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High GI diet speeds progression to type 1 diabetes in at risk kids
A high GI diet increased the rate of progression to type 1 diabetes in children with high levels of islet autoimmunity is the finding of an observational study published in August Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. This is ‘perhaps due to increased demand on the beta cells to release insulin,’ writes Prof Jill Norris and co-authors in their conclusion. The research team followed children already at increased risk of type 1 diabetes for genetic reasons who are taking part in the DAISY study (Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young). Of 1,776 children in the study, 89 developed islet autoimmunity and 17 subsequently developed type 1 diabetes.

Islet autoimmunity is the development of antibodies made by the immune system that attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. These antibodies are considered a strong predictor of type 1 diabetes.

Mealtimes and metabolic syndrome
We are what we eat it’s said, but a new study in Obesity suggests we may also be how often we eat. Skipping meals is widespread these days – too busy, wanting to lose weight, endless reasons. Scientists from the Karolinska Institutet found that skippers (those who said they rarely ate a regular breakfast, lunch and dinner) had on average a bigger waist and greater risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate more regular meals in their study of 3,607 men and women. They also tended to have more signs of insulin resistance.


Regular breakfast, weigh-ins and no fast food = better BMI
Want to lose weight? Then eating breakfast regularly, weighing yourself regularly and cutting way back on fast food are three healthy habits you need to adopt report researchers with the Look AHEAD Research Group (Action for Health in Diabetes) in Diabetes Care. They evaluated the weight loss strategies adopted by 5,145 participants with diabetes and a BMI of at least 25 in the Look AHEAD trial. To get their weight under control, 60% of the participants had done things like eat more fruits and veggies, cut out sweets and eat fewer high-carb foods). What the survey found, however, was that the study participants with a lower BMI weighed themselves at least once a week and had the following healthy eating habits:

  • Eating breakfast at least six days a week
  • Eating regular meals and snacks, and
  • Eating less than 2 fast food meals a week

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. Check yours HERE.


The latest on diet and diabetes risk
Three long-term studies in July’s Archives of Internal Medicine look at the links between diet and type 2 diabetes risk.

Sugar –sweetened beverages and diabetes: Julie Palmer and colleagues (Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University) analysed diet and health questionnaires completed by 43,960 African American women who did not have diabetes when the study began back in 1995. They found that drinking two or more soft drinks each day was associated with a 24% increase in diabetes risk and drinking two or more fruit drinks each day was associated with a 31% increase in diabetes risk compared with women who had less than one soft drink or fruit drink per month, respectively. They noted no association between type 2 diabetes risk and diet soft drinks, grapefruit juice, or orange juice.


‘Our study suggests that the mechanism for the increase in diabetes risk associated with soft drink consumption is primarily through increased weight. Reducing consumption of soft drinks or switching from sugar-sweetened soft drinks to diet soft drinks is a concrete step that women may find easier to achieve than other approaches to weight loss,’ they write. ‘It should be noted that consumption of fruit drinks conveyed as high an increase in risk as did consumption of soft drinks. Fruit drinks typically contain as many or more calories compared with soft drinks and, like soft drinks, may not decrease satiety to the same extent as solid food.’

Type 2 diabetes, vitamin C, and fruit and vegetable consumption: Anne-Helen Harding and colleagues (Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, England) found that higher blood levels of vitamin C were associated with a substantially lower risk of developing diabetes in 21,831 adults followed up for 12 years European Prospective Investigation of Cancer-Norfolk). ‘Because fruits and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C, the findings suggest that eating even a small quantity of fruits and vegetables may be beneficial and that the protection against diabetes increases progressively with the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed,’ they conclude.

Low-fat diets and diabetes risk: Lesley Tinker and colleagues (Women’s Health Initiative, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Seattle) conclude that: ‘Weight loss, rather than macronutrient composition, may be the dominant predictor of reduced risk of diabetes.’ They analysed a sample of 48,835 post-menopausal women who, had been randomly assigned to either a ‘usual diet’ group, or a ‘low-fat intervention diet’ group where they were encouraged to eat more fruits, vegetables and grains. Over an eight-year period, around 7% of women in both groups developed type 2 diabetes. ‘Trends toward reduced incidence (of diabetes) were greater with greater decreases in total fat intake and weight loss,’ they report. The women in the low-fat diet group lost an average of 1.9 kg or 4.2 lbs more than women in the usual diet group, although the study’s intention wasn’t weight loss.

What’s New?
12 Steps to Healthy Eating

Nutrition for Life audio CD
‘Forget dieting and eat for life,’ says Catherine Saxelby in step 1 of her new 30-minute CD where she cuts through the confusion with practical tips to help you achieve your optimum weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and discover how to eat for a healthy brain, eyes, skin and body. Listen to her 12 steps to healthy eating in the car or at home. The CD is ideal for people who are blind or vision impaired as they are often unable to get the reliable health and nutrition information they need.
Did you know that your stomach is only the size of your fist clenched? Imagine this and you’ll soon realise that it doesn’t take a lot of food to fill that amount of space … find out how to listen to your stomach in Catherine’s podcast below.


Play the Podcast above or download here

Magic Foods for Better Blood Glucose

Reader’s Digest Australia
This new edition of Magic Foods from the editors at Readers Digest (the US edition featured in May 2007 GI News) has been completely revised and updated Australian and NZ market. Lavishly photographed and beautifully designed by Susanne Geppert, it features an introduction by Prof Jennie Brand-Miller and has been endorsed by the GI Symbol Program. It’s packed with recipes, menus and foods to help people achieve better blood glucose management.


Submissions invited on draft updated type 2 diabetes guidelines
Invitation for Submission of Comments on the Draft Updated Primary Prevention Guideline, Draft Update Case Detection and Diagnosis Guideline, Draft Blood Glucose Control Guideline, and Draft Kidney Disease Guideline (Diabetes Australia)