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New glycemic profile may aid in developing diabetic diets for individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes

Many physicians recommend that their patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes consume a diabetic diet in order to help them manage their blood sugar levels and lose weight.

One aspect of a diabetic diet is eating foods that have a low glycemic index (GI). According to the American Diabetes Association, the GI measures how much certain carbohydrate-containing foods affect an individual's blood glucose levels. Each item is ranked based on how it compares to a reference food, which is typically either glucose or white bread.

For example, foods with a high GI - like processed products - raise blood sugar levels more than those that are low on the scale, such as beans, non-starchy vegetables and whole grain or rye bread.



However, a recent study published in the Nutrition Journal indicated that a new method of calculating how food affects blood sugar levels, called the glycemic profile (GP), may help individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes develop more comprehensive diabetic diets.

The GP takes into account the curve of the blood sugar change, meaning that foods that create more gradual increases in blood glucose levels are beneficial - unlike the GI, which only evaluates these changes over a two hour time period.

The researchers said that the best types of food for individuals to consume in their diabetic diets include those that have a low GI and a high GP, since items with the latter characteristic will provide more energy.

They noted that rye bread is an example of a low GI, high GP food, since boiled rye kernels were found to have a GI of 73 and a GP of 94.

"White pasta is one example of a product which in some cases has received a bad reputation because of a high GI. However, white pasta produces just as good a blood glucose response as whole wheat pasta," said lead researcher Liza Rosen.

The investigators said they will conduct further studies on the benefits of a GP diet, including how this applies to high-sugar foods and whether or not the GP promotes long-term benefits for managing blood sugar levels.
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