All about GI: What should I look out for?

By PCYC South Burnett Gym+Fitness Instructor, Lori Hall

How many times a week do we get to 2pm at work and reach for a sweet, sugary snack to get us through until 5pm? Don’t be shy…we have all done it! While we know that those choices are not ideal, we are desperate for that instant burst of energy to get us through!

The problem is, with any pack of confectionary lollies or easy to chew sweet treats, the energy comes hard and fast, BUT leaves you more quickly than it comes.

In simple terms, GI stands for Glycaemic Index, and is an indication on the speed at which carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose and taken up into the bloodstream.

When the Glycaemic Index (GI) is high, the blood sugar levels spike and then crash! The lower the GI is in the foods you eat, the slower it takes to break down the carbohydrates in your body, and the slower it takes to release glucose into your bloodstream. While managing blood glucose levels, eating foods with a low GI can also keep you fuller for longer!

How do I know something is low in GI?

Diabetes Australia has a ranking between 0-100 on all carbohydrate foods, that indicates which foods are low and high in GI.

  • Low GI foods are below 55
  • Intermediate GI foods are between 55 and 70
  • High GI foods are over 70


What foods are low in GI?

Trade your choccies and sweet treats for a more natural sweet like fruit and replace your white bread/rice/pasta for wholemeal and grain alternatives. Supermarket brands will also indicate on their packaging if their food is low in GI, and will display their GI ranking.

There are also many online tools that can help you make lower GI swaps in your every day shopping.

Eat plenty of greens, drink lots of water and you will be shocked with the amount of long lasting energy you have!

All the information written above is inline with the Diabetes Australia guidelines.