Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Glycemic Diets Help Diabetics Control Blood Sugar, Review Suggests

Date:
January 22, 2009
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Following a low glycemic index diet helps people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to improve their blood glucose (blood sugar) control significantly, according to a new review.

A new Cochrane review finds that following a low glycemic index diet helps people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to improve their blood glucose (blood sugar) control significantly.

"The glycemic index (GI) is a way of ranking foods, particularly carbohydrates, according to how quickly they affect the blood glucose levels in the body when they are eaten," said lead review author Diana Thomas.

Clinicians measured hemoglobin A1c levels, which give a picture of a person's blood glucose control over several weeks or months. The reviewers found that levels decreased by 0.5 percent with a low GI diet, noting that the findings were significant, both statistically and clinically.

Thomas is with the Center for Evidence-Based Pediatrics, Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Children's Hospital at Westmead at the University of Sydney. The GI food-ranking approach, which originated in Canada, is popular in Australia and gaining ground in Europe and the United States.

The systematic review analyzed 11 randomized controlled trials of either low GI or low glycemic load (GL) diets, with interventions lasting between four weeks and 12 months. The studies comprised 402 participants.

The highest GI is 100, based on consuming foods like white bread or straight glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. Low GI foods have a score of 55 or less. Glycemic load is a combined measure that takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food, as well as its GI score, and represents the overall glycemic effect of the diet.

"The participants were adults in most studies; however, there were two studies in children, all of whom had type 1 diabetes," Thomas said. "So, the results are relevant to both adults and children, with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes."

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews like this one draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Dietary approaches to diabetes prevention and treatment can be confusing - and controversial - but Thomas said the review provides support for the effectiveness of low GI diets in diabetes management. Now that the principles of eating low GI foods are clear, she said, "The idea is that this way of eating should be incorporated into daily living."

The point for people "is to lower the GI or GL of the diet, rather than to follow specific diet plans, which over the longer term can be very difficult to maintain," Thomas said. By knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid, "low GI rye bread instead of high GI white bread, or basmati rice instead of white rice - a person can gradually adapt their diet to become more low GI," she said.

"It goes back to making healthier choices, watching portions and getting active," said registered dietitian Angela Ginn-Meadow, a certified diabetes educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Baltimore and an American Dietetic Association spokesperson. "This study says, 'maybe it is time to start using this tool more than we currently use it.'"

Since childhood obesity and long-term obesity are also strong risk factors, keeping weight down is also important in diabetes prevention and management. "Using glycemic index as a goal really helps, because people with diabetes can feel hungrier and using glycemic index helps with satiety," Ginn-Meadow said. "Using glycemic index as a tool could be one thing people can do to stay satisfied longer."

According to the review, the aim of diabetes management is to normalize blood glucose levels, since individuals with improved blood glucose control have fewer complications and less disease progression.

Although diabetes has a strong genetic basis, developing type 2 diabetes depends far more on lifestyle than genes, according to the American Diabetes Association, and maintaining a stable blood glucose level with diet is important for both types of diabetes.

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international nonprofit, independent organization that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. Visit http://www.cochrane.org for more information.

Thomas D, Elliott EJ. Low glycaemic index, or low glycaemic load, diets for diabetes mellitus (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Low Glycemic Diets Help Diabetics Control Blood Sugar, Review Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090120212945.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2009, January 22). Low Glycemic Diets Help Diabetics Control Blood Sugar, Review Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090120212945.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Low Glycemic Diets Help Diabetics Control Blood Sugar, Review Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090120212945.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins