2 April 2006

GI News—April 2006

collage

In This Issue:

  • Food for Thought
    —Potato Lovers Look Back to a Healthy Future
  • GI News Briefs
    —Memorable Meals
    —Men are Different
    —A Heart-healthy Diet
    —Devaluing the Value of GI
  • GI Values Updates
    —How do you know if it’s low, medium or high GI?
  • Low GI Food of the Month
    —Wild About Blueberries
  • Low GI Recipe of the Month
    —Lemon Semolina Pudding with Berry Coulis
  • Success Stories
    —Jeanne: ‘I lost over 100 pounds using a combination of good eating habits and low GI foods.’
    —Anne’s Story: Battling hypoglycemia
  • Books, DVDs, Websites: What’s New?
    —The Spanish language edition of The New Glucose Revolution
    —The Korean language edition of The New Glucose Revolution
    —Translate GI News and www.glycemicindex.com to another language
  • Feedback—Your FAQs Answered
    —How relevant is the GI for athletes in terms of carbohydrate metabolism?
    —I have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten sensitivity) on top of diabetes. It's extremely hard to find both low GI and wheat-free foods. Any suggestions?
    —I am a type 1 diabetic and enjoy an occasional beer or dry wine. What’s the real deal on the GI of alcoholic beverages?
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If you have posted a question in our newsletter, be assured that the GI Group will answer this as soon as possible. We welcome your views about our articles and other reader’s suggestions. Please POST your comments on the site.

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GI News Editor: Philippa Sandall
Web Design and Management: Scott Dickinson

10 comments:

Kala said...

Wow - this is a very nice website - nice layout and a wealth of information i wish i had the whole night to read! Hm I will have to bookmark this place! My next blog will be about this site!

Haleh said...

Hi there - Your weblog keeps being pinged in Blogroll indicating an update but when I look there are none! This happens as a result of either rebuilding your index or the site.

Perhaps you could find out why this is happening or at least let me know if you are in fact updating some parts which are no apparent to me.

Regards, Haleh
haleh[at]mithras[dot]org

GI Group said...

Hi,

We updated some of the links recently because of a server change. There have been no major changes made.

Best...GI Group

Anonymous said...

Hello - I have a question for you!

I understand the wisdom in having low GI food in terms of curbing your hunger and maintaining energy levels etc. My question relates to low GI vs. high GI in controlling your blood sugar (for a diabetic person):

Looking at the graph on your GI site (http://www.glycemicindex.com/) I can see how a high GI food would raise your blood sugar levels to the sky followed by a sharp drop which in fact takes your BSLs well into the normal range and keeps it there. Now wouldn't it be wiser to have a high GI food and then counter the rise in blood sugar by going for a brisk half an hour walk right after eating which presumabley lowers your BGLs so that you can bypass the "spike" and enter the normal range by the time you get back from the walk? Surely overall you will be keeping your sugar levels within the normal range more times than when you eat low GI food.

I would be very interested in hearing your views on this. I am currently sticking with the low GI food which is keeping my sugar levels within OK range.

gi group said...

The graphics on our website are just an illustration and do not represent all shapes that are seen in practice. Going for a walk immediately after eating would assist long term blood sugar control, but not the immediate context. The spike would be just as high, exercise or not. The rapid decline is not ideal either because it is followed by counter-regulatory responses that have adverse effects long term (like a rise in cortisol that can mobilise fat to the abdomen and also make you hungry). The body likes as little fluctutation as possible, more likely with low GI foods than high GI foods.

Anonymous said...

Dear GI, thank you for your response.

I understand and fully accept the long term benefit of exercise in overal control of blood sugars however this is my finding:

I go for a walk of between 20-30 minutes 1-2 hours after a meal and find that my readings on the glucometer significantly drops - a typical reading would be 8-9 after a meal (before a walk) and 5-6 after the walk, i.e. a drop of 2-4 points! So this strikes me as representing a positive effect over the short term (in addition to the long term benefit mentioned above).

Given this, my question is: If going for a walk reduces BSLs so significantly, would it not make more sense to have a high GI meal and time your going for a walk to coincide with the spike in the blood sugar, i.e. about half an hour after a meal? That way, could you not 'bypass' the spike in blood sugar and skip straight to the flat part of the curve around 1.5 hours after the meal (as shown in the graph)?

I understand that the graph is an illustration and so therefore approximate, however it seems that there is a significant difference that you are trying to show between the effects both high and low GI meals have upon your BSL. If not, what information do you recommend that I use to help make up my mind as to what is the correct thing to do?

I appreciate your response which may help answer similar questions from other diabetics. I have actually managed to control my type 2 diabetes far better thanks to your excellent work.

gi group said...

This is an interesting question, but we don't think all the research pieces of the puzzle are in place yet to answer it definitively. Firstly, it has not been investigated in the context of GI testing. People have to remain pretty sedentary while undergoing the test.
Secondly, exercise does increase insulin sensitivity and glucose disposal rates. But low GI foods would come down quicker than high GI foods – as GI is a relative ranking. The jury is still out whether the attenuation in high GI foods by exercise would be sufficient to decrease the risk of oxidative stress and increased glycation of proteins which are the underlying cause of the complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes. We will do some more research and cover it in more detail in a future issue of GI News. So watch this space.

gi group said...

In "What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up and Down", Brand-Miller and co-authors say that: 'There are certain situations where your efforts with exercise may backfire and increase your blood glucose level instead of lowering it. One of these is if the exercise is too strenuous and therefore stressful to your body. In this case the release of stress hormones, which antagonise the action of insulin and stimulate the release of glucose from body stores, will increase your blood glucose levels.
The other situation is if you have type 1 diabetes and your blood glucose was too high before you started exercising. Your high blood glucose reflects a relative shortage of insulin in your body, so even if exercising muscles want to burn up glucose, there isn't sufficient insulin available to move the glucose into them. For this reason, those with type 1 are advised against exercise if their fasting blood glucose level is above 14 mmol/L and ketosis is present. People with type 1 should use caution, don't start exercising if your blood glucose is above 16.5 mmol/L, ketosis or not.

Kaye said...

You wrote "Looking at the graph on your GI site I can see how a high GI food would raise your blood sugar levels to the sky followed by a sharp drop which in fact takes your BSLs well into the normal range and keeps it there."
First of all, I think you need to be aware that this sharp drop in BGL is what we see if someone has a sufficient insulin response. This may not be the case in someone with diabetes, in which case BGLs could remain elevated over a prolonged period. As far as taking a walk afterwards goes, I guess this would help to reduce the spike in bgls but may not be practical for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Dear GI Group and Kaye,

Thank you very much for your responses. I am thinking about conducting my own tests on this and will let you know how it all goes if you like - perhaps via email this time.

Do you have any studies planned to assess the efficacy of low GI foods for diet-controlled diabetics? If you have already done some perhaps you could provide a link to your findings.

Additionally do you have a register of interest for such trials?

Thanks again for all your good work.