Diabetes and Diet (w/Glycemic Index)

Diabetes and Diet (w/Glycemic Index)

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert food into the energy needed for daily life.   Adult onset diabetes (Type II Diabetes) appears to be the result of both genetics and environmental factors (such as obesity, lack of exercise, and poor diet appear to play roles).

There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes, but nearly one quarter of them are unaware that they have the disease.

Some diabetes statistics:

  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2006.  According to death certificate reports, diabetes contributed to a total of 233,619 deaths in 2005, the latest year for which data on contributing causes of death are available.
  • Diabetes is likely to be underreported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of decedents with diabetes had it listed anywhere on the death certificate and only about 10% to 15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.
  • Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.

 Complications of diabetes:

  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Nervous system disease
  • Amputations
  • Dental disease
  • Pregnancy complications

 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT:  Study links easy access to fast food to diabetes, obesity

McClatchy Newspapers - Tuesday April 29, 2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - It's often said, "You are what you eat," but new research suggests that where you eat may have a lot to do with it, as well.

In communities with an abundance of fast-food outlets and convenience stores, researchers have found, obesity and diabetes rates are much higher than in areas where fresh fruit and vegetable markets and full-service grocery stores are easily accessible.

"The implications are really dramatic," said Harold Goldstein, a study author and executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, based in Davis. "We are living in a junk-food jungle, and not surprisingly, we are seeing rising rates of obesity and diabetes."

The new study builds on research released a year ago that found California has four times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as grocery stores and produce vendors.

For the new project, Goldstein teamed with UCLA's Center for Public Health Policy Research and PolicyLink to explore possible links between the kinds of food Californians can easily access and the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in their communities.

The outcome: "We found a very strong link," Goldstein said. "It was true for people living in both high-income and low-income communities, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender or level of physical activity."

Dr. Francine Kaufman, one of the nation's leading childhood diabetes experts, said the new research demonstrates that staying healthy is not simply a matter of personal responsibility.

She advocates programs that help small markets purchase refrigerators so they can sell fresh produce, requirements that fast-food outlets label their menu items with calorie and fat content, and bringing more farmers markets into neighborhoods.

Scientists Say Fast Food Heightens Risk of Diabetes

Washington 2005:  A new study has found that people who eat fast food are much more likely to develop insulin resistance than those who don't.

A study published in the international journal the Lancet found that people whose diet consists primarily of fatty food - such as hamburgers, french fries and pizza - weigh more and have an increased risk of insulin resistance compared to people who limit their consumption of foods high in fat.

Investigators followed more than three thousand people who reported their fast food eating habits. After 15 years, the U.S. researchers found that those who ate at least two meals per week at a fast food restaurant were four-point-five kilograms heavier, and they had more than a 100 percent risk of insulin resistance compared to those who limited their intake of fast food to one meal or less per week.

 

How quickly do foods raise your blood sugar?

The glycemic index, or GI, measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods are ranked based on how they compare to a reference food- either glucose or white bread. A food with a high GI raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI.

Meal planning with the GI involves choosing foods that have a low or medium GI. If eating a food with a high GI, you can combine it with low GI foods to help balance the meal. Examples of carbohydrate-containing foods with a low GI include dried beans and legumes (like kidney beans and lentils), all non-starchy vegetables and some starchy vegetables, most fruit, and many whole grain breads and cereals (like barley, whole wheat bread, rye bread, and all-bran cereal). Meats and fats don't have a GI because they do not contain carbohydrate.

What affects the GI of a food?

Fat and fiber tend to lower the GI of a food. As a general rule, the more cooked or processed a food, the higher the GI; however, this is not always true.

Below are a few specific examples of other factors that can affect the GI of a food:

  • Ripeness and storage time - the more ripe a fruit or vegetable is, the higher the GI
  • Processing - juice has a higher GI than whole fruit; mashed potato has a higher GI than a whole baked potato, stone ground whole wheat bread has a lower GI than whole wheat bread.
  • Cooking method: how long a food is cooked (al dente pasta has a lower GI than soft-cooked pasta)
  • Variety: converted long-grain white rice has a lower GI than brown rice but short-grain white rice has a higher GI than brown rice.

Other things to consider if using the GI:

  • The GI value represents the type of carbohydrate in a food but says nothing about the amount of carbohydrate typically eaten. Portion sizes are still relevant for managing blood glucose and for losing or maintaining weight.
  • The GI of a food is different when eaten alone than it is when combined with other foods. When eating a high GI food, you can combine it with other low GI foods to balance out the effect on blood glucose levels.
  • Many nutritious foods have a higher GI than foods with little nutritional value. For example, oatmeal has a higher GI than chocolate. Use of the GI needs to be balanced with basic nutrition principles of variety for healthful foods and moderation of foods with few nutrients.

There is hope, however: Current research that shows diabetes is not only controllable but reversible through diet and exercise.

Foods that help control diabetes:

The following herbs have been used by herbal practitioners for many years. If you would like to take an herbal approach to find out if you would benefit, it's suggested that you find a licensed herbal practitioner. Medical herbalists are trained for the same diagnostic skills as a regular medical doctor, but tend to take a more holistic approach in treating their patients. Medical doctors usually treat the symptoms while holistic practitioners treat the person as a whole and try to discover the underlying causes of the condition.

Bilberry contains flavonoids which can help strengthen the small capillaries. Many diabetics have problems with circulation due to the capillaries shrinking in size. This often leads to amputation of limbs if left untreated or if an infection sets in. Bilberry also contains a compound that has been shown to have anti-hyperglycemic effects on the body.

Fenugreek helps to regulate blood sugar levels, increases good cholesterol and helps to lower overall cholesterol levels. This may also help prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease which many diabetics develop.

Onions may not be beneficial to the treatment of diabetes but contains compounds that are extremely beneficial to eye health and may help diabetics keep their eyesight.

Grapeseed extract contains flavonoids and offers the same benefits as Bilberry.

There are a lot of foods you can eat that have been shown to have hypoglycemic abilities. These foods include, artichokes, bananas, barley, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, oats, peas, spinach, sweet potatoes, and turnips. Foods rich in fiber such as barley, carrots, oats, legumes, beans, onions, peas, and lentils have been shown to improve blood glucose control.

Chard is a terrific asset, as is Bitter Melon, as they contain high levels of insulin-like phytochemicals.

The glycemic index measures how fast a food is likely to raise your blood sugar. This can be helpful. For example, if your blood sugar is low and continuing to drop during exercise, you would prefer to eat a carb that will raise your blood sugar quickly. On the other hand, if you would like to keep your blood sugar from dropping during a few hours of mild activity, you may prefer to eat a carb that has a lower glycemic index and longer action time. If your blood sugar tends to spike after breakfast, you may want to select a cereal that has a lower glycemic index.

Glycemic Index

Cereals

Snacks

Pasta

Beans

All Bran

51

chocolate bar

49

cheese tortellini

50

baked

44

Bran Buds + psyll

45

corn chips

72

fettucini

32

black beans, boiled

30

Bran Flakes

74

croissant

67

linguini

50

butter, boiled

33

Cheerios

74

doughnut

76

macaroni

46

cannellini beans

31

Corn Chex

83

graham crakers

74

spagh, 5 min boiled

33

garbanzo, boiled

34

Cornflakes

83

jelly beans

80

spagh, 15 min boiled

44

kidney, boiled

29

Cream of Wheat

66

Life Savers

70

spagh, prot enrich

28

kidney, canned

52

Frosted Flakes

55

oatmeal cookie

57

vermicelli

35

lentils, green, brown

30

Grapenuts

67

pizza, cheese & tom

60

Soups/Vegetables

lima, boiled

32

Life

66

Pizza Hut, supreme

33

beets, canned

64

navy beans

38

muesli, natural

54

popcorn, light micro

55

black bean soup

64

pinto, boiled

39

Nutri-grain

66

potato chips

56

carrots, fresh, boil

49

red lentils, boiled

27

oatmeal, old fash

48

pound cake

54

corn, sweet

56

soy, boiled

16

Puffed Wheat

67

Power bars

58

french fries

75

Breads

Raisin Bran

73

pretzels

83

grean pea, soup

66

bagel, plain

72

Rice Chex

89

saltine crakers

74

green pea, frozen

47

baquette, Frnch

95

Shredded Wheat

67

shortbread cookies

64

lima beans, frozen

32

croissant

67

Special K

54

Snickers bar

41

parsnips

97

dark rey

76

Total

76

strawberry jam

51

peas, fresh, boil

48

hamburger bun

61

Fruit

vanilla wafers

77

pot, new, boiled

59

muffins

 

apple

38

Wheat Thins

67

pot, red, baked

93

apple, cin

44

apricots

57

Crackers

pot, sweet

52

blueberry

59

banana

56

graham

74

pot, white, boiled

63

oat & raisin

54

cantalope

65

rice cakes

80

pot, white, mashed

70

pita

57

cherries

22

rye

68

split pea soup w/ham

66

pizza, cheese

60

dates

103

soda

72

tomato soup

38

pumpernickel

49

grapefruit

25

Wheat Thins

67

yam

54

sourdough

54

grapes

46

Cereal Grains

Milk Products

rye

64

kiwi

52

barley

25

chocolate milk

35

white

70

mango

55

basmati white rice

58

custard

43

wheat

68

orange

43

bulgar

48

ice cream, van

60

Drinks

papaya

58

couscous

65

ice milk, van

50

apple juice

40

peach

42

cornmeal

68

skim milk

32

colas

65

pear

58

millet

71

soy milk

31

Gatorade

78

pineapple

66

Sugars

tofu frozen dessert

115

grapefruit juice

48

plums

39

fructose

22

whole milk

30

orange juice

46

prunes

15

honey

62

yogurt, fruit

36

pineapple juice

46

raisins

64

maltose

105

yogurt, plain

14

 

 

watermelon

72

table sugar

64

 

 

 

 

*Actually, the GI indirectly measures a food's effect on blood sugar. It actually measured the "area under the blood sugar curve" following a set intake of that carb.

Disclaimer:  I am neither a medical doctor nor a nutritionist.  All the information in this article comes from sources such as the American Medical Association, Diabetes.org, WebMD, CDC, and MedlinePlus of the National Institutes of Health.


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