If you are one of the many people out there with Type-2 diabetes you already know the drill: carbohydrates can send your blood sugar soaring.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, eating the right kinds of carbohydrates can help your blood sugar stay stable and possibly ward off a heart attack.
The study compared two different diets. The first, a low-glycemic diet, which focuses on carbohydrates that are slowly converted into blood sugar vs. a high-cereal-fibre diet that includes whole-wheat, brown rice, potatoes with the skins on, etc.
The study took 210 people with Type-2 diabetes who were being treated with medication. What was really significant about these findings was that not only did the low-glycemic index diet help participants gain better control of their blood sugar it also raised HDL (good) cholesterol levels. The high-cereal-fibre diet depressed that good, protective cholesterol.
People with Type-2 diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease compared to people without diabetes, and many of them do have low HDL. What’s more, the medications that Type-2 diabetics take to help control their blood sugar do not reduce the risk of heart disease, so, this study is significant.
The reason why the low-glycemic diet works is that it includes carbohydrate foods that are slowly converted to blood sugar and do not cause big spikes in blood sugar insulin. Some examples of these foods include oat bran (hot cereal), steel-cut or large flake oatmeal, and psyllium-enriched breakfast cereals like Kellogg’s All-Bran Buds. Instead of using regular whole-wheat bread, try a multi-grain pita pocket or Ezekiel bread. Beans, lentils, sweet (orange) potato, converted rice, whole-grain pasta, and rye-based crackers like Ryvita and Finn Crisps are also included in a low-glycemic diet.
One very important tip to note is that no matter what type of carbohydrate you eat, it is important to spread your intake over the course of the day as eating too much at once does not help blood sugar control.