Author in the Room: Effect of Glycemic Index or High Fiber Diet on Type 2 Diabetes

January 2009 Author in the Room® Teleconference


Author: David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD


Article: "Effect of a Low Glycemic Index or a High Cereal Fiber Diet on Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Trial"

Summary Points:
  • Drugs such as the alpha glucosidase inhibitor, acarbose, which reduce the rate of digestion and absorption of carbohydrate and so flatten the post-prandial glycemic response have been shown to improve diabetes control, reduce the risk of developing hypertension and lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Can a selection of more slowly digested carbohydrate foods achieve qualitatively similar benefits to drugs? Current data suggest that selection of diets containing low glycemic intake foods have modest benefits in reducing HbA1C even in type 2 diabetes patients treated with one to three antihyperglycemic medications.
  • Foods with a low glycemic index include many traditional study foods such as dried peas, beans, lentils, intact grain breads, pasta, oats, barley, parboiled rice, and temperate climate fruits and berries. Low glycemic index starchy foods are digested less readily in vitro.
  • Other effects include a tendency for higher HDL, lower CRP values and greater weight loss in the per protocol completers (i.e., those who completed the study with no change in medications).


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