5 July 2005

Food For Thought

‘We urgently need nutrition messages that fire the imagination and encourage even unmotivated people to adopt effective dietary strategies that reduce the risk of chronic disease,’ writes Prof. Jennie Brand-Miller in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005; 81: 949–50).’ She points out that during the past two decades when low-fat diets and plenty of cereal foods were actively promoted, the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes has soared and the overweight are the majority in industrialised nations.

‘The new Dietary Guidelines in the US sensibly give greater emphasis to increasing wholegrain foods as opposed to refined grains,’ she says. But, they still don’t come to grips with the fact that most individuals will simply choose to ignore that advice (it’s been around for over 50 years). Furthermore, there are clear advantages to eating low GI foods, even when the diet is high in fibre. Many so-called wholegrain breads and breakfast cereals produce as much postprandial glycemia as their white counterparts.

If the experience in Australia and more recently the UK is anything to go by, many people warm to the low GI message according to Prof. Brand-Miller. They don’t find it a difficult concept to understand at all. They are making the switch to low GI carbs and finding that a low GI diet is easy to live with, flexible, fits in with family and friends and reduces hunger even during weight loss.

The research shows that a low GI diet will:

  • Lower day-long blood glucose and insulin levels
  • Maximise the oxidation (burning) of fat
  • Help control hunger
  • Reduce risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and some cancers

Prof. Jennie Brand-Miller is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney and author of a number of books on the glycemic index including The New Glucose Revolution and The Low GI Diet.


Anonymous said...

good effort. i think their lack of motivation is caused by a 'widespread' belief that HEALTHY EATING IS DIFFICULT AND NOT ENJOYABLE. but by showing how easy and fun it is to make a healthful meal plan (i.e. with low GI index) they respond to "healthy eating idea" enthusiastically!

Anonymous said...

yeah... u know that wholegrain bread is almost identical with 'tasteless' food. and no one will find 'tasteless' meals appealing - will they? so it's a real challenge to make healthy food more delicious. :)

Anonymous said...

i'm a type 2 diabetic and i have 4 children and a large husband. daily life with being a mum and working can really hinder my process of buying healthy low g.i products. the realality is it needs to be cheep and at my local supermaket for me to be able to incorproate it in our daily lives. i try my best i really do but it's diffuclt to make big family meals at a good cost. my kids prefer salad and we hardly ever eat takeaways, i do baking for school lunches some times as we dont have money to purchase bread, so if you people out there know how to feed a big family on cost effective ' no hassel to get' low g.i products please let me know. because at this stage i just go hungry instead of eating what we have, because i know its not good for me in turn this makes me deppressed and unmoviated. any idea's anyone???

Anonymous said...

I agree with the author. I was blessed with a farmers market a few blocks from my home every Sunday. I shopped there for the vegetables that make any diet healthy. Frozen vegetables are also excellent when you have limited time resources.

I think wholegrain bread is very tasty, but I don't eat the store cheapest brand. Having made a lot of my own whole grain bread I know what will taste good. Most of the stuff they sell as "whole grain" as the store brand is just whitebread with a bit of wholegrain added, and some coloring to make it look brown.

Anonymous, it makes a bit of difference where you live as to suggestions folks can make to help you with choosing good components for your family's diet and budget.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in october 04. I was told that i would have to go on tablets if i couldn't control it within 3 months. I did all my own research and discovered the GI concept. I followed this swapping my favourite white mash for baked sweet potatoes and white bread for soya and linseed etc.... up went the amount of excercise i did. I had no intention of loosing weight my only goal was to stay off the tablets. The amazing thing is 6 months on i am slim ( i was overwight before!), not taking tablets (diabetes is being controlled) and healthier than i have ever been. i was told by the hospital that they don't tell patients about the Gi diet as they think it will be too difficult for people to grasp! how appalling that so many may be missing out on what i have found to be an easy exchange of foods.