1 August 2017

GI News - August 2017

GI News

GI News is published by the University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Charles Perkins Centre

Publisher:
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, AM, PhD, FAIFST, FNSA
Editor: Philippa Sandall
Scientific Editor/Managing Editor: Alan Barclay, PhD
Contact GI News: glycemic.index@gmail.com


Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service
Manager: Fiona Atkinson, PhD
Contact: sugirs.manager@sydney.edu.au

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FOOD AND FAKE NEWS
There’s a bit of a myth doing the rounds that ours is an era of fake news. There’s nothing new about fake news. Certainly not when it comes to food and health. Most old wives’ tales were “fake news” back in the day. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a maxim that likely started as marketing promo for Welsh apples in the mid nineteenth century. The first mention seems to be in Notes and Queries magazine (February 1866) which cites a so-called Pembrokeshire (Wales) proverb. “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

It would be nice to think there’s a grain of truth in “an apple a day,” after all, they are rich in soluble fibre and vitamin C and deserve star billing. Sadly, the findings of a study based on actual nutrition data collected from nearly 8400 men and women — 753 of whom ate an apple a day — and that followed rigorous study methods concludes: “Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications”.

How about “carrots help you see in the dark”? After all, they are seriously rich in beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A in the body and a deficiency of vitamin A does cause night blindness. Promoting carrots as a Super Veg with power to improve night-time vision was British wartime propaganda to get people to grow more veg and eat more carrots (they are easy to grow) because there were food shortages. “Somewhere on the journey the message that carrots are good for your eyes became disfigured into improving eyesight,” says John Stolarczyk, curator of the virtual World Carrot Museum (yes, there is one and it’s well worth looking at).

Carrot promotions

What is new, is that fake news, urban myths and misinformation spread farther and faster than ever before thanks to “lightning-quick news cycles and algorithm-determined social media feeds” says Rachel Visontay in an Opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. “There is no simple cure once we are exposed [to fake news],” she says “because the effects cannot be fully overcome by just promoting fact. Hanging on to mistaken beliefs or fictions occurs not just when people don't want to change their minds – our brains are actually bad at updating information even when we’re trying to. Using the terminology of some researchers, misinformation is really ‘sticky’.”

What to do about it? “When a myth has been so oft- and long-repeated, it will be called to mind very easily. To have any chance of winning out, facts need the same repetitive treatment,” she says. “We can never fully eliminate the impact of misinformation. People and institutions in positions of influence should try harder to put out only truth, because we are much better at learning than unlearning. But there will always be those who knowingly dress fiction as fact. Science tells us how to loosen their grip on us.”

Read more:

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WHAT’S NEW?

MILK OR FAKE MILK?
In June, European courts settled the matter. Only milk can be called milk in Europe, not those plant concoctions. In the US, the dairy industry is fighting to get FDA to enforce its regulations about what is milk and what is not. The FDA says it’s gotta come from cows, but the USDA is not cooperating. They say that “soy milk” is plain language in everyday use. And over the objections of FDA, they’ve insisted on using it in consumer nutrition education materials. No wonder consumers are confused. Here’s a responsible government agency “knowingly dressing fiction as fact” as Rachel Visontay would say.

Milking a cow

The range of white, non-milk liquids calling themselves milk could make your head spin. Soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, barley milk, quinoa milk. The list goes on. Dairy producers don’t like it one bit when all these fake milks try to pass themselves off as some sort of holy water super milk. Early in the 20th century, FDA started setting standards for genuine foods. And for milk, FDA’s standard says the real thing comes from a cow’s udder. Anything else is fake. – Thanks to ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle for this report.

PS: According to Australia and New Zealand Food Standards. “Milk means the mammary secretion of milking animals, obtained from one or more milkings for consumption as liquid milk or for further processing but excludes colostrum. Skim milk means milk from which milkfat has been removed.”

RUN RODENT, RUN
Here at GI News we are wary of publishing the results of rodent studies. First, the poor animals are typically force fed, overfed and then killed; and after all that unpleasantness, the relevance of the study’s outcome is questionable because rats and mice aren’t people. However, because there are biological similarities, research scientists find them valuable trial subjects. What scientists working in diabetes research have found is that sometimes pharmacological treatments that work in mice fail without an explanation in humans. They now know why this may be.Milking a cow

Writing in ScienceAlert Signe Dean explains. “New medicines come to our pharmacies through a rigorous process that begins in the lab and ends with multiple trials in humans. Along the way there can be animal studies, such as trials of type 2 diabetes drugs in mice. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and King's College London have found that mice and humans have previously unknown differences when it comes to having G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) on insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. GPCRs are found on the surfaces of many cells, where they receive chemical messages via various molecules called G proteins. We have nearly 1000 different GPCRs, each finely tuned to react to a particular molecular signal. These receptors have a laundry list of jobs in the body, including detection of certain tastes and smells, immune system regulation, transmission of nerve signals and many more. That's why pharmaceuticals can be used to target specific GPCRs. This avenue of delivering drugs is so popular, it is estimated that around 40 per cent of all modern prescription meds target this receptor type. But when it comes to developing GPCR-targeted drugs for type 2 diabetes, we've had little success. And that could well be because the receptors in mouse and human beta cells just don't match up.”
FREE-FROM FADS, FODMAPS AND FIBRE
“Free-from” is totally trendy with a just touch of fake. For example, while avoiding FODMAPs may be helpful for some of us, it’s not such a good idea for all of us. In fact, Prof Fred Brouns suggests we may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater as people adopting free-from FODMAPs diets are often adopting a diet that is low in dietary fibre – the long-standing driver of good gut health. It is well established that diets rich in dietary fibre reduce our risk of bowel cancer along with numerous other chronic diseases.

FODMAPs, rapidly fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, do seem to exacerbate intestinal discomfort in people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and prescribing a FODMAP-free diet (carried under medical or dietetic supervision) has proven beneficial for reducing symptoms for many people. But as Fred Brouns points out in The Dietary Fibres–FODMAPs Controversy, there is an increasing perception that FODMAPs which are a problem for some, can be detrimental to everyone’s gut health leading to the worldwide development and commercialization of low-FODMAP diets and products. All very concerning in light of the actual body of evidence that clearly shows we need at least 25 grams and optimally more than 35 grams of nondigestible carbohydrates (including FODMAPs) every day for good gut health.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN?
New research presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal in May 2017, shows that a high intake of protein in early childhood, particularly from animal food sources, is associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) due to increased body fat and not to increases in fat-free mass (internal organs, bones, muscles, water and connective tissue). The study was conducted by Dr Trudy Voortman and colleagues at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The authors conducted a population-based cohort study of 3564 Dutch children whose dietary intake was assessed using food-frequency questionnaires at age 1 year. From that, the researchers calculated intakes of total protein, protein from different sources; of total carbohydrates, polysaccharides, monosaccharides, and disaccharides; and of total, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat.

Participants had their height and weight repeatedly measured between the ages of 1 and 10 years, while fat (fat mass index – FMI) and fat-free masses (fat-free mass index – FFMI) were assessed using dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning at age 6 and 10 years. The data were adjusted to take account of variables such as maternal age and education, child's ethnicity, total energy intake, physical activity levels and whether the child was breastfed or not.

The study found that a higher intake of both total and animal protein (from dairy and non-dairy sources) was associated with being taller, heavier, and having a higher BMI up to the age of 10. This was true regardless of whether protein was replacing carbohydrates or fats in the diet. The authors say: "Our results suggest that high protein intake, particularly from animal food sources, in early childhood is associated with higher body fat mass, but not fat-free mass … Future studies are needed to examine the optimal range of protein intake and macronutrient composition of the diet for infants and young children and translate these findings into dietary guidelines targeted at this specific age group.”
GOT PRE-DIABETES? FIVE THINGS TO EAT OR AVOID TO PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES
“Pre-diabetes is a call to action,” says Prof Clare Collins, writing in The Conversation. “It’s diagnosed when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as having type 2 diabetes. What you choose to eat, or avoid, influences this risk. We know from the findings of numerous diabetes prevention program studies that people can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating more healthily, losing 5–10% of their body weight, and walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The results of a self-directed diabetes prevention program for men with pre-diabetes our team has just published in the American Journal of Men’s Health found that improved eating patterns were associated with an average weight loss of 5.5kg and better blood glucose regulation. So, what are these improved eating patterns to help prevent type 2 dibetes? Eat more vegetables and fruit, ditch soft drinks, eat a plant based diet, make use of the glycemic index, drink more coffee.”
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PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

CAN WE CUT OUR AVERAGE DIETARY GI AND GL?
In July GI News, I made the point that: “We now know that glycemic load is the most powerful predictor of blood glucose and insulin levels. You can lower GL by substituting low GI foods for high GI foods, or by consuming less carbohydrate, or by a bit of both.” There is also a rapidly growing body of evidence that low GI or GL diets assist with weight loss, weight maintenance and chronic disease prevention and management. In this issue, I look at a good news health literacy education story: how Australians successfully lowered the average dietary GI of their diets between 1995 and 2011/12 and as a flow-on effect, the GL.

First, a bit of background. David Jenkins and colleagues introduced the glycemic index (GI) in 1981 by comparing the postprandial blood glucose incremental area under curve of different carbohydrate foods. Numerous studies were then conducted to test the GI of different foods and the first International GI Table was published in 1995 followed a year later by the popular book, The GI Factor, giving consumers clear, accessible and authoritative information on the glycemic index, why it mattered and how to go low GI (“learn to love lentils” was a catchphrase). The free database of GI values on the University of Sydney GI website (www.glycemicindex.com) went live late 2000 (or early 2001) thanks to Assoc Prof Gareth Denyer; and in July 2005, GI News arrived on the scene as an online newsletter (http://ginews.blogspot.com.au) thanks to Dr Scott Dickinson.

GI Symbol

But it was clearly time to involve food manufacturers. In Australia, the Glycemic Index Foundation, a not-for-profit health promotion charity, developed the GI Symbol Program (a front-of-pack food endorsement program) in 2002 to help consumers make healthy low GI choices when grocery shopping easier. Foods that carry the Symbol have been GI tested at an accredited laboratory and meet strict category-specific nutrient criteria consistent with international dietary guidelines for kilojoules, saturated fat and sodium, and where appropriate, fibre and calcium. Since then a range of “good carbs” have carried the Symbol including breads, breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, noodles, apples, pears, potatoes, milk (the real stuff) and yoghurt.

But did Australian consumers actually make use of all this information about the GI of foods? A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that they did (Australian are good adopters and early adopters). Using data from Australia’s most recent national nutrition surveys, the researchers set out to see if dietary GI and GL had changed between the years 1995 and 2011/2. They found that dietary GI decreased from 56.5% to 53.9%. They put this down primarily to a reduction in the intake of added sugars (primarily sucrose in Australia), honey and syrups, sweetened beverages, juices and potatoes. But low GI breads and breakfast cereals (many with the GI Symbol) have been very successful product ranges in Australia. These results are encouraging. There is no reason why this cannot be achieved elsewhere in the world.

What next? Here at GI News, we would like to see the GI (and GL of a serving) included on Nutrition Information Panels/Nutrition Facts Labels to help consumers manage their weight and reduce their risk of chronic disease; and to help those with diabetes manage their blood glucose levels. It’s estimated that around 50% of food purchasing decisions are made at the point of sale, so let’s give consumers the information they need to make better choices.

 Dr Alan Barclay

Alan Barclay, PhD is a consultant dietitian. 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).

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FOOD UN-PLUGGED

CAN YOUR BREAKFAST CLEANSE YOUR LIVER?
Remember the lemon detox diet – that tear-jerking lemon, cayenne pepper and sugar water concoction? Or those liver cleansing diet books? No matter how often you gently and persistently point out that detoxing your body is what the liver and kidneys do (it’s their job), the notion that you need a special pill, potion or diet to detox and cleanse has entered the seriously sticky misinformation realm. And stuck.

We recently came across a liver cleansing muesli developed by a naturopath and thought we’d check it out.

Liver cleansing muesli Nutrition Information

The ingredients – oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, barley bran, psyllium, barley bran, linseeds, and pepitas – are nutritious, high-fibre foods good for bowel health. There’s also an “added botanical for digestive support”, which we assume is the “0.5% slippery elm” – a herbal remedy from the bark of the slippery elm tree.

Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra Muhl.) was an important medicinal plant for Native Americans who used it in a decoction as a laxative and to aid delivery in childbirth. We’re not herbalists, so to find out more, we checked professional texts including Herbs and Natural Supplements - an evidence based guide by Lesley Braun and Marc Cohen (Elsevier). Slippery elm has traditionally been used to treat wounds and skin irritations, sore throats, coughs and gastrointestinal conditions they say. The bark contains mucilages capable of trapping water and forming a gel thought to have soothing properties. However, scientific research is lacking and the therapeutic effectiveness of slippery elm has not been investigated under clinical conditions in people, so reported beneficial effects are anecdotal, or from in-vitro and animal studies. “Safety data is lacking, so slippery elm is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation and in children and adolescents under 18” says Sarah Edwards et al in Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products.

What about dosage? The amount of slippery elm is 0.5% of the total, which works out at 0.25g (or 250mg) per 50g serve – a bit like a drop in the therapeutic ocean when you read that the typical dose of slippery elm recommended by herbal manufacturers is 1 teaspoon three times daily (15g).

While the grains and seeds in this muesli product deliver the good gut benefits of dietary fibre, there’s no evidence its small amount of slippery elm will soothe your gut, let alone cleanse your liver. The bigger product picture here is the manufacturer’s health claims (“slippery elm powder contains a gel-like substance that acts as a protective layer for the digestive tract … you can’t taste it in the muesli, but they’re in there working for your liver!”) and such claims are strictly regulated in many countries. Under consumer law it is not permitted to make false or misleading claims about a product and a case could be made this product does not deliver on its liver-cleansing promise.

How to look after your liver To keep your liver in tip top condition, eat plenty of plant foods such as wholegrains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds; exercise regularly; maintain a healthy weight and drink water. Limit alcohol, caffeine and fatty processed foods.

The un-plugged truth

  • You don’t need to buy detox products or follow detox diets. Liver cleansing is a fallacy.
  • Muesli can be a healthy breakfast choice (depending on the brand).
  • To care of your liver, drink less alcohol, exercise regularly, enjoy a healthy plant-based diet, maintain a healthy body weight and drink plenty of water.
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.

Want more on detoxing? Dr Nick Fuller recently took a look at liver detox or liver cleanse products in GI News where he dealt with the question: can the liver be “cleansed”?

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KEEP GOOD CARBS AND CARRY ON

CAULIFLOWER
In our new book, The Good Carbs Cookbook, there’s a profile of each of the forty foods that made the final cut. We chose cauliflower (a member of the Brassica or cabbage family) for a few reasons. It’s a great source of dietary fibre and other nutritional goodies and we love it and like to cook with it.

And seemingly so do advocates of paleo and “clean food” diets and various free-from grains or low-carb diets who suggest recipes like cauliflower rice. However, while our hunter-gather forebears may have tugged the odd wild cabbage ancestor from the ground, they certainly never tucked into anything like the creamy curds of the cauliflower we enjoy as it wasn’t around. In fact, like so many of our popular veggies, cauli’s origins are a bit of a mystery. It’s thought it originated in the eastern Mediterranean. Cauliflower was certainly described by the early Arab botanists, known to the Romans, and appeared in Italy towards the end of the 15th century, possibly making landfall in Sicily which has numerous delicious, trad recipes making the most of its creamy curds that soak up flavour. Here’s what you are getting with cauliflower.
CAULIFLOWER

THE CAULIFLOWER PROFILE
This three-in-one veg gives you an edible head of creamy curds and crunchy white stems encased by tender green leaves. Forget the substitute-for-potatoes-or-rice scenario and make the most of this affordable, versatile, mild-mannered member of the cabbage family that stir-fried, steamed, boiled or raw takes on the bold flavours of sharp cheeses, biting mustards, spicy curries, Asian sauces and tangy pickles. It makes excellent soups from the simple and soothing to the sublime and delicate.

By concentrating its sweetness, roasting puts cauliflower in a class of its own as side dish, salad or finger food with dips. The best cauliflower for roasting whole should have snowy white, tightly packed florets (curds) nestling in bright green leaves. Blanching before roasting gets rid of strong odours, keeps the florets tender after roasting and shortens the roasting time. Instead of blanching the cauliflower in water, you can steam it if you prefer.

The milky head is the one we are all most familiar with, but these days you’ll find orange, green (broccolflower) and purple caulis that hold their colour when cooked making for a rather spectacular dish.

Choose heads (or half heads) with tight, firm, creamy-white curds, steering well clear of any with black, slimy spots – signs of mould. Check the stems too and make sure there are no cracks or splits. Frozen florets will be fresher than those pre-packed plastic trays of florets that are often way past their best-by date. A head of cauli will keep in the fridge for a few days in a plastic bag.

WHAT’S IN THEM? Half a cup of cooked cauliflower florets (about 90g or 3oz) has around 90 kilojoules (21 calories), 2g protein, no fat, 2g carbs (2g sugars/ 0g starches), 2g fibre, 13 mg sodium, 284 mg potassium. Because it is so low in carbohydrate, it is not possible to measure its GI, and therefore it does not have a GL either.
—Reproduced with permission of the publisher, Murdoch Books.

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IN THE GI NEWS KITCHEN

BRILLIANT BRASSICAS
Brassica veggies are consumed in enormous quantities around the world from salad plants such as rocket (arugula), mustard and cress; to Oriental leafy veg such as pak-choi, bok choy and choy sum and their European cousins – cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli and kohlrabi. We opted for the flowery Brassicas this issue: cauliflower and broccoli.

GO CAULI
Two low GI recipes that show how versatile this delicate veg is: Spiced Cauliflower and Lentil Soup and Crispy Cauliflower with Buckwheat and Pinenuts. Don’t be surprised if everyone lines up for seconds.

SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND LENTIL SOUP
It’s an easy recipe to ring the changes. Try using Moroccan spice powder and 1 tablespoon of harissa paste instead of the ground cumin and coriander. Or substitute diced orange-fleshed sweet potato or butternut pumpkin for the lentils with. Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins Serves: 2
SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND LENTIL SOUP

olive oil spray
1 leek,
pale part only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 long green chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
350g (12oz) cauliflower florets
½ cup green lentils, rinsed
1 tbsp reduced-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves

Spray a large saucepan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, chilli, ground coriander, cumin and turmeric, and stir for 1 minute or until aromatic. • Add the cauliflower florets, green lentils and 4 cups water. Cover the pan and cook for 30–35 minutes or until the cauliflower and lentils are tender. • Using a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with the coconut milk, almonds, coriander leaves and freshly ground black pepper.

Per serve
1295kJ/ 308 calories; 22g protein; 7g fat (includes 0.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.08); 32g available carbs (includes 10g sugars and 22g starches); 16g fibre; 70mg sodium; 1350mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.05.

Reversing Diabetes
This recipe is from Reversing Diabetes (Murdoch Books), and is available from good bookshops and online.

CRISPY CAULIFLOWER WITH BUCKWHEAT AND PINENUTS
The earthy, nutty and slightly smoky flavour of buckwheat’s amazing tiny pyramid shapes, makes a robust addition to dishes. Prep: 10 mins • Cook: 30 mins • Serves: 6

CRISPY CAULIFLOWER WITH BUCKWHEAT AND PINENUTS

1 medium cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt flakes
¾ cup raw buckwheat groats, rinsed
⅔ cup medium pitted black olives,
roughly chopped
2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp currants

Dressing
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 handful parsley, chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (fan 170°C/325°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. • Rinse the cauliflower and cut through the thick core into quarters. Cut each quarter into thick slices and put into a bowl. If you prefer, cut them into large florets. Pour over the oil, sprinkle with a little salt and toss. Arrange the cauliflower on the tray and roast for 20–25 minutes, or until crispy and slightly charred. Set aside to cool. • While the cauliflower is roasting, bring a pot of water to the boil, tip in the buckwheat and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, rinse and leave to cool to room temperature. • Whisk together the dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, to make a chunky thick dressing. Watch the amount of salt you use, as both the capers and olives will provide a briny tang. • Put the cauliflower, buckwheat, olives, capers, pine nuts and currants in a bowl. Pour over the dressing and lightly tumble together. Serve at room temperature.

Per serve
1505kJ/ 360 calories; 6g protein; 27g fat (includes 3.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.15); 21g available carbs (includes 5.5g sugars and 15.5g starches); 5.5g fibre; 255mg sodium; 505mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.5.
The Good Carbs Cookbook
This recipe is from The Good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books), and is available from good bookshops and online.

STICKS, SEEDS, PODS and LEAVES
Kate Hemphill is a trained chef. She contributed the recipes to Ian Hemphill’s best-selling Spice and Herb Bible. You will find more of her recipes on the Herbies spices website. Or you can follow her on Instagram (@herbieskitchen). Kate uses Herbies spices and blends, but you can substitute with whatever you have in your pantry.

BARRAMUNDI AND BROCCOLI FISH CAKES

Served here with wilted spinach and lemon wedges. Choose a lower GI potato like Carisma if you can. Substitute the barramundi fillets for a firm white fish such as snapper, hake, ling, perch, cod, seabass or coral trout. Herbie’s Spices Fish Cake Spice Mix is a tangy combo – coriander, sumac fennel, mace, ginger, lemon myrtle, dill, parsley and Australian native pepperberry. Substitute with 1 tsp lemon zest and 1–2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley. Prep time: 15 mins • Cook time: 45 mins • Serves: 4

BARRAMUNDI AND BROCCOLI FISH CAKES

3 barramundi fillets (approx 400g/14oz total)
2 cups milk
6 florets broccoli, cooked until tender and drained
2 potatoes (450g/1lb total)
1 tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp Herbies fish cake spice mix
¼ cup breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating
rice bran or vegetable oil, for cooking

Place fish fillets skin side up in a deep pan and cover with milk. Bring to a gentle boil over low-medium heat then turn off heat and allow fish to continue cooking for 10 minutes. • Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and cook until tender. Mash with butter and season to taste. • Chop the cooked broccoli finely and stir into the mash along with the egg, lemon zest, spice mix and ¼ cup breadcrumbs. • Remove cooked fish from milk and discard skin. Flake the fish into the mash mixture, removing any bones. • Stir to combine well then shape into 12 medium fish cakes. Once shaped, toss in extra breadcrumbs. Fish cakes can be placed on a lined baking tray, covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking. • To cook, heat oil in a large frying pan and cook fish cakes for 3–4 minutes per side, until golden then drain on kitchen paper towel before serving.

Per serve
1990kJ/ 475 calories; 30g protein; 25g fat (includes 6g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.32); 29g available carbs (includes 9g sugars and 20g starches); 4g fibre; 228mg sodium; 1302mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.18.

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COPYRIGHT AND PERMISSION


This website and all information, data, documents, pages and images it contains is copyright under the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth of Australia) (as amended) and the copyright laws of all member countries of the Berne Union and the Universal Copyright Convention.Copyright in the website and in material prepared by GI News is owned by Glycemic Index Foundation. Copyright in quotations, images from published works and photo libraries, and materials contributed by third parties including our regular contributors Alan Barclay, Jennie Brand-Miller, and Nicole Senior is owned by the respective authors or agencies, as credited.

GI News encourages the availability, dissemination and exchange of public information. You may include a link to GI News on your website. You may also copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal only with material owned by GI News, on the condition that you include the copyright notice “© GI News, University of Sydney” on all uses and prominently credit the source as being GI News and include a link back to ginews.blogspot.com.au. You must, however, obtain permission from GI News if you wish to do the following:

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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 and 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, Australia

1 July 2017

GI News - July 2017

GI News


GI News is published by the University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Charles Perkins Centre

Publisher:
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, AM, PhD, FAIFST, FNSA
Editor: Philippa Sandall
Scientific Editor/Managing Editor: Alan Barclay, PhD
Contact GI News: glycemic.index@gmail.com

Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service
Manager: Fiona Atkinson, PhD
Contact: sugirs.manager@sydney.edu.au

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Carbs 101
As you can imagine, we have been asked many questions about carbs over the 12 years we have been publishing GI News. In Food for Thought it’s back to basics as we share our answers to some common FAQs: what are carbs, where do they come from, why are the good ones important, and why the GI matters.

What are carbs?
The word “carbohydrate” comes from chemistry and means “watered carbon” (or carbon with water molecules). Sometimes you will see it shortened to CHO which stands for carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Here’s what the chemical formula of glucose looks like: C6H12O6 (which stands for six carbon atoms and six water molecules – H2O = water).

Carbs are one of four major molecules in our foods, and like two of the others – protein and fat – they provide us with the energy (calories or kilojoules) to power our lives. Water, the fourth major molecule, has no calories. Most foods are a mix of these molecules. Take half a cup (about 95g/3oz) of cooked quinoa. It provides 400 kilojoules (96 calories), 4g protein, 2g fat, 15g carbs (1g sugars, 14g starches), 2g fibre, 4mg sodium, 150mg potassium, and has a low GI (53) and GL (8).

They come in a number of guises. Sugars are carbs, so are starches and the bonus indigestible dietary fibres and resistant starches that nourish the gut, feed the friendly bacteria and keep things moving along nicely on the inside.

Where do they come from?
Mostly plants. One way or another, green plants provide us with the energy that fuels our lives from the fossil fuels formed millions of years ago to the foods we grow. Carbohydrate energy comes from plant photosynthesis. To put it as simply as possible, the green cells (chlorophyll) in a plant’s leaves use sunlight’s energy to convert the carbon dioxide they absorb from the air and the water they draw up through their roots into the sugars and starches they need to grow and produce the roots, tubers, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. They also use it to make their (indigestible to us) cell wall materials such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, along with various gums and pectins. And there’s more, there’s the oxygen they release into the atmosphere so we can all breathe easy.

Photosynthesis

Why are they important?
Good carbs are multi-talented molecules that play key roles in our body. Our brains, nervous system, red blood cells, kidneys and muscles during exercise prefer carbs as their energy source. Carbs also give our cells structure, form part of our genes and play a part in the function of some proteins. On top of this, good carbs serve up a swag of the micronutrients we need for good health including vitamins B, C and E; minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium and antioxidants including the carotenoids that play a protective role in eye health.

Why does low GI matter?
Here at GI News, we recommend putting good carbs on the plate, and where possible, choose those with a low GI or GL. Why? There’s high-level evidence that switching to low GI good carbs that trickle the glucose into the bloodstream can help us cut cravings; feel fuller for longer; stay in shape better by minimising body fat and maximising muscle mass; and decrease our risk of some chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

When we eat carb-rich foods (fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes, grains, or dairy products such as milk or yoghurt) our bodies convert their sugars and/or starches into glucose during digestion. However, our bodies do this at very different rates and this is where using the glycemic index (GI) helps us make better choices for long-term health and wellbeing. The GI is particularly useful for people who need to manage their blood glucose levels (BGLs). Think of it as a carbo speedo that gives us an idea how quickly our bodies will digest particular carb foods and how fast and high our BGL is then likely to rise.

High GI: 70 and over • Medium or moderate GI: 56 to 69 • Low GI: 55 and under

Why does it matter how high our BGLs go?

As with blood pressure, there’s a healthy range and a risky range. Having BGLs in the normal range over the day is good for our bodies because it also will lower our day-long insulin levels. Having high BGLs from eating too many high GI foods can put pressure on our health, because it means that our pancreas has to work extra hard producing more insulin to move the glucose into the cells, where it provides energy for the body and brain. It’s never a good idea to overwork or overstress body parts. They can wear out or stop functioning properly. It’s not easy to replace a pancreas.
 The Good Carbs Cookbook
This edited extract from The Good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books Australia) is reproduced with permission. Hugh Ford created the illustration. For more information contact: Isabelle O’Brien, Marketing and Communications Associate, Murdoch Books: isabelleo@murdochbooks.com.au 

The Good Carbs Cookbook: Available online and in store in Australia now. Publishes 13 July in the UK and can be pre-ordered online from Amazon and Book Depository. It should also be available on www.amazon.com for interested US readers to pre-order from June 1.

WHAT’S NEW?

I AM NOT A DIABETIC 

National Diabetes Week 2017 kicks off on July 9 in Australia to raise awareness and understanding about this chronic condition. We thought we would do something different on the awareness-raising front with a poem by our UK colleague, Jim Young.

I am not a diabetic.
I have diabetes – you see?
I am not obese,
I do not smoke or drink,
I am a hungry vegetarian,
and I swim in the sea each day.

Then you shouldn't have diabetes?
But unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.
My Dad had diabetes and
it was his parting gift to me.
So, I have made friends with my condition,
it calls me Son and I call it Pop,
as I pop another pill.

I treat him with every consideration
and we do love to get it right.
My doctor treats him with reverence
and prescribes only the best wrapped gifts,
to assuage his temper, and hopefully one day
will inject some realism into my insinuation
and oft repeated question,
"Oh why Dad, why? Oh why?".

Now it ought to be OK? You say.
But these bloody auto-antibodies
go hunting in a pack.
So another pill for cholesterol,
another for BP,
I know these rustling popper packs
will be the life of me.

But I am not a diabetic!
Repeat that after me,
and then maybe you will see,
that whatever my glucose status,
it is me you see – yes me.
So please don't stick a label
for now you know the truth.
You know that I suffer from diabetes,
as you might do,
one day.

Jim Young is Editor-in-chief of Glycosmedia, an independent online newsletter reporting latest developments in diabetes research. You can read more of Jim’s poems here.

KEEPING AN EYE ON EYESIGHT 

Protecting our eyesight is one of the most important things we can do to ensure quality and enjoyment of life. Ophthalmologist Dr Shanel Sharma explains why for anyone with diabetes it’s vital to be vigilant and why the eye is vulnerable to damage from the complications of diabetes.
Dr Shanel Sharma

“Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness for people between 20 and 65 and diabetic eye diseases can affect anyone with diabetes whether type 1 or type 2,” she says. Chronically high blood glucose levels over time damage blood vessels throughout the body. Our small blood vessels are the most vulnerable and are affected first. These include the small blood vessels supplying our eyes, kidneys and our peripheral limbs (toes). People with chronically elevated blood glucose levels have substantially more, and more severe, retinopathy than those with lower blood glucose levels.

What happens in the eye is that the blood vessels become damaged and develop micro-aneurysms, start to bleed causing haemorrhages and stop carrying blood, resulting in retinal ischaemia. Ischaemic retina causes the release of a protein (VEGF – vascular endothelial growth factor), resulting in the development of sick and abnormal blood vessels, which can bleed or cause tractional retinal detachment and loss of vision. The other major way people lose sight is from diabetic macular oedema, from leaking of blood product into the macular. The macular is the part of the eye that allows one to read, look at people’s faces, or do any fine detailed work.

As there is usually a 10–15-year delay in chronically high BGLs and appearance of diabetic eye diseases, it is important to control BGLs well from the start. Although the damage to the eye is irreversible, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by up to approximately 95%.

If you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, don’t despair. Good blood glucose control can reduce its progression. Aim for an HbA1c of 6.05% (people with HbA1c levels less than 6.05%, generally develop slowest rate of retinopathy). Studies have shown that with every percentage point reduction in your HbA1c, you can reduce progression of diabetic retinopathy by 33%.

Reducing blood pressure helps too. A 2015 Cochrane review concluded that the available evidence supports ‘a beneficial effect of intervention to reduce blood pressure with respect to preventing diabetic retinopathy for up to 4 to 5 years’.

As diabetic eye diseases most commonly have no symptoms, it is essential to ensure that you are being screened regularly by your GP, optometrist or your ophthalmologist. Symptoms that are associated with diabetic eye diseases can include intermittent blurred vision, difficulty with focusing, loss of contrast, double vision or distortion to your vision. Additionally, diabetes is an independent risk factor for developing other eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.”

Studies 

Diet and diabetic retinopathy 

Clinical trials have found that people with diabetes who follow healthy eating principles can reduce their HbA1c levels by 1 to 2 percentage points. If they are also following a low GI diet, they can reduce their HbA1c levels by another 0.5 percentage points. While this may not sound significant, a decrease of just 1 percentage point in HbA1c levels will decrease the common complications of diabetes by 19% to 43%.

Study: Dietary hyperglycemia, glycemic index and metabolic retinal diseases

Diet and AMD 

A recent review in Nutrients critically evaluates the evidence about lutein and zeaxanthin (the predominant carotenoids which accumulate in the retina of the eye) intake and age-related macular degeneration. “Current evidence suggests that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin are likely to play an important role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration (AMD)” conclude the authors. “A diet high in a variety of foods is important for achieving adequate dietary levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (as well as other nutrients). Moreover, such a diet should include plenty of leafy green vegetables, in keeping with dietary guidelines. There is also value in including a range of other foods to increase variety and improve the bioavailability of lutein and zeaxanthin, such as eggs and selected nuts,” they say.

Study PDF: Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection 

Contact: vicki.flood@sydney.edu.au or victoria.flood@health.nsw.gov.au

FRUCTOSE AND BGLS 

A new systematic review and meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes there’s strong evidence that substituting fructose for glucose or sucrose in food or beverages lowers peak postprandial blood glucose and insulin concentrations without a substantial increase in blood triglyceride concentrations. Not so surprising when you look at the GI values of these sweeteners: Fructose (Fruisana brand) = GI 19; Sucrose (table sugar, average) = GI 65; Glucose = GI 100.

Study: Fructose replacement of glucose or sucrose in food or beverages lowers postprandial glucose and insulin without raising triglycerides: a systematic review and meta-analysis

PERSPECTIVES WITH DR ALAN BARCLAY

A POTTED HISTORY OF CARBOHYDRATE AND DIABETES

Fruit

People have been trying to work out the optimal diet for people with diabetes for hundreds of years. Until recently, most offerings have been restrictive and unpalatable. Fad diets are nothing new. In the early 1900s, they included: the “oat-cure,” the “milk diet,” the “rice-cure,” and “potato therapy,” diets often supplemented with a liberal dose of opium to suppress appetite ...

In 1912, Dr Fred Allen developed his “1000 Calorie Diet” (4200kJ), a very low carbohydrate diet with a kick-start seven-day fast before other foods were gradually reintroduced. Participants were told to boil their low-carbohydrate vegetables three times in water to remove starch. People became very emaciated and weak. From Allen’s later research on pancreatectomised dogs he concluded glucose was more rapidly absorbed than starch, a principle he expanded to include all “simple sugars” (fructose, galactose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, etc.). It was this “research” that led to low sugar diets being recommended to people with diabetes for most of the 20th century.

Despite H.R. Geyelin demonstrating (1923) that a higher carbohydrate diet did not upset blood glucose levels if adequate insulin was supplied, most doctors recommended low carbohydrate intakes (15% to 40% of total calories) until the late 1940s. Dr Elliot Joslin for example, plumped for 20% of calories from carbohydrate and 70% from fat.

Breakthrough 1: In 1950, the American Diabetic Association and American Dietetic Association developed the first Exchange Lists, which focused on six food groups with similar macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat and protein) levels. This system operated on the assumption that any food within a group was interchangeable because they would have the same impact on blood glucose levels. A good idea, but not entirely successful because the carb exchanges rarely had the same impact.

With an increasing number of deaths of people with diabetes from heart and blood vessel diseases, major diabetes associations reviewed their dietary recommendations in the 1970s dropping fat to less than 35% of calories and increasing carbohydrate to 55% to 60% of calories. It may have made life easier for people with diabetes, but it didn’t solve the problem of blood glucose levels.

Breakthrough 2: Building on the work of American dietitian Dr Phyllis Crapo and Australian endocrinologist Dr Mark Wahlqvist, Dr David Jenkins, Dr Tom Wolever and colleagues developed the concept of slow-release carbohydrates and the glycemic index. The concept generated much interest, even more heat and some most useful light as major diabetes associations cautiously revised their restrictions on “simple sugars” due to the growing body of evidence that they don’t adversely affect blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.

Breakthrough 3: In 1997, the World Health Organisation/Food and Agriculture Organisation recommend that the terms “simple sugar” and “complex carbohydrate” are no longer used to describe carbohydrate foods. They recommend the use of the GI as the best guide to the effect of carbohydrate foods on blood glucose levels.

The first studies showing that lower GI diets may also improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels were published in 1997.

Breakthrough 4: Harvard researchers develop the concept of Glycemic Load (GL = GI x available carbohydrate per serve), and diets with a high glycemic load are linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and heart and blood vessel disease in women and men.

In 2004, a systematic review and meta-analysis supported the recommendation of a higher carbohydrate, lower glycemic index, high fibre diet that is low in saturated fat and moderate in protein for people with diabetes. Dietary recommendations from the major international diabetes associations closely reflected the results.

“A low-GI diet can improve glycaemic control in diabetes without compromising hypoglycaemic events” concludes the first Cochrane Review of the evidence from randomised controlled trials on the GI in the management of diabetes.

Breakthrough 5: In 2013, the American Diabetes Associations systematically reviews the scientific evidence and concludes: “there is not an ideal percentage of calories from carbohydrate, protein, and fat for all people with diabetes (B); therefore, macronutrient distribution should be based on individualized assessment of current eating patterns, preferences, and metabolic goals. (E)”. In support of this, an independent group conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials of more than 6 months duration and determined that Mediterranean, low GI, higher protein and low carbohydrate diets are all effective in lowering glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), with Mediterranean diets the most effective at 0.47% points and low carbohydrate diets the least effective at 0.12% points.

In 2014, a systematic review and meta-analysis that looked at people with diabetes who consumed a vegetarian diet for an average of 24 weeks (just under 6 months) found they reduced their HbA1c by 0.39% – that’s close to the Mediterranean diet and vegetarian diets are naturally very high in carbohydrates (an average of 75% of energy). But they also tend to include lots of legumes, which have very low GI values.

We now know that glycemic load is the most powerful predictor of blood glucose and insulin levels. You can lower GL by substituting low GI foods for high GI foods, or by consuming less carbohydrate, or by a bit of both.

The bottom line: There is no single best diet for all people with diabetes to manage their BGLs. It’s over to what works for you and what you can stick with long term. See your Accredited/Registered Dietitian to help you put together some healthy eating guidelines. And stick to them. And remember, a diet that’s good for people with diabetes, is good for everybody, so the whole family can enjoy it.

 Dr Alan Barclay

Alan Barclay, PhD is a consultant dietitian. He worked for Diabetes Australia (NSW) from 1998–2014 and is a member of the editorial board of Diabetes Management Journal (Diabetes Australia). 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).

VIEWPOINTS FROM THE CHARLES PERKINS CENTRE, SYDNEY UNIVERSITY

NEW GI VALUES FROM SUGiRS

Table of new GI values

 Teff is a tiny, gluten-free grain, rich in carbohydrate, fibre and some essential minerals. It can be cooked as a porridge, added to soups and sauces, sprinkled on salads and baked in breads. To cook: Add to saucepan with boiling water. Cook on low heat (lid on) for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking. Drain and serve.

Study: Teff: nutrient composition and health benefits

Mckenzie’s SuperBlend Fibre combines greenwheat freekeh, lentils and beans. A 50g serve provides 8g dietary fibre. To cook: Add to saucepan with boiling water. Cook on medium heat (lid on) for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking. Drain and serve. Can be used in salads, soups, casseroles or as a grain/legume side dish. SuperBlend Fibre and Protein can be found in the supermarket’s soup aisle.

McKenzie’s SuperBlend Protein combines lentils, quinoa and beans. A 50g serve provides 7.7g dietary fibre. To cook: Add to saucepan with boiling water. Cook on medium heat (lid on) for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking. Drain and serve. Can be used in salads, soups, casseroles or as a grain/legume side dish.

GI testing The Sydney University GI Research Service (SUGiRS) was established in 1995 to provide a reliable commercial GI testing laboratory. Following the international standard method, the GI value of a food is determined by feeding 10 or more healthy people a portion of the food containing 50 grams of digestible (available) carbohydrate and then measuring the effect on their blood glucose levels over the next two hours. For each person, the area under their two-hour blood glucose response (glucose AUC) for this food is then measured. On another occasion, the same 10 people consume an equal-carbohydrate portion of the sugar glucose (the reference food) and their two-hour blood glucose response is also measured. A GI value for the test food is then calculated for each person by dividing their glucose AUC for the test food by their glucose AUC for the reference food. The final GI value for the test food is the average GI value for the 10 people.
GI graph

Contact: For information about GI testing at the University of Sydney, email: Fiona Atkinson, sugirs.manager@sydney.edu.au

Website (GI Database and glycemic index FAQs): www.glycemicindex.com

FOOD UN-PLUGGED

ARE RAW DESSERTS HEALTHIER? 

Raw food diet followers say that cooking foods destroys nutrients and enzymes; raw food marketers claim their products are better for you. Raw desserts are selling like hotcakes (so to speak), as consumers concerned about their health seek to satisfy their basic instincts for sweet pleasure. Are raw desserts nutritionally superior? Let’s take a closer look.

Most raw foodies won’t eat food cooked above 42°C (108°F), the temperature at which the sun dries out food. To concentrate flavours and make foods crispier without heat, raw foodies use dehydrating machines for fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted beans and seaweed. You can read more about raw foods in GI News here and here.

Reading the marketing guff for raw desserts, you’d be forgiven for thinking their brownies, slices, bliss balls, bars, cakes and mousses were a free pass into healthy dessert heaven while wearing slim-fitting trousers. Don’t be fooled; these are not everyday foods. They may look gorgeous and contain healthy ingredients such as fruit and nuts, and may be higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals than more orthodox sweets, but because they are usually made with a lot of dried fruit, nuts and seeds (often with a hefty swig of coconut oil) they are very high in calories.

We analysed (Foodworks) two raw desserts (Rawtarian Brownie and Merrymaker Sisters Paleo Salted Caramel Slice) with two traditional recipes on www.taste.com to give you the raw data on raw desserts. The calorie content is very similar. However, if you decide to tuck into Merrymaker’s caramel slice you will down your day’s maximum recommended saturated fat allowance (24 grams in about 3 bites). All gone in one petite portion.

Raw food nutrient analysis


The raw deal Dessert is dessert – raw or otherwise. A treat. An extra. Some raw desserts might add extra nutrients, but just like their traditional counterparts, they will also add extra calories, and possibly help you to store them around your middle. Keep raw desserts for occasional indulgence and don’t kid yourself you are bucking the usual nutritional rules because you went “raw”.

The un-plugged truth

  • You do not need to follow a raw food diet to be healthy or lose weight.
  • Some raw desserts may have more fibre and nutrients than their trad counterparts, but they can contain just as many calories and possibly more saturated fat.
  • Enjoy raw desserts occasionally and in small amounts.
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.

KEEP GOOD CARBS AND CARRY ON

EYE HEALTH: THE AYES HAVE IT FOR VEG
Guest contributor Diabetes Victoria Dietitian Kim Duggan-Larkin APD explains why.

It’s common knowledge that eating lots of carrots is great for our eyes. Many people have also got the message that green leafy vegetables are good too. The evidence to date suggests it’s their antioxidants that protect the macula and other parts of the eye from damage by free radicals and help to keep eyes healthy. The main antioxidants that have been studied are vitamins C and E; and carotenoids such as beta-carotene (which is converted by the body into vitamin A), and lutein and zeaxanthin (which accumulate in the retina).

Because the most common cause of blindness in the developed world is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), much of the research has focused on preventing it, or delaying its progression. As the evidence currently stands, while neither high dietary intakes of carotenoids nor taking antioxidant supplements have been shown to prevent development of AMD, higher dietary carotenoid intakes and antioxidant supplements may be beneficial for people who already have AMD, indicating a protective effect. As dietitian Bronwyn Eisennhauer et al conclude in their recent review, “prudent advice to increase consumption of lutein- and zeaxanthin-containing foods in the diet of those people at high-risk of AMD or who already have AMD should be encouraged.”

To maximise your intake, include plenty of dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and silver beet, as these are the highest food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Orange vegetables such as pumpkin, corn and orange capsicum/peppers are also good sources. Carrots do provide a small amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, however they are higher in beta-carotene. Combining green leafy and orange vegetables with a salad dressing or good quality oil such as olive oil may help the body to absorb these nutrients better.

Top to toe list

What about eggs? Eggs contain smaller amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin than leafy greens, but our body absorbs it very well, likely due to the fat in eggs. In addition, eggs contain vitamin A and some omega-3 fats. You do need to eat the whole egg though, as most of the lutein and zeaxanthin is found in the yolk.

Study PDF: Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection

Contact: kdlarkin@diabetesvic.org.au 

Website: www.diabetesvic.org.au

IN THE GI NEWS KITCHEN

GO GREEN

Lifting lutein and zooming in on zeaxanthin with leafy greens is what’s in store this month in the GI News Kitchen because a new review in Nutrients concludes: “Current evidence suggests that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin are likely to play an important role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration (AMD)”.

FOOD AS MEDICINE WITH SUE RADD

Food as Medicine

Sue Radd APD believes that to live well you need to eat well. She is one of Australia’s leading nutritionists and health communicators and recognised by her peers as an expert on plant foods and phytonutrients. Her Food as Medicine won Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World for 2016 by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has selected two recipes packed with leafy greens from her new book to share with GI News readers.

CHICKPEA CURRY WITH PUMPKIN AND BABY SPINACH 

This curry goes well with a steamed brown rice/red rice wholegrain combo. One 400g (14oz) can of chickpeas supplies around 1½ cups when drained and rinsed well. Prep: 10 mins • Cook: 30 mins • Serves 4

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups plain tomato pasta sauce
1½ cups cooked chickpeas
320g (11oz) peeled pumpkin, diced
pinch salt, optional
120g (4oz) baby spinach leaves
2 tsp freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)

Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. • Mix in chilli powder, coriander, cumin, tomato pasta sauce
and ½ cup of water. Stir well. • Add chickpeas and diced pumpkin, and bring to boil. Adjust
flavour with extra salt, if desired. • Reduce heat and simmer for around 15 minutes or until
pumpkin is tender. • Stir through baby spinach leaves until they start to wilt, followed by coriander, and serve immediately.

Per serve

1203kJ/ 287 calories; 9g protein; 13g fat (includes 2g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.18); 29g available carbs (includes 15g sugars and 14g starch); 10g fibre; 639mg sodium; 1055mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.6.

TANGY LENTIL SOUP WITH SILVERBEET AND ZUCCHINI

Serve with wholemeal Lebanese bread, if desired. Prep: 20 minutes • Cook: 45 minutes • Serves 8


TANGY LENTIL SOUP WITH SILVERBEET AND ZUCCHINI

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
500g (17oz) brown lentils, picked over for stones and washed
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm (½in) cubes
2 medium zucchinis (courgettes), cut into 1cm (½in) cubes
1 bunch silverbeet (chard), trimmed, washed and shredded into 1cm (½in) strips making up 600g (about 1lb 5oz)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper, optional
1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
juice of 2 lemons

Warm oil in a large soup pot and sauté onions until soft. • Add lentils, salt and 8 cups of water, cover with lid and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. • Add potato cubes and continue cooking for 10 minutes. • Add zucchini, silverbeet, garlic, pepper and 4 cups of extra boiling water, and cook for a further 5 minutes until the greens just start
to soften. • Stir in coriander and lemon juice, and ladle hot into soup bowls.

Per serve

1201kJ/ 287 calories; 19g protein; 6g fat (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.2); 34g available carbs (includes 5g sugars and 29g starch); 13g fibre; 457mg sodium; 1134mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.4.

STICKS, SEEDS, PODS and LEAVES

Kate Hemphill is a trained chef. She contributed the recipes to Ian Hemphill’s best-selling Spice and Herb Bible. You will find more of her recipes on the Herbies spices website. Kate’s recipes are made with Herbies spices and blends, but you can use whatever you have in your pantry or that’s available locally.

HOT GINGER PRAWNS 

Sogeri wild ginger (Zingiber officinale) is very high quality, hot, spicy and aromatic ginger with lots of flavour that’s produced in the Sogeri region of Papua New Guinea from rhizomes that have been harvested by cooperatives of local highland farmers. Prep time: 10 mins • Cook time: 5 mins • Serves: 4

HOT GINGER PRAWNS

16 green king prawns, peeled and de-veined, tails intact
2 tsp Sogeri wild ginger powder
2 tbsp freeze-dried green peppercorns
4 fresh garlic cloves
2 tsp coconut oil
2 cups Thai basil leaves
2 cups coriander leaves
½ cup Vietnamese mint leaves

To serve

1 cup (200g/7oz) Doongara low-GI brown rice, steamed

Pound ginger powder, peppercorns and garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle to create a paste, then coat prawns and leave to marinade, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour. • Heat a wok to high with coconut oil, then add prawns and all the marinade. Stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until prawns are opaque. Turn off heat, stir through herbs, and serve immediately with the steamed brown rice.

Per serve 

1360kJ/ 325 calories; 22g protein; 5g fat (includes 3g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 1.5); 44g available carbs (includes 3g sugars and 41g starch); 6g fibre; 315mg sodium; 718mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.44.

RECIPES FROM THE GI FOUNDATION

The Glycemic Index Foundation, a not-for-profit health promotion charity, developed the GI Symbol program to help consumers make healthy low GI choices when grocery shopping easier. Foods that carry the Symbol have been GI tested at an accredited laboratory and meet strict nutrient criteria consistent with international dietary guidelines for kilojoules, saturated fat and sodium, and where appropriate, fibre and calcium.

HELGA’S SUPER SALAD AND CHICKEN SANDWICH

Di Crisp from the GI Foundation reports that Helga’s Lower Carb bread range – 5 Seeds (GI 53), Soy & Toasted Sesame (GI 51) and Wholemeal & Seed (GI 53) – now carry the GI Symbol. Head over to Helga’s website to find out more including ingredients and nutrition information. Prep: 15 mins • Cook: 10 mins • Makes 2.

4 slices Lower Carb Soy and Toasted Sesame bread
1 (200g/7oz) chicken breast fillet, trimmed

2 tbsp pistachio dukkah
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
¼ cup labne
1 small avocado, mashed
2 small iceberg lettuce leaves, shredded
1 small cooked beetroot, coarsely grated
½ small carrot, peeled, shredded
½ Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tbsp mint leaves, shredded

Place chicken in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil over a high heat. Reduce to simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 8–10 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool 10 minutes. Shred. • Combine dukkah, chilli and labne. Spread labne over one side of the two slices of bread. Spread avocado over one side of the remaining bread. • Top the avocado with lettuce, beetroot, chicken, carrot, cucumber and mint. Sandwich together labne-side down. Cut in half. Serve.


Per serve (1 sandwich) 

2981kJ/ 715 calories; 42g protein; 45g fat (includes 9g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.25); 28g available carbs (includes 9g sugars and 19g starch); 10g fibre; 460mg sodium (potassium data not supplied)

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 and http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search.

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1 June 2017

GI News - June 2017

GI News

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

GOING WITH THE GRAIN
We have just written a book called The Good Carbs Cookbook to share our enthusiasm for the plant foods the natural world provides us with: fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts and grains and to try and answer the many questions we have received over the years from our GI News readers.

Good carbohydrates

Homo sapiens has been going with the grain for a long time. Food diaries weren’t around, so we can’t put a date on when our forebears began pounding and grinding the tough little seeds they gathered, adding a bit of water and making gruel or porridge or kneading dough to bake bread, but it was long before they became farmers.

How do we know? Our genes provide evidence for this. “We have evolved multiple copies of the salivary amylase gene, AMY1, which kicks off the digestion of starch in cooked foods. AMY1 has no other function. Amylase cannot act on raw starch, only starch that has been gelatinised by the action of heat and water,” says Prof Jennie Brand-Miller in the foreword to The Good Carbs Cookbook.

Digging around in buried villages gives us an idea of the wide range of foods our forebears ate. For example, in the remains of the 23,000-year-old lakeshore camp now submerged under the Sea of Galilee (Ohalo II, in present-day Israel), scientists found charred seeds and bones revealing that the people who spent much of the year there hunted gazelle and fallow deer, and occasionally fox, hare and wild pig; fished in the lake and caught migratory birds – the great crested grebe a great favourite if bone count is any indication. And they gathered grains including wild barley, wheat and oats, as the scientists found these seeds all over the campsite along with a grinding stone with starchy traces of barley. They also ate acorns, legumes and wild fruit, and they may have used their hearth to bake bread.

“Seeds are our most durable and concentrated foods. They are the rugged lifeboats designed to carry a plant’s offspring to the shore of an uncertain future. Tease apart a whole grain, or bean, or nut, and inside you find a tiny embryonic shoot,” says Harold McGhee. Which explains why they are so nourishing: they are a baby plant’s healthy pantry.

Grains are at their most nourishing when we eat them as whole as possible or as the
minimally processed staples our forebears enjoyed. Milling and refining grains to separate and remove the bran and germ does give us a more shelf-stable and quicker-cooking product, but it lacks many of the vitamins, minerals, fats and fibre of the original grain.

Minimally processed wholegrains figure prominently in the diets of the long-living Blue Zones folks, and observational studies around the world suggest that eating plenty of these staples may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which is why health professionals tend to worship at the altar of wholegrains and “consume more wholegrains’’ features prominently in dietary guidelines worldwide.

So, if we really want to “go paleo”, we should probably eat a much wider variety of seeds than we currently do. To help you do this, try a spiced grain salad like the one from Drake’s at Bondi Beach shown in the photograph above. It contains quinoa, farro, freekeh, popped wild rice, pomegranate seeds, labneh, coriander leaves and secret ingredients …

Studies:

The Good Carbs Cookbook
The Good Carbs Cookbook: Available online and in store in Australia now. Publishes 13 July in the UK and can be pre-ordered online from Amazon and Book Depository. It should also be available on www.amazon.com for interested US readers to pre-order from June 1.