This week is National Diabetes Week and research from Diabetes Australia has shown that sufferers can reduce their average blood glucose levels and in effect reduce their risk of developing diabetes-related complications, by eating a diet rich in low glycemic index (GI) foods, such as some vegetables.
“All vegetables are an invaluable part of a healthy diet, but low GI vegetables play a key role in helping people living with diabetes manage their condition,” said Senior Communications Officer, Courtney Burger.
“People living with diabetes can benefit greatly by taking the time to review and select vegetables with a low glycemic index (GI), which cause a slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels,” said Miss Burger.
“Some examples of low GI vegetables include: Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery and lettuce,” said Miss Burger.
The glycemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrate levels on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Low GI foods have a GI less than 55, intermediate foods are between 55 and 70, and high GI foods are greater than 70.
“There is no known cause of type 1 diabetes and type 2 may be caused by a mix of environmental and genetic factors; however, in both cases dietary monitoring is crucial in managing the condition,” said Miss Burger.
“There is ongoing Research and Development (R&D) of the GI of vegetables and one product which reflects this is the low GI Carisma potato; a vegetable which usually has a high GI ranking.
“Another interesting way to combat the usually high GI of a potato is to serve it as a cold potato salad with a vinaigrette dressing, as potatoes which have been chilled and are served with an acidic dressing, have a lower ranking.
“Low GI vegetables are an excellent option for people with diabetes; however, all vegetables -regardless of GI – should make up a large proportion of the diets for all Australians, with a recommended five serves per day,” said Miss Burger.
AUSVEG is the national Peak Industry Body for Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.