Potatoes are shaking off their bad-boy image with good-eating varieties led by carisma, the only variety in Australia to be certified low GI. It's been trialled for six years and exhaustively tested - about 16 times. "We would have thought there was no such thing as a low GI potato, so we wanted to be sure," said Alan Barclay, chief scientific officer of the Sydney- based GI Foundation. "We went over it so thoroughly that I think it would have to be the most GI- tested product on the planet."
Carisma, which is available from Coles, has a GI of 55 compared with an average of 77 for most potato varieties, but that can blow out depending on how they're prepared. Mashed desirees peak at 102.
"The low GI of carisma makes a difference to people who have diabetes or those who are looking to manage their blood glucose - and that happens to be one in four Australian adults - so it puts potatoes back on the plate for them," he said.
"Carisma is a nice-tasting variety you can do in just about any way apart from chips because of the slightly lower carbohydrate content; it shrivels up if you deep-fry it, which is good from a health perspective."A similar low-GI varieties is almera, which is available year-round in WA, from Woolworths.