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Beans mean less diabetes
Legumes, also known as pulses, are the edible seeds found inside the mature pods of leguminous plants such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts. Yes, peanuts (GI 14) are a legume not a nut. Whether you buy legumes dried, or opt for canned convenience, you are choosing one of nature’s lowest GI foods. They are high in fibre and packed with nutrients, providing protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins, folate and minerals. When you add them to meals and snacks, you reduce the overall GI of your diet because your body digests them slowly. This is primarily because their starch breaks down relatively slowly (or incompletely) during cooking and they contain tannins and enzyme inhibitors that also slow digestion.

A large study by researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Centre and the Shanghai Cancer Institute found that Chinese women who ate legumes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women with a high intake of legumes reduced their risk by 38%, while those with a high intake specifically of soybeans (GI 14) nearly halved their risk – reducing it by 47%.

Using food frequency questionnaires to assess dietary intakes, the researchers led by Raquel Villegas followed 64,227 middle-aged Chinese women with no history of type 2 diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study for an average of four and a half years. Other than soy milk, there was no relationship between diabetes risk and eating soy foods and soy protein such as tofu and tempeh.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition January 2008


Berry good health
Cardiovascular disease is still the biggest killer of men and women, and having diabetes or pre-diabetes is a major risk factor for it. High levels of glucose in the blood, even short-term spikes after a meal, can have many undesirable effects and are a predictor of future heart disease. High insulin levels also increase the tendency for blood clots to form. Heart-healthy, low GI foods can play an important part in reducing the risk. And what sweeter way to eat your way to heart health than to tuck into a bowl of berries, ‘the leader of the pack when it comes to phytochemical antioxidants which help reduce oxidation of cholesterol in the body,’ says dietitian Nicole Senior.

A new study from Finland has shown that eating berries can boost levels of good cholesterol and improve blood pressure. The researchers randomly assigned 72 slightly overweight (average BMI 26.2) middle-aged men and women to consume either a diet rich in berries, or a control diet containing one of four different products including sugar-water, sweet rice porridge, marmalade sweets, or sweet semolina porridge. The berry eaters consumed 100 g (3½ oz) of whole bilberries and 50 g (1¾ oz) of a lingonberry-rich nectar every second day plus 100 g of a purée of blackcurrants or strawberries and a juice of raspberry and chokeberry on the other days. ‘We found favourable changes in platelet function, blood pressure (reduction in systolic blood pressure by 7.3 mm HG), and HDL cholesterol after the consumption of berries for two months,’ wrote lead author Iris Erlund. At the end of the trial, levels of ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol rose significantly more in the berry group (by 5.2%), compared with the control group (by 0.6%). Total cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels were not altered.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2008,


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Giveaway now closed and the names of the winners have been posted in the comments section below.

Thank you one and all for entering, we’ll run it again later in the year as it’s been such a success.


Podcast: Children and the GI
Prof. Jennie Brand-Miller discusses how to use the GI to help kids develop healthy eating habits and a love of good food for life. She talks about how to handle fussy eaters, what foods to give your kids for breakfast and for snacks, and how to add fun foods to healthy foods in order to easily encourage better nutrition. For kids or even adults who are athletes, she describes the best ways to approach diet and how the GI can be a huge help in keeping energy high and maximising performance.

Play the Podcast above or download here

AJCN supplement: Glycemic Response and Health
The January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has a supplement including a number of reports on glycemic response and health which may be of interest to researchers and health professionals. For the article abstracts, click HERE.

Die Sydney Diät
Mit 12-Wochen-Activ-Plan


Fully illustrated in colour throughout, Die Sydney Diät, the German edition of The Low GI Diet, is now available. For more information check out the ‘Die Sydney Diät’ website and newsletter HERE.

Webcast: The Glycemic Index and Load Debate
March 19, 2008, 1:00–2:30 p.m. CST
For more information, and to register, visit
When registering, please enter this code: 0308EM1121
What are the issues associated with GI and GL, and what data exist on both sides of the debate? Should the Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) of a food be used as a tool for dietary guidance? If you are a product developer, researcher, or marketing/regulatory professional, you’ll want to join what is sure to be a lively discussion over this emotional issue. In this webcast, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the controversy surrounding the use of GI, as well as of the regulatory environment. You will also gain insights into the trends that relate to the development of products for which a GI-reduction health claim is intended.
Register and gain valuable information about the Australian model, including benefits and drawbacks. You’ll also discover the potential role of product development in warding off diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Participate live with our panel of experts, including Jennie Brand-Miller, leading authority on the Australian GI/GL system, Marion Franz, nutrition/health consultant, registered dietitian Kathie Wrick of The Food Group, and Lynn Dornblaser of Mintel International Group.