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Diabetes and diet: why low-GI foods are important

July 16, 2019 Charity No Comments Email Email

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia – it’s estimated that more than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year taking the overall number of diagnoses to 1.7 million.

As we mark the start of National Diabetes Week on July 14, Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market naturopath Caroline Robertson says it’s a good time to assess whether you’re choosing foods that nourish and protect you against the preventable disease.

“Foods with a high GI, such as white bread, are broken down quickly during digestion and release glucose into the blood faster than low GI foods. This may lead to the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of sugar crashes, appetite fluctuations and moodiness,” says Ms Roberston.

“Aiming for low GI foods means your body gets slow release energy that can help you stay full for longer with more stable blood glucose levels,” she says.

“Prevention is key. Taking care of your health through choosing wholesome foods and regular activity provides long-term benefits and reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Ms Robertson suggests eating a diet rich in wholegrains, such as oats, quinoa (gf), wholemeal and wholegrain bread, brown rice; fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar.

“Aim to limit highly processed foods, sugar-laden desserts, soft drinks and foods high in saturated fat, such as fried foods.”

Diabetic-friendly food and drinks stocked in Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market include:

  • SOL Bread Megagrain Sourdough: low GI to sustain you throughout the day. Create a healthy sandwich for the kids, or enjoy toasted with a protein-rich spread, like nut butter.
  • Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar: the acetic acid in vinegar may have favourable benefits on blood sugar levels. Add a dash to your smoothie, fresh juice or with warm/cold water. Note: it’s a good idea to dilute vinegar first, rather than drinking by itself, as it may contribute towards erosion of teeth enamel.
  • Beanitos Chips: if you love savoury snacks, bean chips are a great low-saturated fat chip alternative. Made from legumes, these chips are filling, high in fibre and protein to help keep you full for longer. Unlike many other chips, they’re free of MSG, gluten, added sugar, artificial colours, trans fats, GMOs and more.
  • 2 Die 4 Activated Organic Almonds: being certified organic, you can rest assured these almonds are free of synthetic chemicals. Almonds may help keep blood sugar levels stable, so enjoy a handful as a healthy snack or add to your morning muesli for a bit of extra crunch.
  • Barambah Organics All Natural Yoghurt: Low in sugar and saturated fat, yoghurt is a healthy addition to smoothies and muesli and is a filling snack with fresh fruit. Its probiotics help boost gut health, leaving your digestive system feeling happy and nourished.
  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats: a satisfying and healthy way to start the day. Low GI, full of fibre and beta glucans to help keep blood sugar levels stable. Add cinnamon to your porridge, it may play a role in stabilising blood glucose levels.

“Remember, prevention is key for lifestyle-related diseases, like type 2 diabetes,” adds Caroline. “Try adopting a healthy lifestyle with nourishing foods and regular activity. You can come in to any Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market and speak with our in-store naturopaths and nutritionists for complimentary advice.”

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