Diabetes is a concern for me. Not just because it runs in the family - but because everyone is susceptible to it! The sugar packed treats and carbohydrates we've become so accustomed to enjoying everyday are just not doing us any favors when it comes to our blood sugars. Not to metion the fact that high intake of sugary foods and simple carbs decreases our good cholesterol which in turn, increases our bad cholesterol and triglycerides - creating a propsensity for coronary disease, diabetes mellitus and obesity.
Dr. Neal Barnard had a great show on how to reduce your glycemic index. Making simple changes to foods in our everyday diets can make a huge difference and keep us healthy and off of insulin! These are not tough changes to have to make:
White or Wheat Breads - instead, try Rye or Pumpernickel
White Potatoes - Instead try Yams or Sweet Potatoes (one of my favorites!)
Cold Cereals - Instead eat oatmeal or bran cereals
Restrict Refined Sugar like sodas, candy - you know, the good stuff!
Pasta is ok!
All fruits and vegetables - YES!
I once had someone tell me that regardless if the sugar you eat is a piece of candy or if it's an apple, it all contains sugar and sugar is sugar. Not true! Fruits and vegetables have a lower glycemic index and do not affect your blood sugar the same way the simple sugars do in a candy bar. The processing in manufactured carbohydrates (sugars) creates air pockets in the food which in turn has a negative affect on our blood sugar as it more rapidly works it way in. The lower gi foods do not have this affect. They are lower and slower to be digested and the valuable fiber in the fruits and vegetables aid in the digestion of the nutrients in the food.
I was pleased to see that many of the foods on the chart that Dr. Barnard shared on his show...are foods that we eat regularly since the onset of our new food plan. Keeping those high non friendly sugars in check is a challenge and it takes self-control. But when it comes down to overall health, the common sense thing to do...is do the right thing.