In the 4th and final episode of the series on Diabetes, Dr. Agolli and Dawn Repucci, discuss:
Diet plays a crucial role in managing diabetes. A diabetes diet is simply a healthy-eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar. It is based on eating three meals a day at regular times to help better use the insulin that your body produces or gets through medication1.
The glycemic index (GI) assigns a numeric score to a food based on how drastically it makes your blood sugar rise. Foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose (sugar) given a value of 100. The lower a food’s glycemic index, the slower blood sugar rises after eating that food. In general, the more processed a food is, the higher its GI, and the more fiber or fat in a food, the lower it’s GI2.
The glycemic load (GL) is a measure that takes into account both how quickly a food makes glucose enter the bloodstream and how much glucose per serving it can deliver. It gives you a more accurate picture of a food’s real-life impact on your blood sugar. A diabetic should consume mainly low-glycemic index (GI) foods, which includes foods with a glycemic index of 55 or less. These foods raise blood sugar levels slowly and control insulin resistance and diabetes complications3.
Sugar consumption can affect diabetics by causing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. It is important for diabetics to monitor their carbohydrate intake and choose healthy carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes1.
Fiber-rich foods are also important for diabetics as they can help control blood sugar levels. Cereal fiber intake has been inversely associated with risk of diabetes when comparing extreme quintiles4