Diabetic's Guide to Modifying the Glycemic Load of Meals

Published: 17th December 2008
Views: N/A

A Diabetic's Guide to Modifying the Glycemic Load of Meals

Beating Diabetes Without Meds

 If a diabetic wants to lose weight (especially belly fat) and/or gain improved control of blood sugar, it will be very helpful to learn how to use other foods to modify the glycemic load of a meal. Typically, experts advise that a daily glycemic load total of 10 or less be consumed (glycemic load totaled for all foods consumed). Many diabetics comment that that can be difficult to do. The answer is to modify the glycemic load to lower it. By mixing certain substances with a high glycemic index food item, the conversion rate can be slowed, providing an effectively lower actual index rating

Dietary fiber is one very effective way to do just that. After all, it is a known fact that diabetics, and all other Americans as well, do not get enough dietary fiber in their diet. In fact, it is commonly known that diabetes is caused (partially) by inadequate intake of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is the components of plant cell walls and the indigestible residues from plant foods; occurring most abundantly in legumes (beans), vegetables, oat bran, nuts, seeds, psyllium seed husks, pears, apples and whole grains.

Soluble fiber comes from the storage materials of the plant used to store water. Only plant foods contain fiber. Fiber scrubs the digestive system, picking up unwanted toxins; including cholesterol and other wastes; carrying them out of the body as it is excreted. Soluble fiber dissolves and thickens in water, forming a gel. It improves mineral absorption by slowing down the passage of food into the colon and keeps the blood sugar from rising rapidly (spiking). Better mineral absorption leads to improved functioning of many enzymes and hormones, which play an active role in effective digestion and absorption. Soluble fiber along with complex carbohydrates (starches) can make the hormone insulin work better. Thus reducing reliance on diabetes medications while keeping blood sugar levels normal.  When it comes to blood sugar regulation, it is the water-soluble fibers that are most beneficial.

At least 35 grams per day is the recommended intake. www.how-to-take-charge-of-your-diabetes.com

When consuming a high-fiber meal, it is very important to hydrate with fluids such as water and green tea. If you do not drink enough water throughout the day, a high-fiber diet can temporarily cause constipation. You may also experience constipation initially as your body adjusts to consuming enough fiber daily.

Glucomannan is one of the most efficient soluble fibers. Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide. It is a food additive used as an emulsifier and thickener. Glucomanan is marketed under a variety of brand names and are also sold as nutritional supplements. There is some clinical support for potential health benefits, however, watch for misleading or exaggerated claims pertaining to the health benefits of glucomannan supplements. Using Glucomannan product will lower glycemic index ratings in a similar manner as food based water-soluble foods.

PGX is a commercial supplement brand which is a polysaccharide fiber. It is referred to as a carbohydrate blocker. It also forms a gel that encapsulates carbohydrates slowing their digestion and absorption. It is very effective. It is available in capsules and powder forms. Both, especially the capsules, should be taken 30 minutes before a meal with at least 8 ounces of water. Capsules take longer to act, since the capsule has to be dissolved to release its contents.

The glycemic index of a mixed meal can be determined by multiplying the percent of total carbohydrate of each of the foods by its glycemic index, then add up the results. The result is the glycemic index of the meal as a whole. If the meal contains protein (and saturated fat), the results may vary. Fifty to sixty percent of protein becomes glucose and enters the bloodstream. However, it takes three to four hours for that to occur. Therefore, protein and saturated fats do not have any considerable effect on blood glucose levels. Less than 4% of the grams of meat and saturated fat results in glucose formation and are absorbed into the bloodstream. Proteins added to carbohydrates do not slow the absorption of glucose. Saturated fat slows absorption, but does not alter the total amount of glucose absorbed. Therefore protein and saturated fat should be ignored in mix meal glycemic index (load) calculations. It should be noted, however, that studies have shown that high consumption of protein and saturated fat actually induce insulin resistance. That means that carbohydrates eaten with a high protein and saturated fat diets can potentially raise the potential for blood glucose spiking. Monounsaturated and unsaturated fats actually improve insulin sensitivity.

If you would like to learn more do an internet query search on the following articles: "A diabetic's Guide to Understanding Glycemic Index:, "How Excess Body Fat Contributes to Diabetes", " Why Diabetics Struggle with Weight Control", "3 Keys to Diabetic Weight Loss" and " What Diabetic's Should Know About Carbohydrates" www.how-to-take-charge-of-your-diabetes.com

Beating Diabetes Without Meds

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore