost feelings of vitality. And guess what? Studies have shown that these seemingly small lifestyle steps, add up to huge rewards, and for some people, may in fact be finally the answer to long term weight loss success.

Health At Every Size is supported by an active community who follow these principles:

  • Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes
  • Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects
  • Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all sizes
  • Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure
  • Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss
The jury deliberates In scientific circles the HAES approach raises fiery debate. If we focus on health and not body weight, are we admitting that we’ve lost the battle of the bulge? Is this sending a message that overweight and obesity are not harmful to long-term health? By accepting HAES are we simply driving overweight as the norm and “fat acceptance”? Or is this approach the answer for many to break free from years of restrictive and fad diet failures, improve their health and learn to have a healthy relationship with food, once and for all? You can read more about both sides of the HAES debate in this recap of a session at the last American Dietitians Association Food Nutrition Conference and Expo written by dietitian blogger Janet Helm RD.

The scoop? As we continue to battle obesity I believe that we need to explore more individualized options as it is clear that some people respond well to structured weight loss programs, whereas for others, this can be their greatest undoing. I certainly believe that HAES will help us shift our distorted mentality that super skinny, equals super healthy. We know from research that you CAN be fit if you’re fat. You only need to visit my training group and see all the different shapes and sizes working out together. Believe me there are larger people than me who can run faster, lift far heavier weights and still keep chatting as I huff and puff. And I certainly know my fair share of women that have too long a list of personal food rules and go to extremes with eating for shape, not health, that is far from nutritious. So I ask what are you doing for your health and a healthy relationship with food this New Year? I’ve made a suggested list over here on my blog The Scoop on Nutrition.

Fit and fat

Emma Stirling is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and health writer with over ten years experience writing for major publications. She is editor of The Scoop on Nutrition – a blog by expert dietitians. Check it out for hot news bites and a healthy serve of what’s in flavour.

In the GI News Kitchen

American dietitian and author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Johanna Burani, shares favourite recipes with a low or moderate GI from her Italian kitchen. For more information, check out Johanna's website. The photographs are by Sergio Burani. His food, travel and wine photography website is photosbysergio.com.


‘Spunky’ cavatelli and broccoli
Pasta with broccoli and a strong earthy olive oil is a very popular winter dish for Italians and cavatelli seem like the ideal pasta choice. Its crevices create lots of little spaces where the broccoli sauce can nest. I’ve added a hint of mustard to my broccoli puree to give it a little ‘spunk’. Another option might be a few peperoncino (red pepper) flakes. Bring 4 litres (quarts) of water to the boil to cook the pasta while the broccoli is steaming. Serves 8.

2 large stalks of fresh broccoli (approximately 1lb/450g)
1–2 large cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise in quarters
1½ tbsp sharp mustard (Dijon type)
1/2 tsp salt
1lb/450g cavatelli pasta
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

‘Spunky’ cavatelli and broccoli

Separate the broccoli florets from the stems and cut them into small pieces. Peel the tough outer skin from the stems then cut them into small pieces. Place all the broccoli in a steam basket, wash and drain.
Add 2 cups of water to a large pot. Place the basket of broccoli in the pot. Add the garlic slices on top of the broccoli. Cover and steam gently for 15 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Once cooked, transfer the broccoli-garlic mixture to a food processor. Reserve the cooking water. Pulse the broccoli mixture for 15 seconds. Add ½ cup of the reserved water. Pulse for another 15 seconds. Repeat with another ½ cup of water and another 15 seconds of pulsing. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts (litres) of water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente following the directions on the packet for timing.
Whisk together the mustard and the salt in a small dish with 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Add to the food processor. Pulse for another 15 seconds. Set aside and keep warm. (You will have about 2½ cups of this pureed sauce.)
Drain and tip the al dente pasta back into the saucepan and toss with the olive oil. Add in the broccoli mixture, toss thoroughly and serve with grated cheese.

Per serve
Energy: 880kJ/292cals; Protein 8g; Fat 9g (includes 1g saturated fat and 2mg cholesterol); Available carbohydrate 45g; Fibre 4g

Cut back on the food bills and enjoy fresh-tasting, easily prepared, seasonal, satisfying and delicious low or moderate GI meals that don’t compromise on quality and flavour one little bit with this Money Saving Meals recipe making the most of cauliflower, now in season for those readers in the midst of winter. For more recipes check out the Money Saving Meals website.

Cauliflower and Red Lentil Stew
When we spoke to Professor David Jenkins for GI News, we asked him if he would share his favourite low GI meal with us. ‘My wife has a very tasty stew,’ he said. ‘It’s like a very thick lentil soup with chunks of marinated cauliflower in it. I have to say that I could overeat on that quite easily.’ We tried it – it’s delicious, nutritious and perfect to kick start your meatless Mondays. Makes about 4–6 servings.

1 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 large cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 green pepper (capsicum), chopped
4 carrots, sliced or if large – diced
1 vegetable bouillon cube
½ cup water
1 cup red lentils, well rinsed
2 tbsp whole wheat flour

Cauliflower and Red Lentil Stew

Gently sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add oregano, cauliflower, pepper, carrots, bouillon cube and water. Stir until well mixed, cover and simmer until cauliflower is cooked (soft rather than still crispy).
While the cauliflower is cooking, add lentils to 3 cups of water in a saucepan and boil until lentils are soft.
Sprinkle the whole wheat flour over the cauliflower mixture and stir until the stew begins to thicken, add lentils and serve.

Per serve (6 serves)
Energy: 780kJ/185cals; Protein 12g; Fat 4g (includes 0.6g saturated fat and 0mg cholesterol); Available carbohydrate 21g; Fibre 9g

My Meatless Mondays
Book cover pic

Chickpea tagine with harissa
This recipe is an extract from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook, foreword by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney, edited by Annie Rigg, published by Kyle books and available in good bookshops and online. The book is conveniently organised by season with menu plans for 52 weeks – so you never need to eat the same meal twice! Serves 4

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 red pepper (capsicum), deseeded and diced
1 stick celery, chopped
1 courgette (zucchini), chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
pinch saffron stamens
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
220g/7oz can chopped tomatoes
2¾ cups vegetable stock
400g/14oz can chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp clear honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
wholewheat or barley couscous harissa

Chickpea tagine with harissa

Tip the cumin and coriander seeds into a small dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Lightly grind using a pestle and mortar. Soak the saffron stamens in1 tablespoon of boiling water.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes until tender but not coloured. Add the ground spices, garlic, grated ginger and cinnamon stick and continue to cook for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and tip the vegetables and the drained chickpeas into the pan. Stir to coat the veggies in the spiced mixture and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to cook for 20–25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the honey and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve in bowls with whole wheat couscous and a good spoonful of harissa.

Per serve
Energy: 1200kJ/290cals; Protein 9g; Fat 12g (includes 2g saturated fat and 0mg cholesterol); Available carbohydrate 33g; Fibre 9g

Meatless Mondays

Busting Food Myths with Nicole Senior

Nicole Senior

Myth: You need to eat meat to get protein
Fact: There’s plenty of protein in plant foods
It’s a popular view that you need to eat meat to obtain protein, however this is far from the truth. Protein exists in many plant-based foods and in appreciable quantities.

How much do protein do we need? Well, not as much as you might think. The recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) in Australia is 46g a day for women and 64g a day for men aged 19-70 years. Check out how much protein you get from these different foods (we have rounded the figures).

Eggs contain perfect quality protein against which all other proteins are measured. Protein quality is a reflection of the number and balance of essential amino acids (protein building blocks) present.

  • One 50g egg contains around 6g protein
Dairy foods are great sources of protein.
  • 1 cup of reduced fat milk contains around 9g protein
  • 200g/7oz of low fat yoghurt contains around 13g protein
  • 40g/1½oz of cheese (hard variety such as cheddar) contains around 9g protein
Fish & seafood are excellent sources of protein. Pesco-vegetarians eat fish but not meat.
  • 100g/3½oz white fish (cooked) contains a hefty 25g of protein
  • 100g/3½oz prawns/shrimp (cooked) 24g protein
  • 100g/3½oz squid/octopus (cooked) 21g protein
Legumes (pulses) are great low GI sources of protein.
  • ½ cup baked beans in tomato sauce provides around 7g protein
  • ½ cup canned, drained cannellini beans provides around 8g protein
  • 2/3 cup cooked red lentils provides around 9g protein
  • 1 cup cooked split peas provides around 12g protein
  • 1 cup cooked soy beans provides around 23g protein
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) tofu (raw) provides around 12g protein
  • 1 cup light soy milk provides around 5g protein
Breakfast cereals, breads and grains are surprisingly high in protein, and the relatively high protein content of wheat is one of the reasons it has become such a widely grown staple food crop. Here are some low and moderate GI examples:
  • ¾ cup Kelloggs Special K Original provides around 6g protein
  • ¾ cup Kelloggs All-Bran provides around 7g protein
  • ¼ cup raw traditional rolled oats provides around 3g protein
  • 1 slice soy and linseed bread provides around 6g protein
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (GI 59–86, so check the tables and choose a lower GI one) provides around 5g protein
  • 1 cup cooked pasta provides around 7g protein
  • 1 cup cooked soba/buckwheat noodles provides around 9g protein
  • 1 cup cooked pearl barley provides around 6g protein
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa provides around 4g protein
Nuts and seeds are super nutritious foods that also contain protein.
  • A small handful (30g/1oz) of most nuts or seeds will deliver around 5g protein
Menu: If you enjoyed the following plant foods over the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, you’d easily meet the RDI for protein for men (the highest requirement).
  • ½ cup oats 6g
  • 1 cup milk 9g
  • 2 slices soy and linseed bread 12g
  • 20g cheese 5g
  • 1 cup soba noodles 9g
  • 100g tofu 12g
  • 1 tub yoghurt 13g
  • 30g mixed nuts 5g
  • TOTAL 69g
So, you don’t need to eat meat to get enough protein because it is easily available in plant foods. However the nutrients meat does provide more efficiently than plant foods are iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Vive le Meatless Monday!

Nuts, seeds and legumes

Nicole Senior is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist and author of Eat to Beat Cholesterol, Heart Food and Belly Busting for Blokes.

GI Symbol News with Dr Alan Barclay

Dr Alan Barclay

The ‘new’ Australian Dietary Guidelines, carbs and GI
The draft (there’s still time to comment) Australian Dietary Guidelines are a definite improvement on earlier versions. But they represent a mix of progress and lost opportunities and we must do much better if we are going to tackle the diabetes and obesity epidemics. We need to get them right because as Drs Willett and Ludwig point out (commenting on the US equivalent), they have a major impact on our foods and diets – government food policies, food and health programs and food regulations generally comply with them, even though the average consumer has never heard of them. Here, I am simply going to focus on a couple of key issues regarding carbs because they focus on the health problems associated with eating and drinking too many added sugars, but ignore or confuse the role of added refined starches.

Added sugars The Guidelines advise people to limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks. While there is some evidence that people who are obese should limit their intake of sugar sweetened beverages, there is evidence that Australians are drinking less of them, but we are still gaining weight and developing type 2 diabetes. So something else is happening ...

Starchy foods Here they take a ‘good cop’ ‘bad cop’ approach. They generally opt for the out-dated term ‘complex carbohydrate’ instead of ‘starch’, the term recommended by the World Health Organisation since 1997. This is confusing and misleading as most people don’t know that starches are complex carbohydrates – they are one and the same. Complex carbohydrates (specially wholegrain ones) are the good cops and there’s lots about their health benefits in the draft Guidelines. Starches are the bad cops and this is the term they choose to use when discussing dental caries or other health problems, e.g.: ‘Historically, the prevalence of dental caries has increased when dietary patterns have changed to include more added sugars and foods containing refined starches.’ And ‘fermentable carbohydrates (both sugars and starches) are a substrate for bacteria such as S. mutans and S. sobrinus, which increase the acid-producing potential of dental plaque’.

Glycemic Index Interestingly, every Australian Guideline in the draft has a statement comparable with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One area where they have very obviously borrowed straight from the US is with the glycemic index. They say: ‘The review for the US guidelines also found strong and consistent evidence that glycaemic index and/or glycaemic load are not associated with body weight and do not lead to greater weight loss or better weight management. These factors were not included in the literature review to inform the revision of these Guidelines.’ However, in their critical review of the new American Dietary Guidelines, Drs Willett and Ludwig state ‘Furthermore, the quality of carbohydrates, as characterized by their glycemic index, is dismissed as unimportant, whereas we believe the evidence strongly suggests the opposite.’

We agree with Drs Willett and Ludwig: there is in fact level 1 evidence (the highest level) that low GI diets help people lose more weight and in particular body fat than regular healthy diets, and level 2 evidence that low GI diets help people keep the weight off for longer. And of course it is short-sighted to focus just on body weight with a diabetes epidemic on our doorstep. The GI is widely accepted around the world by diabetes associations as a useful dietary tool for people with diabetes to help them manage their blood glucose levels.

We will be commenting on these draft Guidelines and we urge you to do so as well. They offer Australia an opportunity to lead the world by:

  • Discarding an outdated term like ‘complex carbohydrate’ which does not describe how carbohydrates behave in our bodies, and
  • Encouraging the consumption of low GI carbohydrate foods to reduce rates of overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The GI Symbol, making healthy low GI choices easy choices

New GI Symbol

For more information about the GI Symbol Program
Dr Alan W Barclay, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Glycemic Index Foundation (Ltd)
Phone: +61 (0)2 9785 1037
Mob: +61 (0)416 111 046
Fax: +61 (0)2 9785 1037
Email: mailto:alan.barclay@gisymbol.com
Website: http://www.gisymbol.com/

GI Update

Prof Jennie Brand-Miller answers your questions

Prof Jennie Brand-Miller

In the past month, I have received two inspirational weightloss success stories from women which I want to share with GI News readers (with their permission). The stories raise weightloss questions I am frequently asked about – plateau-ing and feeling hungry all the time.

I have been following the Low GI diet since June of this year and have lost 40 pounds. I did not think it would be so easy but it truly is. I am so happy that I stumbled on it looking for a diet that I can manage. I do work in the food industry and have found that has helped a lot in creating meals for myself and family. The only concern I have now is that I want to lose at least another 15 pounds but I seem to have hit a plateau and I have not lost any weight for about 2 weeks. Will this pass because I do not wish to cut any more out of my daily intake because I notice that cravings do start when I do so.

Plateau-ing is common and normal. This is because your body weighs less and you are now eating exactly the calories (kilojoules) that you need. You are right, eating less isn’t the answer. One strategy now is to up your energy expenditure, i.e .exercise, aiming for 60 minutes every day (or 20 minutes of Peak 8s) levels to increase the metabolic rate. Some form of resistance training to build muscle mass is good. I like Peak 8s because they are so efficient. Another option is to just try to maintain your current weight for a couple of months … eating to appetite … and then try for more weight loss later. Good luck and do let me know how you go.

I am a professional female, 61 years old, and over the last 95 weeks have lost 61 kilos with a low fat, low GI, calorie controlled diet and considerable consistent exercise. No health issues apart from hypothyroidism. This weight issue has tormented me all my adult life so of course I am thrilled to finally have come this far (from 130 kilos to 68). I am struggling to lose 3 more kilos and am very interested in research about weight maintenance and appetite control. I have, and continue to be hungry all the time. All my doctor says is ‘you will get used to it – after 95 weeks! A tale I am sure you have heard many times.

Thank you for taking the trouble to write. It's an amazing amount of weight and I’m not surprised you are hungry all the time. You might like to increase your protein intake and fat intake, with good fats of course, and reduce carbs a little (just modest changes). I say this because of recent studies suggesting that a high protein, low GI diet is the best diet for weight maintenance after weight loss.

GI testing by an accredited laboratory North America
Dr Alexandra Jenkins
Glycemic Index Laboratories
20 Victoria Street, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5C 298 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

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