1 November 2020


You might be familiar with the dietary recommendation to include high fibre, low GI foods but you would be misled to think that all high fibre foods were low GI. Brown rice and wholemeal bread are two common examples of high fibre, high GI foods. The fibre in these cereal grains is predominantly insoluble fibre, which is great for bowel regularity but isn’t as effective at slowing carbohydrate digestion as soluble fibre. Barley and oats, on the other hand, have higher proportions of soluble fibres and lower GI values. In the tables below, pearl barley, wholemeal bread, porridge and brown rice are ranked from highest to lowest fibre per serve but the pearl barley and porridge have the lower GI and GL values, despite their differences in fibre content.



Pearl Barley, cooked
Serving size, ½ cup (95g/3 ½ oz) 

fiberous food

Wholemeal bread

Serving size, 2 slices (64g/2 oz) 

fiberous food

Porridge, made from rolled oats - cooked

Serving size, ½ cup (approximately 130g/4 ½ oz) 

fiberous food

Brown rice - medium grain

Serving size, ½ cup (approximately 80g/3oz)

fiberous food

 Kaye Foster-Powell     
Kaye Foster-Powell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who has worked with people with diabetes for 30 years. She was co-author of the original series of international, best-selling books on the glycemic index. She conducts a specialized private practice for people with diabetes in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia.    
Contact: Via her website.