Reducing Post Meal Glucose Levels With Complementary Foods

One of the most important aspects of managing diabetes is preventing postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an exaggerated blood sugar response following a meal. In general, the glycemic load (GL) gives a good idea of the glucose response that will occur after eating a given amount of a particular food. The GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbohydrate. So for example eating two large grapefruit (GI of 25 and 50g of carbs) would effect blood sugar levels in a similar way to eating one banana (GI of 50 and 25g of carbs).

The idea of complementary foods is a relatively new concept in diabetes management and it refers to certain foods, that when consumed in conjunction with a traditionally high GL meal, help reduce the exaggerated glucose response that would normally occur. Some of these complementary foods are discussed in detail below.

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Vegetables For Diabetics – What To Eat And Avoid

Assorted vegetablesVegetables are a vital component of a healthy diet and this is particularly true for diabetics. Most fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and nutrient dense but low in calories making them ideal for diabetics who often need to watch their calorie intake. The general rule of thumb for diabetics is that root vegetables should be eaten in moderation (no more than 1 serving a day), while green and red vegetables are great choices and should be consumed in high amounts, preferably 3-5 servings a day. There are exceptions to this rule that we will discuss in more detail below.

Root Vegetables & Tubers

Root vegetables and tubers are relatively concentrated sources of sugars and starches and tend to contain only small amounts of fiber. This can be problematic for diabetics because they can produce a large glycemic response in situations when they are not combined with high fiber foods.

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Is Honey A Better Option Than Table Sugar For Diabetics?

A honey jarA common question asked by diabetics is whether they should substitute honey for table sugar in their diet. This is generally motivated by the belief that a “natural” product like honey will be better for their health than a refined product such as table sugar.

In general, I am of the belief that better management of diabetes comes not from eating a single food or focusing on a particular food group, but instead from the combined effect of numerous lifestyle and dietary changes such as weight-loss, a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and increased physical exercise.

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Is It Safe For Diabetics To Eat Potatoes?

A jar of potatoesDespite being the most popular vegetable in the United States, potatoes have fallen out of favour somewhat with nutritionists over the last few decades due to a relatively low nutrient density and high levels of quickly absorbed carbohydrates. Many diabetics avoid potatoes altogether for fear of exacerbating their condition. Fortunately the news is not all bad when it comes to diabetes and potatoes and most diabetics can include a modest level of potatoes in their diet.

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Fresh Fruit & Green Leafy Vegetables Reduce Type-2 Diabetes Risk

LettuceFresh fruit and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, silver-beet, and lettuce reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care online earlier this month. The same study also found that drinking large amounts of fruit juice may substantially increase diabetes risk.

The research, led by Dr. Lydia Bazzano of the Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, involved the analysis of data from 71,346 healthy female nurses between the ages of 38 and 63 over an 18 year period between 1984 and 2002. During the study period, 4,529 new cases of type-2 diabetes were diagnosed.

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Low GI Diets And Diabetes Risk

The Glycemic Index (GI) measures the impact a particular food has on an individuals blood glucose levels. GI is defined as the area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve after consuming a fixed portion of a particular food. A high GI value indicates that consumption of a particular food increases blood glucose levels both faster and to a higher peak than a low GI food.

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Pre Diabetes – A Common But Often Ignored Illness

While more than 20 million Americans have diabetes, it is estimated that a further 60 million have a condition known as pre-diabetes, which is also referred to as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG). People with pre-diabetes have blood-glucose levels that are higher than normal, but are not quite high enough for them to be classified as a diabetic.

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