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Canadian Diabetes Association announces new Clinical Practice Guidelines
One of three key nutrition messages of the new guidelines is ‘Replacing high-glycemic index carbohydrates with low-glycemic index carbohydrates in mixed meals has a clinically significant effect on glycemic control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.’ The other two key nutrition messages:

  • ‘Nutrition therapy can reduce glycated hemoglobin by 1.0 to 2.0% and, when used with other components of diabetes care, can further improve clinical and metabolic outcomes.’
  • ‘Consistency in carbohydrate intake, and spacing and regularity in meal consumption may help control blood glucose and weight.’

Read the Nutrition Therapy chapter (page S40)


Type 1 kids and postmeal glycemia – does GI matter?

Insulin pump therapy offers kids with type 1 diabetes the possibility of tailoring insulin delivery to what’s in the meal they are about to eat. So, where does GI come in and does it matter? Yes. Taking account of a meal’s GI along with the type of premeal insulin bolus makes a significant difference to postprandial glycemia according to the findings of the latest study from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne published in Diabetes Care. Their findings show that both the GI of the meal and the type of premeal insulin bolus can have important modifiable effects on postprandial glycemia. The authors conclude: ‘Our data reinforce the beneficial postprandial glycemia impact of choosing low GI rather than high GI foods with relevance to commonly eaten mixed meals.’


Preventing type 2 diabetes
Lifestyle changes, not drugs, should be the main focus for preventing type 2 diabetes was the conclusion of a lively debate at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2008 Meeting. Diabetes experts witnessing the contest, declared lifestyle interventions the clear winner, on the grounds that they tackle the root cause, rather than the consequences, of glucose abnormalities. Read the report.

Add spice and reduce blood glucose
When you add herbs and spices to food, you get more than great taste. Herbs and spices are rich in antioxidants and a new University of Georgia study suggests they are also potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood glucose. Researchers reporting in the current issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food, tested extracts from 24 common herbs and spices. In addition to finding high levels of antioxidant-rich compounds known as phenols, they revealed a direct correlation between phenol content and the ability of the extracts to block the formation of AGE compounds that contribute to damage caused by diabetes and aging. When blood glucose levels are high, a process known as protein glycation occurs in which the glucose bonds with proteins to form advanced glycation end products, also known as AGE compounds. The researchers found a strong and direct correlation between the phenol content of common herbs and spices and their ability to inhibit the formation of AGE compounds. Controlling blood glucose and the formation of AGE compounds can decrease the risk of cardiovascular damage associated with diabetes and aging.

Milk helps the body recover after exercise
Gulping down a glass of milk rebuilds muscles after they are damaged during physical activity according to findings published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. The study carried out at Northumbria University in Newcastle showed that semi-skimmed milk and milk-based supplements helped preserve more muscle than sports drinks or water when consumed immediately after muscle-damaging exercise. According to the researchers, milk limits the effects of exercise induced muscle damage by providing protein and carbohydrate, which may stop the protein from being broken down. This is the first study to show that it may actually reduce muscle damage.


Eggs for brekkie help weight loss
Eating a couple of protein-packed eggs for breakfast, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, helps overweight adults lose more weight and feel more energetic than those who eat a bagel breakfast of equal calories according to a report in the International Journal of Obesity. The researchers also found that blood levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides, did not vary compared to baseline cholesterol blood levels in subjects who ate either the bagel or egg breakfasts.


Camomile tea and diabetes
“Daily consumption of chamomile tea with meals could be potentially useful in the prevention and self-medication of hyperglycemia and diabetic complications,” write researchers from the University of Toyama (Japan) and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry the findings of their experimental laboratory study looking at the effects of camomile tea and its chemical components on cells in the laboratory and in a rat model of diabetes.

Reality check: NHS Choices provides a useful guide to the science that hits the headlines says: ‘Although this study provides an insight into the effects of camomile and its components on rats and cells in the laboratory, the extrapolation of these findings to humans is very premature. In particular, the experiments relating to their effects on diabetic complications only are at a very early stage and should certainly not be taken as proof that camomile tea could prevent or improve these very serious conditions. People with diabetes should continue to follow their doctor’s instructions about diet, exercise and treatment, and should only drink camomile tea if they like it, not in the hope that it will alleviate their diabetes.’


What’s new?
Lifestyle Medicine
Edited by Prof Garry Egger (aka Prof Trim), Dr Andrew Binns and Prof Stephan Rossner
Published by McGraw Hill
This practical book written by an impressive team of renowned experts, ranges from disease prevention to modifying risk factors and rehabilitation. It was written to provide general practitioners, practice nurses, clinicians and health professionals with an invaluable resource, but its highly practical and accessible format means that it can be read by anyone who is concerned about their health or community health issues. The comprehensive text summarises aspects of lifestyle medicine by examining the causes, measurement, and management of a range of modern health problems (including diabetes, heart disease and obesity) with predominantly lifestyle-based aetiologies. It presents the latest research findings and includes practice tips, key points and professional resources. For more information, check out:


JDRF UK launches a new website for kids with type 1 diabetes
JDRF stands for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, an international organisation searching for the cure for type 1 diabetes. This new UK website for kids explains how kids with type 1 can help find the cure. It’s also packed with info to help kids with type 1.

World Vegetarian Day: October 1
Find out more about it.
To combine the basics of healthy vegetarian or vegan eating with the benefits of low GI carbs, check out Kate Marsh’s Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook. It’s packed with delicious recipes and mouth-watering photography.