“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
Here’s some new dietary information to help diabetics make better choices.
Hawaiian researchers recently examined the influence of dietary fiber, magnesium (Mg) and glycemic load (GL) on diabetes. They found these offer protection against diabetes and can be achieved through food choices.
After taking into account body weight, there still are differences in commonly consumed foods due to ethnicity and culture, so risk estimates may differ by ethnic group (J Nutr. 2010 Jan;140(1):68-74).
In the study, the 75,512 Caucasian, Japanese American and Native Hawaiian participants aged 45 to 75 years at baseline completed an exam and questionnaire. After 14 years of follow-up, 8,587 incident diabetes cases were identified through self-reports and via health plans.
When comparing, total fiber intake was associated with reduced diabetes risk among all men. High intake of grain fiber reduced diabetes risk significantly by 10 percent in men and women.
Interestingly, high-vegetable fiber intake lowered risk by 22 percent in all men but not women. (Maybe the women were already eating more vegetables than men … I think this stat is strange as a finding and needs explanation.)
Magnesium intake reduced risk, which may explain the protective effect of fiber, as it is found in high Mg foods.
Ranking in the top Glycemic Load quintile was associated with a significantly elevated diabetes incidence in Caucasian men and in all women except Japanese Americans.
So, eating lower glycemic foods is important, period! Junk food, too-high carbs food, sugary foods and too-low fiber foods all have too high GL.
Overall, several associations were more pronounced in Caucasians than in the other groups. So whites may have gotten on the junk-food wagon more than other groups with stronger ethnic ties to traditional foods OR there may be inherent physical weakness towards diabetes in Caucasians OR both. All that remains to be figured out, but eating low glycemic foods, high-fiber foods and lots of fresh vegetables helps everyone, and Japanese Americans are traditionally better at this.
I believe that the Japanese and Okinawan diets are the world’s healthiest.
And we all know mild exercise, like walking daily at a conversation pace, is helpful to diabetics. Now, the research shows that after exercise is a good time for a higher protein / lower carb meal, that is not low calorie. Aim for a 200 to 400 calorie snack-meal after exercise, and a maximum of 200 grams of carbohydrate at that time.
The study is a follow-up on other research which revealed how the biochemical benefits of exercise occur from the most recent exercise session.
For 20 years, my neighbor was a prominent endocrinologist and he was always happy to see me walking-the-circle near our homes. He always told me to do long-steady exercise, daily, as the benefit carried-over for a small amount of time. If I linked the exercise, then the biochemistry was more likely to still be in exercise-benefit mode.
This study bears that out. Since the benefits of working-out can die off after a few days of no activity (or even in a few hours for some people), health experts now are suggesting that diabetics eat a low-carb, but not low calorie, meal after exercise. Discuss this with your doctor.
The study revealed how low-carb (but not low calorie) meals improved blood sugar control for hours after activity, or even into the next day.
BUT Diabetics, and overweight people at risk for diabetes, should not start a strict low-carbohydrate diet, Atkins type diet any time soon, if ever. Popular low-carb diets restrict far more than what’s recommended, and those plans have too much protein which can overload diabetic kidneys.
But focusing on the meal just after regular exercise is important, and that is the best time to intervene. Carbohydrate deficiency after exercise, but not energy deficiency, is encouraged.
Participants in the study ate as much as 200 grams of carbohydrates after working out. Of course, there are many factors when it comes to diet; age, weight, size and current health or activity level.
Every person should eat about 12 calories per pound of body weight, unless they are severely overweight or clinically obese. Doing the Math, a person weighing 200 pounds should consume 2,400 calories per day, unless the person is overweight, then calories should be cut to approximately 1600 for women and 2000 for men. Lower than this level is not good.
After balancing out the needed calorie amount, fat, protein and carbohydrate percentages must be weighed in. Experts and trainers suggest that 50 percent of most diets should consist of calories from fresh, mostly unprocessed carbohydrates (organic as much as possible), while 30 percent consist of calories from lean, natural, organic protein (as much as possible), and 20 percent, calories from healthy fat – monosaturated like olive oil and omega-3’s like in salmon, hempseed, flax seed and walnuts.
Fats do not affect blood sugar levels and provide satiety.
Our bodies need the foods which help control blood sugar. High-protein diets are NOT the answer as when only (or mostly) protein is consumed, then calcium isn’t absorbed as well, heart conditions worsen, exercise benefits weaken and it can effect the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
Healthy forms of alkaline, low glycemic load carbohydrates are a very important part of a balanced diet, and especially in people who exercise regularly. It is important to replenish at least some of the carbohydrate stores your liver used up during exercise, so you have this major fuel source ready for your next exercise session or emergency when your blood sugar dips.
The study is called, “Energy deficit after exercise augments lipid mobilization but does not contribute to the exercise-induced increase in insulin sensitivity,” and it appears online in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
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