A low-glycemic diet may raise good cholesterol in diabetics

December 17, 2008 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

A low-glycemic diet may raise good cholesterol in diabetics

Eating a low-glycemic diet can help people with type 2 diabetes improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk.

A low-glycemic diet refers to the consumption of foods which have a low glycemic index (GI) or less of an impact on the rise and fall of blood sugar. Such foods include high-fibre wholegrain bread, legumes (beans), and protein sources like fish, chicken, turkey, seeds and nuts.

A new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that a low GI diet can also boost levels of "good" HDL cholesterol in addition to helping diabetics with blood sugar control

Researchers from the University of Toronto assigned 210 people who were on medication for type 2 diabetes one of two diets for six months. The first diet was a low-glycemic diet; the second was high-cereal-fibre diet in which people were told to choose "brown" options like brown rice, unpeeled potatoes and whole wheat bread.

In addition to giving people better blood sugar control than the high-fibre-cereal diet, the low-glycemic diet also raised "good" HDL cholesterol.

People who were assigned to the high-cereal-fibre diet saw a drop in their HDL cholesterol.

High density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol is a marker of heart health because it helps to remove bad cholesterol from the body.

Other diet strategies to control your blood cholesterol include eating more soy foods (tofu, tempeh, soy beverages) and including more foods that contain soluble fibre (oats, apples, ground flaxseed) in your daily diet.

For personalized nutrition counseling targeted at your heart health, check out how you can work one-on-one with Leslie Beck, RD.

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.