Persons with type 2 diabetes who had a diet high in low-glycemic foods such as nuts, beans and lentils had greater improvement in glycemic control and risk factors for coronary heart disease than persons on a diet with an emphasis on high-cereal fiber, according to a study in the December 17 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
One dietary strategy aimed at improving both diabetes control and cardiovascular risk factors is the use of low–glycemic index diets, but there is disagreement over their effectiveness, according to background information in the article.
David J. A. Jenkins, M.D., of St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, and colleagues assessed the effects of a low–glycemic index diet vs. a high–cereal fiber diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors for 210 patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants, who were treated with antihyperglycemic medications, were randomly assigned to receive 1 of the 2 diet treatments for 6 months.
In the low–glycemic index diet, the following foods were emphasized: beans, peas, lentils, nuts, pasta, rice boiled briefly and low–glycemic index breads (including pumpernickel, rye pita, and quinoa and flaxseed) and breakfast cereals (including large flake oatmeal and oat bran). In the high–cereal fiber diet, participants were advised to take the "brown" option (whole grain breads; whole grain breakfast cereals; brown rice; potatoes with skins; and whole wheat bread, crackers, and breakfast cereals). Three servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables were encouraged on both treatments.