High glycemic foods may increase diabetes risk in women

November 27, 2007 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

High glycemic foods may increase diabetes risk in women

High glycemic carbohydrates may increase the risk of diabetes in both Chinese and black women, say two different groups of American researchers.

High glycemic carbohydrates include baked russet potatoes, whole-wheat bread, cereal bars, instant oatmeal, raisins, carrots and sugary treats like donuts, cakes, pastries and cookies.

In the first study, more than 40,000 black women completed diet and lifestyle surveys bi-annually for over 10 years. Nearly 2,000 women developed diabetes during the study period. Those who ate the most high glycemic carbohydrates - white bread, white rice, low fiber breakfast cereal - had a greater likelihood of developing diabetes.

Black women who ate at least 5.9 grams of fiber per day had 18 percent lower risk of diabetes as compared to the rest of the study population.

In the second study, researchers followed 64,000 Chinese women for about five years with interviews about their diet and other lifestyle habits. In this study, 1,608 women developed diabetes. Women who ate the most high glycemic carbohydrates - mainly white rice - were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who consumed the least amount of high GI carbohydrates.  

The researchers found that adding fiber had a positive effect on diabetes risk by lowering the glycemic index of carbohydrate foods. For instance, switching from white bread to whole wheat bread lowered diabetes risk by 10 percent in the study of black women. 

 The glycemic index refers to the impact a food has on blood sugar levels. Previous studies have examined the benefits of low glycemic index foods on diabetes. Examples of low GI foods include oat bran cereal, whole-wheat spaghetti, brown rice, beans, skim milk and most fruits and vegetables.   

In Canada, type 2 diabetes affects more men than women. However, according to Women's College Hospital in Toronto, a disproportional number of women from ethnic minorities are at greater risk for the disease.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.