1 May 2012

GI Symbol News with Dr Alan Barclay

Dr Alan Barclay
Build yourself up with high quality low GI foods.  
With the constant focus on overweight/obesity in the media it is easy to forget that in many parts of the world – including the developed world – there are people living amongst us that are either malnourished and/or underweight. For example, a recent study found that just over 40% of Australian adults aged 65 + living in the community were either at risk of malnutrition or malnourished. At the other end of the lifespan, we sometimes overlook the fact that while 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese, the other 75% are not, and need high quality foods and drinks to help them reach their full genetic potential (optimal height and weight).

Physically active children and adolescents who are growing rapidly often find it hard to find a range of nourishing foods for meals and snacks that they can enjoy, and too often fill themselves up with what many people call ‘junk food’ – nutrient poor, energy dense foods and drinks. There are of course a wide range of healthy low GI foods and drinks that can be enjoyed as either main meals or snacks to help you gain weight (either lean muscle mass or fat, depending on your individual goals). Here are some of our favourite tips for quality weight gain making the most of healthy low GI foods and foods that carry the GI Symbol:

Meats and alternatives  
Lower fat options

  • Add cooked lean meats, poultry or seafood, lentils, split peas, or ‘soup mix’ to home-made, canned or packet soups. 
  • Whip up scrambled eggs or omelets with quality meats e.g. leg ham, tuna, canned or smoked salmon 
  •  Enjoy hard boiled eggs as a nutritious snack.  
Higher fat options
  • Fry meats, poultry or seafood in a high quality vegetable oil (soy, peanut, sesame). 
  • Add nuts and/or seeds (pumpkin/sunflower/sesame) to your cereals and salads. 
  •  Enjoy a handful of nuts as a quick snack.  
Dairy foods and alternatives  
Lower fat options
  • Make milk shakes with skim milk/powder, plus flavourings (e.g. Milo), malt, reduced or low fat yoghurt, fruit, honey or use pre-prepared varieties such as Sustagen. 
  • Mix skim milk powder into mashed Carisma or lower GI potatoes or into eggs before scrambling. 
  • Custard, egg custard, creamed rice and junket can all be made with low fat milk and some reduced or low fat versions are available commercially. 
  • Enjoy a small tub of low or reduced-fat yoghurt such as Brownes Fresh ‘n Fruity as a quick snack.  
Higher fat options
  • Use whole or full cream milk, soy drinks and other dairy products and alternatives. 
  • Add grated cheese, cream or sour cream to sauces, soups, vegetables, potatoes, baked beans or scrambled eggs. 
  • Add regular cream or ice-cream to milkshakes. 
  • Have regular custard, egg custard, creamed rice or junket with full-cream or reduced-fat milk. 
  • Enjoy a slice or chunk of cheese or a small tub of full cream yoghurt as a quick snack. 
Breads, cereals, and grains  
Lower fat options
  • Enjoy a quality breakfast cereal like Kellogg’s Guardian or Sustain or Morning Sun Muesli with an enriched low fat milk and serve with a little sugar (e.g. Logicane), wildflower honey or pure maple syrup. 
  • Try multigrain muffins, raisin toast, or wholegrain crackers topped with honey, 100% fruit jam, quality cold meats (tuna, salmon, leg ham) or reduced fat cheeses. 
  • Use sauces and chutneys on sandwiches. Uncle Toby’s Crunchy or Chewy muesli bars are great for snacks.  
Higher fat options
  • Use full cream or reduced-fat milk on quality breakfast cereals. 
  • Add cream to cereals and serve porridge with butter, quality margarine (low in saturated and trans fat) or cream. 
  • Try multigrain muffins, raisin toast, or wholegrain crackers with butter/quality margarine/cream and 100% fruit jam/quality (low in saturated and trans fat) peanut butter or wildflower honey. 
  • Boost the calorie content of your sandwiches by using generous serves of butter or quality margarine plus cheese, meat, eggs, fish, or quality peanut butter. 
  • Try doubling up the fillings (peanut butter and jam).
  • Choose fried rice and noodles or add butter or quality margarine to rice or pasta. 
  • Snack on grainy crackers or crispbreads spread with quality peanut butter, cheese, quality cold meat or 100% fruit jams. 
Fruits and vegetables  
Lower fat options
  • Dried fruit is an excellent high calorie snack and many varieties are low GI (apple, apricot, dates, prunes). 
  • Add fresh apples, pears, most stone fruits or canned, stewed or dried fruit to breakfast cereals, yoghurt and puddings.  
Higher fat options
  • Have cream or regular ice cream with your favourite fruits. 
  • Try fresh vegetables spread with peanut butter, cream cheese, or dips (hummus). 
  • Stir or deep fry your vegetables in quality oil (soy, peanut, sesame). 
  • Add cheese, sour cream or butter/quality margarine to steamed or baked vegetables. 
  • Use olive-oil based dressings (vinaigrette) on salads and in sandwiches.  
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: alan@gisymbol.com
Website: www.gisymbol.com