Low Glycemic Index Diet Controls Blood Sugar

Craig Stoltz Health Guide
  • The journal Diabetes Care just published a study showing that a diet built around low-glycemic-index foods appears to result in better blood sugar control.  What's in it for you? Glad you asked.

     

    Three things you need to know:

     

    1. The study was very small and limited to kids taking insulin for Type 1. While the results are interesting--and appear to verify other findings about the effect of foods' glycemic index on blood sugar levels--this particular study is silent on possible value to people with Type 2 diabetes or those not using insulin.

     

    2. Many ther studies have consistently shown that blood glucose levels spike after meals high in HGI foods. They've also shown positive effects on blood sugar levels generally. High-glycemic index (HGI) foods contain carbs that the body rapidly breaks down into sugar (white bread, potatoes). Low-glycemic index foods include whole grains, beans and yogurt, are turned into sugars more slowly.

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    3. A LGI can improve blood sugar control "to a clinically meaningful degree above that obtained by careful carbohydrate counting and contemporary insulin regimens," the lead researcher told Reuters Health.

     

    Our diabetes expert David Mendosa provides excellent context about the glycemic index in a post about the American Diabetes Association's tepid endorsement of it. Another post provides information about the difficulties (or not) of following a diet based on the glucose index. His posts also include links to charts with GI information on over 700 foods.

     

    If you haven't done so already, you may want to discuss with your diabetes care team the role of foods' glycemic index in your diet.

Published On: April 25, 2008