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Author Topic: Type 2 Diabetes and the Glycemic Index
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Post Type 2 Diabetes and the Glycemic Index
on: May 24, 2012, 02:30
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<a href=”http://diabetesdailypost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Chart-Glycemic-Index1.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1703″ title=”Chart-Glycemic-Index1″ src=”http://diabetesdailypost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Chart-Glycemic-Index1-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a>Diabetes 2 and the Glycemic Index

Good carbohydrates or bad carbohydrates? Low glycemic index or high glycemic index?

Life can become very complicated for you with Type 2 diabetes. Not only do you need to monitor your glucose levels, remember your medicines but you also have to plan your meal strategy for keeping your glucose levels in a safe range.

Scientists have argued for years about what makes blood sugar levels too high for those with type 2 diabetes. Probable offenders include sugar, carbohydrates (carbs) in general, simple carbs, and starches. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) considers counting carbs a key strategy for meeting your glucose level goals.

Carbohydrates are a diverse group of foods that break down different ways in your system.  People with type 2 diabetes  have a difficult time breaking down certain foods, particularly those high in carbohydrates. As a result, their digestion is slow and sugars and starches are absorbed into the blood stream which often causes an excess in blood glucose.

<strong>Counting Carbs</strong>

Certain carbs causes your blood glucose levels to increase. By eating the right amount of the right kind of carbs, you can keep your glucose levels in a safe range. There are three kinds of carbs:
<ul>
<li><strong>Starches</strong> or complex carbohydrates are foods such as grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes).</li>
<li><strong>Sugars </strong>may be natural (fruit, milk) or added (canned fruit with syrup).</li>
<li><strong>Fiber </strong>is found in fruit, especially fruit with edible skin (apples), vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains.</li>
</ul>
When you know the number of carbs you need to eat each day you can make carb counting work for you. However, you also need to keep in mind how active you are and the medicine you take to control your glucose levels. They all have an impact on how much carbs you need. It’s a good idea to work with your doctor or dietitian to help you plan your meals.

Diabetics are usually told to limit their carbohydrate intake because it takes such a long time for most carbohydrates to digest.  However, this is easier said than done and it is difficult, if not impossible, for many diabetics to eliminate carbohydrates from their diet.  This is probably one of the reasons many diabetics are non-compliant in their treatment.

The Glycemic Index may be helpful for you in figuring out your food choices because it rates different carbohydrates based upon their effect on the different levels of blood glucose.  Generally, foods that digest rapidly cause the less harm to the system and have a low glycemic index.  The carbohydrates that take a longer time to digest have a higher rate as they cause more harm to the blood glucose level and have a high glycemic index.

The Glycemic Index ranges from one to one hundred.  A low food in the glycemic index has a rating of below 55.  These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and some pastas.    Foods that fall between the 56 to 69 range are considered “medium” in the Glycemic Index such as candy bars, croissants and rice.

What is surprisingly is that a candy bar can score in the medium classification of the glycemic index, yet it is not as harmful as those carbohydrates that score in the high glycemic index range.  Those higher include corn flakes, white rice, white bread and baked potato.  In other words, if you have Type 2 diabetes it may be easier for you to digest a candy bar than a baked potato.

Ruthan Brodsky

Health Writer (member American Medical Writers Assoc.)

Resources:

American Diabetes Association website
<ul>
<li>(Carbohydrate Counting)  <a href=”http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/carb-counting”>http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/carb-counting</a>.</li>
<li><a href=”http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/carbohydrates.html”>http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/carbohydrates.html</a></li>
</ul>
MayoClinic.com  Health Information  “Nutrition and Healthy Eating”  Mayo Clinic Staff

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1 Comments
  1. Myth #1: Carbohydrates are bad for you.

    All carbohydrates aren’t alike. Easily digested carbohydrates, such as those from white bread and white rice, if eaten often and in large quantities, may add to weight gain. But carbohydrates are also found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and dairy products; and these deliver essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Diabetes carbohydrates also give your body energy and help keep organs functioning properly.

    A system called the glycemic index measures how fast and how far blood sugar rises after you eat a food with carbohydrates. White rice, for example, is almost immediately converted to blood sugar (glucose), causing it to rise rapidly, and so has a high glycemic index. Whole grain bread is digested more slowly, making blood sugar climb more slowly and not as high. It has a low glycemic index. Whenever possible, select carbohydrates that is whole grain, such as whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and old fashioned oats.

    Myth #2. Vegetables mainly add fiber to your diabetic diet foods.

    Vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and they supply vitamins and minerals, with very few calories. Orange vegetables like carrots, and dark leafy greens, such as spinach and collards, are good sources of vitamin A, an important nutrient to keep your eyesight keen, your skin healthy, and your immune system strong. Broccoli, pepper, and tomatoes are full of vitamin C, which promotes healing and keeps keep ligaments, tendons, and gums healthy. And beans and lentils supply potassium, which enables the body to convert blood sugar into glycogen, a stored form of energy that’s held in reserve by the muscles and liver.

    Myth #3: To get calcium in your diabetic diet, you have to consume dairy products.

    Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium, which is important for building and protecting bones, Calcium Sources but they’re not the only sources of this mineral. Today, many foods are fortified with calcium, including orange juice, soy milk, breads, and cereals. Other nondairy sources of calcium are canned salmon and sardines with bones, collard greens, broccoli, and almonds. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, you can also take calcium and glucose supplements.
    Food for Type 2 Diabetes – Nutrition Mythbusters

    Myth #4: Meat, chicken, and fish are the best sources of protein.

    Foods with protein help your body build muscle and tissue, and provide diabetes vitamins and minerals. Animal sources—meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products–have what’s called complete protein, that is, they contain all the amino acids needed to build new proteins. Proteins from fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are called incomplete proteins—they’re missing one or more amino acids. But animal sources of protein have their drawbacks: red meat and poultry skin are high in fat, especially saturated fat (a healthy diabetic diet plan should have less than 10% of calories from saturated fat). If you eat meat, stick to lean cuts, chicken with the skin removed, and fish. If you want to try vegetable sources of protein, try beans, nuts, and whole grains.

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