Glycemic index helps manage and prevent diabetes

Thirty per cent of the next generation will develop diabetes at some point in their lives

Thirty per cent of the next generation will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. Chances are diabetes affects of will affect someone you know.

To lower the risk of diabetes, the Canadian Diabetes Association recommends people eat a low Glycemic Index (GI) diet and engage in active living.

Dr. David Jenkins, a Canadian nutritional sciences professor, developed the Glycemic Index. It ranks carbohydrate-rich foods by how much they raise blood glucose (sugar) levels. When you eat food containing carbohydrates, glucose breaks down during digestion and gives you energy.

After you eat, blood glucose level rise. Foods that increase glucose levels quickly have a higher GI rating.  Foods that do so more slowly have a lower one. Generally, the lower the rating, the better the quality of the carbohydrate and the greater the overall nutritional benefit. Low GI foods are usually low in calories and fat, while high in fibre, nutrients and antioxidants.  Choosing low GI foods more often has many health benefits.

Prevent obesity: Low GI foods digest more slowly and stay in your stomach longer.  This makes you feel full longer, resulting in consuming fewer calories and making it easier to control weight.  In addition, low GI foods do not cause blood glucose levels to spike.

Prevent type 2 diabetes: High GI foods may increase the body’s demand for insulin and raise the workload of the pancreas.  Some researchers believe that eating a diet rich in high GI foods for many years may cause the pancreas to wear out, resulting in type 2 diabetes.  Eating low GI foods can ease the demand on the pancreas.

Manage diabetes: Eating low-GI foods helps control blood glucose and improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  These foods do not break down into sugar as quickly and can keep blood glucose from spiking which allows the body to keep up with insulin demands.  For those with diabetes, controlling blood glucose plays an important role in preventing the serious complications of the disease.

Prevent heart disease: High GI foods can raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.  In contrast, consuming low GI foods keeps blood glucose and insulin levels in check. Some evidence suggests low GI foods reduce total blood cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol, while increasing heart-friendly, good HDL cholesterol.

Including lower GI foods in your diet can be easy. Eat more whole grain pasta, legumes, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Try using vinaigrette dressings instead of creamy dressings. They are lower in fat and the acidity of the vinegar slows digestion, lowering your meal’s GI. Choose breads that contain a high proportion of whole or cracked grains, stone-ground whole wheat flour, oats, bran and seeds. Aim to include at least one low GI food in each meal.

– The author, Laura Kalina, is a community nutritionist with Interior Health

 

 

Just Posted

Fifth cannabis store proposed for downtown

City of Salmon Arm policy limits number cannabis retailers in core to four

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy

Environment Canada is calling for a similar day tomorrow.

Video: Sicamous Museum gifted with model of historic CP Rail hotel

Calgary family with ties to the area commissioned intricate model for museum

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Crash disrupts Highway 1 traffic west of Chase

Reports indicate crash took place near Planter Road intersection

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Sister of cancer victim cycles across Canada to raise awareness

Her journey started on May 14 and will end in early August

Column: A solar pioneer in the Okanagan rides among us

This Summerland octogenarian has been producing his own electrical energy for more than 20 years

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several days, but grew substantially Sunday

Our history in pictures: Early four-way stop in Salmon Arm

This photo was taken at the four-way stop where Wharf Road intersects… Continue reading

Most Read