The Glycemic Index

The differing effects of different carbohydrate foods in raising the blood glucose concentration postpran-dially have long been recognized. The glycemic index classification was proposed to indicate the rates at which different starchy foods were digested. It was hoped that selection of foods with lower glycemic indices would contribute to prolonging the absorption of nutrients and thus improve the glycemic profile and reduce levels of fasting blood lipids.

However, a number of acute (up to 1 day) mixed meal studies during the mid- and late 1980s suggested that a glycemic index classification of foods had no clinical utility. Nevertheless, a number of subsequent reports have documented improved glycemic control in both type 1 and 2 diabetes as judged by serum fructosamine and glycosylated hemoglobin levels in studies lasting from 2 weeks to 2 months. Furthermore, some studies also noted reductions in serum lipids. Many high-fiber foods that lower LDL cholesterol levels also have low glycemic indices (barley, beans, etc.). Extensive glycemic index tables have been published that will help in food selection for therapeutic and study purposes.

Many of the traditional starchy foods from different cultures have a low glycemic index (Table 4). Finally, results of cohort studies suggest that consumption of foods with a low glycemic index, especially in the context of a high-fiber

Table 4 Glycemic foods of staples from different cultures

Food

Average

Culture

Supplements For Diabetics

Supplements For Diabetics

All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.

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