Low GI: What’s all the fuss about?

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Dried plums (aka prunes) are the unsung hero of the fruit world – the original superfood. They might be well-known for their high fibre, but who knew they were the #1 food in antioxidant power? A study by Tufts University in Boston found that dried plums even beat out blueberries in the antioxidant stakes.

Nutrient-rich dried plums are also a good source of iron, potassium, boron (needed for strong bones and muscles), magnesium and vitamins K and A. What a little powerhouse! And if all of that wasn’t enough, dried plums are deliciously low GI. Where can you find them? Packed inside Nibble Protein bites. We caught up with the founder, Erin Moroney…

Who did you design Nibble Protein for?

Nibble was developed for anyone (like me) looking for a genuinely healthy, all natural protein snack that’s light on sugar and easy to eat on the go. I basically created what I wanted from a snack, but couldn’t find on the market. I was training for the marathon a couple of years ago and discovered I was protein deficient. I needed to eat a lot of protein for the level of training I was doing and I couldn’t get enough through meals alone.

I wasn’t a fan of any of the protein bars I tried– most were full of sugar or weirdly unnatural. I was also working at a creative agency at the time, with little time to eat during the day, so I wanted something super convenient and bite-sized (so I could nibble en route to meetings). And a resealable bag was also a must— no more crumbs in the bottom of my handbag!

Photo by Paul Hackett

What does Low GI actually mean and why are these foods good for you?

The Glycemic Index measures how quickly carbs raise your blood sugar levels. High GI foods, like sugary snacks & refined carbs, spike your blood sugar, triggering a quick release of insulin. So your blood sugar crashes, affecting your energy levels, concentration and mood. And it also oddly keeps you hungry because your body craves more food to top up the sugar deficit. Eating low GI helps to keep your blood sugar levels more stable which gives you sustained energy, while keeping you fuller longer.

Most energy bars are high GI because they’ve been designed to eating during high intensity sport (when it’s helpful to get an immediate sugar hit to keep you going). So they’re good when you’re climbing a mountain, but not so ideal when sitting in the office. I’ve battled with my blood sugar over the years so I really wanted to create a snack I could nibble on through out the day, keeping me on an even keel.

Do you think that people who don’t suffer from coeliac disease should still follow a gluten free diet? If so, why?

I think it’s entirely down to personal preference and just a case of listening to your body. I fortunately don’t have coeliac disease, but eating gluten doesn’t really agree with me—it makes me super bloated. But bread is a total weakness of mine, so I just eat it every once in a while. Everything in moderation!

Why are dried plums better than dried dates?

Dried plums are chock-full of antioxidants. A study from Tufts University (in my hometown of Boston) ranked dried plums as the #1 food in terms of antioxidant power. AND dried plums contain over 40% less sugar than dates. They also have a more delicate flavour, so the flavours we put into our bites really pop.

How much sugar should we really be consuming a day?

The World Health Organization recommends a daily sugar intake of about 25 grams for an average adult. And it all adds up very quickly! Our bites contain, on average, only 6.5g of sugar per bag.

Is it true that eating more protein can help you sleep better?

One of the amino acids in protein, tryptophan, is associated with healthy sleep. But keeping blood sugar levels balanced helps too. I used to wake up at lot in the wee hours of the morning. My friend, Gudrun Jonsson (author of the bestseller, The Gut Reaction), explained that my blood sugar levels were dropping too low during the night. When I started eating a very small snack before bed, my sleep dramatically improved.

Where can we buy Nibble protein in London / order online?

You can buy Nibble on Ocado, Amazon from our website. We’ll be out in lots of shops soon!

Have you ever suffered burn out? What are your top tips for beating stress?

Definitely. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic so I find it hard to switch off. But running and listening to my favourite tunes helps me de-stress better than anything else.

How much protein is too much protein?

That’s a tough one. Protein recommendations vary depending upon a bunch of factors including weight and level of activity (we have a basic protein calculator on our site as a super rough guide).

I personally think that if you make a concerted effort to eat a truly well balanced diet, it’s a lot harder to go wrong. I think it becomes a problem when you start eating one food group to the exclusion of the others.

Although I’m not one now, I was a vegetarian for close to 15 years and my diet is still quite veggie. I think that most people following a plant-based diet will have more issues getting enough protein— instead of too much. Usually the average minimum daily protein recommendation for a woman doing no physical activity is around 45g of protein per day (this quickly increases if you exercise).

When you consider that a large egg only contains 6 grams of protein and a half a tin of chickpeas has a little over 9g, you can see how it gets tricky!

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