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Recipe Guidelines

Identifying low GI foods is only part of the challenge when it comes to healthy eating. Assembling them into a delicious and nutritious meal is the next step. There is however no need to eat a special meal to manage your diabetes but just be aware of your portion sizes and ensure you include low GI carbohydrates at each meal.

How to make your recipe low GI?

If you are feeling inspired to develop your own recipe or would like to make a tried and tested recipe low GI, we thought we would give you some tips to help you renovate those recipes and create deliciously healthy, low GI meals.

Step 1: Look for recipes that get the balance right. Remember, a healthy, low GI meal will be half vegetables/salad, quarter lean protein and quarter low GI carbs.

Step 2: “Swap, drop, add, reduce”. Tips to reduce the glycemic impact and lower the glycemic load of recipes and meals.

  • Swap to: Lower GI varieties of potatoes (GiLICIOUS, Nicola or Nadine), rice (Doongara or Basmati) and breads (dense grainy breads where you can actually see the grains or sourdough breads) or to starchy foods that are naturally low GI such as carrots, parsnips, butternut pumpkin (winter squash) and sweet corn or beans, chickpeas and lentils, or quinoa.
  • Just drop: Fluffy white breads, baguettes and rolls and large servings of potatoes, sweet potato, rice, pasta and noodles. Remember, they only get ¼ of your plate – see suggestions below.
  • Add: Beans, chickpeas and lentils to recipes and meals – bean mix to a salad, lentils to a bolognaise sauce, chickpeas to a casserole etc; vinaigrette to a salad; lemon juice over veggies; yoghurt to a curry or casserole.
  • Reduce: The ingredient list in many recipes typically includes way too much starchy carbohydrate. Here’s our guide to help you cut back.
    • Potatoes – allow 1 medium spud (around 150g/5oz) per person.
    • Rice – allow ¼ to ⅓ cup uncooked rice per person or around 50–70g/2–2½oz – aim for ½ cup cooked rice per person.
    • Pasta and noodles – 80–90g/2¾–3¼oz per person.
    • Couscous – ⅓ cup or around 40 grams
    • Quinoa – ⅓ cup or around 60 grams

Tip: With rice and potatoes, you can reduce the overall glycemic impact by creating “fifty/fifty” combos. For example, for mashed potato, replace half the potato with canned beans, carrots, parsnip or pumpkin. Or add lentils or quinoa to rice.

Step 3: Check out the nutritional analysis. Many recipes include a nutritional analysis which is very handy for anyone having to manage their carb intake or watching their overall kilojoules/calories.

Step 4: Look for the new Low GI Recipe logo. Here in Australia, some books, recipes and ready-meals carry the GI Recipe logo. It’s your guarantee that the recipe is a healthier option, has a low GI and a low GL and meets our nutrition criteria.


You can also download our recipe guidelines document which gives you more ideas on what ingredients to use and what to limit in the main food categories. Or we have done the work for you with a range of recipes you can try.

Or we have done the work for you with a range of recipes you can try.


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