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Low GI or low fiber diet for diabetics?

For type 2 diabetics, a low glycemic index diet is significantly better than a high fiber diet for controlling blood glucose levels, according to researchers.

Glycemic index, or GI, refers to how quickly a food causes blood glucose levels to rise. High GI foods, like white bread and potatoes, cause a surge in blood sugar. Low GI foods, such as lentils, soybeans and wholegrain foods result in a more gradual increase in blood sugar.

The diet study

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 210 type 2 diabetics. All were treated with anti diabetes medications and randomly asked to follow for 6 months a:

Researchers measured the change in A1C in the blood, which reflects glucose levels over the long term.

The results

A1C fell 0.5% on the low GI diet compared with only 0.18% on the high fiber diet.

In addition, levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels rose with the low GI diet but they fell with the high fiber diet.

Researchers Dr Jenkins, from the University of Toronto, concluded, “Low-glycemic index diets may be useful as part of the strategy to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes taking (glucose-lowering) medications.”

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