The newest and most promising nutritional approach to treating people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus is based on lowering the glycemic index (GI) of the diet. While using the GI has not been embraced yet by the American Diabetes Association, it has been embraced by the International Diabetes Institute, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Diabetes Australia and the Canadian Diabetes Association. Many researchers now believe that GI offers a more promising tool for planning diets for diabetics than the old “exchange system” which is based on the discredited assumption that the blood sugar response to a food can be predicted by knowing the grams of carbohydrate that food supplies. The GI is based on the measured rise in blood sugar level following a set amount of dietary carbohydrate supplied from a variety of different foods.
A useful book on the glycemic index that explains the scientific rationale that all carbohydrates are not created equal is The Glucose Revolution. It is written by several of the top researchers on the glycemic index of foods and how foods with differing GIs impact on human health. This book offers a practical guide for both health professionals and their patients who want to utilize what is now known about glycemic index to improve blood sugar control for diabetics and to help those who are overweight lose excess body fat without hunger and to help those with syndrome X reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
One drawback to using GI is that there are many foods that have not been tested. This book does have a table showing the GI of about 300 different food items. They also supply enough information about factors that influence a food’s GI for RDs to make an educated guess about food’s probable GI even though it has not yet been tested or published. My only reservation about this book is that the authors may be guilty of overemphasizing GI. The authors do state that “It is important not to base your food choices on the glycemic index alone. It is essential to look at the fat content of foods as well.”
However, a food’s energy density is a better predictor of its satiety value than either its fat content or its GI. For example, a potato has a high GI but also a modest energy density and a much higher satiety value than foods with a lower GI. The surest way to reduce blood sugar, lose weight and reduce insulin resistance is to consume fewer calories.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.