Diabetics need to be aware of which foods enter the bloodstream rapidly and which foods enter the bloodstream at a slower entry rate. The reason is the faster carbohydrates enter the bloodstream, the more blood sugar is raised. This triggers the release of insulin. Higher levels of insulin in the blood encourage the storage of fat.

Diabetics need to stabilize blood sugar. This allows insulin to be released at a steady rate into the blood. This helps to minimize roller coaster blood sugar and the overproduction of insulin. This reduces stress on the pancreas to secrete insulin. Diabetics need glucose (sugar) absorbed into the bloodstream in a more steady manner. The way to do this is to eat foods that enter the bloodstream at a slow entry rate compared to foods that enter the bloodstream rapidly. This is the role of the glycemic index. It measures how fast a carbohydrate enters the bloodstream. The faster it enters the bloodstream the more blood sugar levels will rise. The higher the food on the glycemic index, the more blood sugar will rise and the more insulin will be secreted. Higher insulin levels and higher blood sugar are what diabetics want to avoid. Therefore diabetics want to eat as many foods as possible that are low on the glycemic index. This can help diabetics reduce roller coaster blood sugar levels and insulin surges.

There are many surprising facts on which foods are better for diabetics in relation to stabilizing blood sugar. We believe a little quiz will best make this point. We have some quiz questions. We suggest you answer them first. Then check the glycemic index and see if you want to change any of your answers. Then you can check your answers against the ones we provide after the glycemic chart. All the questions asked are in relation to which foods cause blood sugar to rise more and lead to insulin surges.

  1. Potatoes are a better food for diabetics than ice cream. Yes or No

  2. Whole wheat bread is a lot better for diabetics than white bread. Yes or No

  3. Orange juice is better for a diabetic than carrots. Yes or No

  4. Brown rice is much better than ice cream. Yes or No

  5. Soybeans are about the best food for a diabetic. Yes or No

  6. Whole-grain rye bread is about 40% better for a diabetic than brown rice. Yes or No

  7. Russet potatoes are better for a diabetic than fruit. Yes or No

  8. Whole grain foods are better for diabetics than foods in the bean family. Yes or No

  9. About the best foods for a diabetic are bread, cereal, potatoes, rice, and pasta. Yes or No.

  10. Oatmeal is better for a diabetic than corn flakes. Yes or No.

  11. Honey is better for a diabetic than fructose. Yes or No

  12. Brown Rice is better for a diabetic than spaghetti. Yes or No.

  13. Diary products are high in sugar. Yes or No.

  14. Bananas and raisins are better for a diabetic than orange juice. Yes or No

Table of Glycemic Index, Protein, Fat, & Carbohydrates

Food Glycemic Index % Protein % Fat % Carbohydrates
Bakery Goods
Pastry 59
Sponge cake 69
White bread 69 9 3 51
Whole white bread 72 9 3 49
Whole-grain rye bread 42
Dairy Products
Ice cream 36 5 11 21
Milk, skim 32 4     below 1 5
Milk, whole 34 4 4 5
Yogurt 36 3 2 5
Fish
Fish sticks 38 17 9 6
Fruit
Apples, Golden Del. 39
Bananas 62 1     below 1 22
Cherries 23
Grapefruit 26                below 1     below 1 4
Grapes 45 1     below 1 17
Orange juice 46 1     below 1 10
Oranges 40 1     below 1 12
Peaches 29 1     below 1 8
Pears 34 1     below 1 14
Plums 25 1     below 1 19
Raisins 64 2     below 1 77
Grains
All-Bran 51
Brown rice 66 1 1 25
Buckwheat 54
Cornflakes 80 8     below 1 85
Oatmeal 49 2 1 10
Shredded wheat 67
Swiss muesli 66
White rice 72 2 1 24
Spaghetti 50
Whole Wheat
Spaghetti
42
Sweet corn 59 3 1 19
Meat
Sausages 28
Nuts
Peanuts 13 26 49 21
Sugar
Fructose 20 100
Glucose 100 100
Honey 87                below 1 82
Maltose 110 100
Sucrose 100
Vegetables
Baked beans,
canned
40
Beets 64 2      below 1 10
Black-eyed peas 33
Carrots 92 1      below 1 10
Chickpeas 36
Kidney beans 29 8 1 21
Lentils 29 9 trace 19
Lima beans 36 8 1 20
Parsnips 97 1 1 15
Peas frozen 51 5      below 1 12
Potato chips 51 6 40 50
Potato, instant mashed 80 2 3 14
Potato baked russet 98 2      below 1 16
Potato, sweet 48 1      below 1 19
Potato, white 70 2      below 1 13
Soybean 15 11 6 11
Tomato soup 38 2 2 13
Yams 51 2      below 1 20

Answer:

  1. The answer is no. Potatoes measure 98 on the glycemic index. Glucose measures 100. Potatoes and some other foods are similar to glucose in the rate that they enter the bloodstream and result in rapid rises of blood sugar. Ice cream surprisingly is about one half the measure of potatoes on the glycemic chart.

  2. The answer is no. Whole wheat bread and white bread are about the same on the glycemic chart. The type of fiber in whole wheat bread is mainly called insoluble fiber. This type of fiber is important to the body, but it is not the main type of fiber that slows down blood sugar releasing into the bloodstream. Additionally, whole wheat bread and white bread both metabolize high amounts of glucose into the bloodstream. For both these reasons whole wheat bread is not much better than white bread in the rate which it raises blood sugar.

  3. The answer is yes. Orange juice is twice as low on the glycemic chart as carrots. Another observation is almost all the vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsley, and others that have parts of the plant that grow below the ground are high on the glycemic index. For example, on the glycemic index only sweet potatoes and yams are moderate. So a rule of thumb might be to avoid eating root vegetables unless you are sure they only raise blood sugar moderately. Also go very easy on fruit juices. Juices can lead to insulin surges. If you want to drink juice consider having it during a meal with fiber. The fiber will slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood. Another way to slow down absorption of sugar from juice is to add multi-fiber supplements to the juice (the body needs different fibers and this is why multi-fiber is advised).

  4. The answer is no. Ice cream is about 40% better than brown rice on the glycemic chart. (Many diary products are high in fats. Consider low-fat and non-fat diary products when possible.)

  5. The answer is yes. Soybeans are an excellent food for a diabetic. It is about the lowest food on the glycemic chart. In addition, it is high in protein. Diabetics need more protein than a non-diabetic does. For more information read the article "Diabetics Need Additional Protein" and Understanding High Protein Diets for Diabetics". Essentially diabetics are in a chronic catabolic state (a state of constant breakdown) and protein is needed to repair this constant breakdown. Diabetics need more protein to keep up with the rate of breakdown and destruction going on in the body. Soybeans are an excellent way for a diabetic to get protein. Also soybeans are loaded with fiber, including the soluble type that slows down rising blood sugar. Additionally, soybeans may improve thyroid function. This can assist in keeping metabolism high, which can aid in keeping weight off. There are many other benefits of soy products. We recommend a diabetic consider eating soy products at least once or twice a day (except soy sauce and soybean oil, which contain very little soybean protein).

  6. The answer is yes. About the best bread a diabetic can eat is whole grain rye. It is about 40% better for a diabetic than brown rice on the glycemic chart.

  7. The answer is no. Russet potatoes act almost as fast entering the bloodstream as glucose. Fruits contain fructose and this is released much slower into the blood than glucose. Fructose on the glycemic chart is a 20. It might be a good idea to use fructose as your sweetener whenever possible. For example, use dried fruit to sweeten cereals and avoid buying cereal with sugar added. Another sweetener diabetics might consider, found at health food stores, is called Stevia. It is an FDA approved "dietary supplement for nutritional benefits." The extracts of Stevia are approximately 30 times sweeter than cane sugar, or sucrose, yet has only 1/300 of the caloric value. It can be used both hot and cold and thus can be used in baking. It is water-soluble.

  8. The answer is no. Beans are much better on the glycemic index than whole grain foods.

  9. The answer is no. Most bread and starches quickly convert into glucose, which can raise blood sugar levels rapidly. This is not exactly the way people perceive grains. However, grains can lead to weight gain, as well as blood sugar surges. Diabetics need to watch their grain and starch intake carefully. Most grains and starches are high on the glycemic index.

  10. The answer is yes. Oatmeal is about twice as low on the glycemic index than corn flake.

  11. The answer is no. Honey is nearly the same as glucose on the glycemic index. It is an 87 and glucose is a 100. Fructose is only 20! Beware of honey. It is not a food diabetics can afford to eat often.

  12. The answer is no. Spaghetti is much lower than brown rice on the glycemic index.

  13. The answer is no. Diary products are not high on the glycemic index. It is advised on diary products to check the carbohydrates and fat content.

  14. The answer is no. Orange juice is better than bananas and raisins on the glycemic index. Be careful with juices. The sugars in juices can cause insulin spikes. It is advised to take juices with fiber supplements or fiber meals. Drink only a
    little juice per day if necessary.

In summary, many foods are surprisingly high in glucose or low in the right kinds of fiber or both. These foods can raise blood sugar into dangerous ranges. Therefore use the glycemic index to familiarize yourself with the foods that are on the low end and on the high end.

Many diabetics, when they see these questions strongly disagree with some of the answers. For example, diabetics will say brown rice is healthier for you than ice cream. The idea is high blood sugar and high insulin levels are what diabetics need to avoid. If brown rice has more minerals, vitamins, and fiber than ice cream, that is not the point. You can take a multivitamin and mineral and a fiber supplement to replace what you may be missing, by not eating brown rice. The value of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other healthy ingredients in foods high on the glycemic index, may not balance the devastating consequences of high blood sugar. You can always take supplements, instead of eating foods high on the glycemic index.

Some diabetics claim honey is much healthier for you than glucose. Honey is devastating to blood sugar. So we suggest learn to eat fructose or Stevia. Don't be in denial about the glycemic index. If you disagree with it than your blood sugar levels may pay the price.


Note Ė In order for these anti-aging ideas to be successful, you must use supplements of the highest quality. Dr. Bob often said, "almost all supplement companies produce poor quality." You can consider the product page of this web site. Almost all the products met Dr. Bobís approval. Since he passed away we have attempted to keep the same high standards.

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The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of the statements contained on this web site. The information contained in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Remember each person's body is different and will react differently to various herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements. Therefore, any supplementation must be administered on an individual basis. Use the information found on this web site as precisely that: Information. You and your doctor must make any final decisions. This information is not meant to replace any doctor and patient consultation. This information should in no way replace your personal physician's advice.

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