High GI foods linked to lifestyle diseases


Sydney: Scientists in Australia have found conclusive evidence that a high GI diet, generally rich in food that is burnt by the body quickly, leads to a higher risk of common lifestyle diseases.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how different foods affect your blood glucose levels, with those that are “low GI” released more slowly and deemed better for health. This slow release means that less insulin is released into the bloodstream and the body’s stores less fat.

A team of nutrition experts at the University of Sydney evaluated 37 diet studies involving nearly two million people worldwide to analyse the effect of eating high GI foods, which are usually highly processed.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found a link between a high GI diet and a high risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.The diet was also linked to gall stones and some types of cancer.

Lead researcher, Alan Barclay said: “The key message from this study is that the GI of your diet is a powerful predictor of disease risk.Grandma was right, you are what you eat.”

He said the link with diabetes was “not surprising” because eating high GI foods inflates your blood glucose and insulin levels.

“You may literally ‘wear out’ your pancreas over time and eventually it may lead to type 2 diabetes in older age,” Mr Barclay said.

The researchers were more surprised by the “strong relationship” between GI and cancer.

High GI foods cause constant spikes in blood glucose which increase insulin and a related substance called ‘insulin-like growth factor one’, both of which have been shown to increase the risk of developing cancer.

“Other research shows that a high GI diet tends to reduce ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels and raise triglycerides levels; bad news for cardiovascular diseases,” he said.

“And people with low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels are more prone to gall stones.”

The researchers said their findings support eating a low GI diet to maintain healthy weight and help avoid disease.

Caryl Nowson, a professor of nutrition and ageing at Deakin University in Melbourne, said because high GI foods were typically high in fat and sugar and low in fibre, they were also ready known to be linked with disease.

“This review is just a new way of breaking down dietary information we already have,” Prof Nowson said.

She said while the benefits of eating according to GI rating had been proven, it was just one of many ways to structure a healthy diet.

“If you focus on having a classically balanced diet high in fibre and low in sugar, fat and refined foods you’ll find you’re eating relatively low GI anyway,” Prof Nowson said.

Low GI diet produces healthier babies

Sydney: Eating a diet with a “low glycemic index” during pregnancy may result in healthier babies, according to a new study from Australia.

The glycemic index (GI) of a food is the measure of how quickly blood sugar (glucose) rises after meals. For example, foods with a higher fibre content such as as whole wheat and vegetables have a hlower GI than those containing simple starches, such as biscuits and pastries.

Doctors at the Wollongong Hospital in New South Wales, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the glycemic index of a pregnant woman’s diet could be expected to play a role in fetal health.

The team instructed 62 pregnant women to either eat plenty of low-glycemic index foods or high-fibre foods with a moderate-to-high glycemic index. Women said they had an easier time following the low-glycemic index diet.

Infants born to the 30 women on the high-glycemic index diet were heavier than the babies of the 32 women on the low- glycemic index diet. These infants also had a higher ponderal index, a measure of weight in relation to length. One third of the babies whose mothers were on the high-glycemic index diet were heavy for their gestational age, compared to 3.1 percent of the infants whose mothers ate a low-glycemic index diet.

GI diet speeds weightloss

Sydney: New research has shown that a diet which scores low on the “glycaemic index” (GI) helps overweight people lose body fat and reduce their levels of “bad” cholesterol, which contributes to the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

A study of 189 overweight and obese adults, carried out by the University of Sydney concluded that a diet high in either protein or carbohydrates, but with a low total GI score, brought about the biggest reduction of body fat, and that a high-carbohydrate and low GI diet caused the greatest drop.

The researchers studied men and women aged 18-40 assigned to one of four reduced-calorie and reduced-fat diets for 12 weeks.

The first diet was high in carbohydrates (55 percent of total energy) but low on the GI index. The second was high in carbohydrates and high in GI rating. The third was high in protein(25 percent of total energy) and high in GI score, while the fourth was also high in protein but low in GI score.

After three months, all the volunteers lost a statistically similar amount of weight: between 4.2 and 6.2 percent of their body weight. However, those on the low GI diets lost the most body fat, with those on the high-carb, low-GI diet losing about 80 percent more body fat than those on the high-carb and high-GI diet.

As for cholesterol levels, the researchers said the effects of each diet varied, with those eating the high-protein, high-GI diet seeing their LDL cholesterol level increase, while those on the high-protein, low GI regimen, saw cholesterol levels go down slightly.

The GI measures the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Food with a high GI score, like biscuits, causes sharper peaks in sugar levels than low GI food, such as pasta, which makes people feel fuller for longer, and may promote the breakdown of fat and reduce total and low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.

New sweetner with health benefits launches in UK


London: Perfect Sweet announces the launch of a new, completely natural, low carb, low GI sweetener with a host of health benefits, making it perfect for dieters, diabetics, children, dental patients, mums-to-be and women at high risk of osteoporosis – as well as anyone concerned about oral health and general well-being.

A deliciously sweet alternative to sugar for everyday use, Perfect Sweet is derived entirely from xylitol, a naturally occurring substance found in strawberries, plums and pears. Whilst it looks and tastes just as good as sugar, it offers a much healthier alternative.

Because xylitol releases its energy, much slower than any other sugar or sweetener, people who eat it in the place of sugar feel fuller for longer and are less likely to snack. This makes Perfect Sweet deal for diabetics or others for those on low GI diets who need to keep their blood sugar stable.

Xylitol contains 40% fewer calories than conventional sugar and has a GI (Glycemic Index) count of just seven, compared to conventional sugar (which has a GI of 49). That means you would have to eat up to seven times as much Perfect Sweet to have the same effect on your blood sugar – or your hips. For those on a low carb diet, xylitol makes an ideal companion too, with it having 75% fewer available carbohydrates than sugar.

Perfect Sweet has a number of other surprising health benefits, which makes it much more than just another alternative to sugar. Added to a range of food and drinks such as tea, coffee, smoothies, cereals, fruit puddings or snacks, Perfect Sweet can turn everyday drinks and food into delicious health products.

“We all know the consequences of our addiction to sugar: weight gain, mood swings, skin problems, diabetes, oral cavities and even infections such as overgrowth of Candida Albicans, which is though to lead to thrush and many other afflictions,” says Edward Baylis at Perfect Sweet. “But until now there just hasn’t been a satisfactory, non-chemical alternative to sugar. The most exciting thing about Perfect Sweet is that for the first time we have a 100% natural, completely healthy product, that is not only as delicious as the stuff we’re used to, but actually delivers a host of positive health benefits. This is the kind of product parents will be encouraging their kids to eat!”

Priced at £2.69 for a 225g pack, Perfect Sweet is available in selected Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Holland and Barrett and Waitrose stores. For more information www.perfectsweet.co.uk

More benefits of Perfect Sweet

Oral Health
One of the major discoveries in respect to xylitol was the discoveryfinding that when it iwas broken down in the mouth and stomach it produces an alkaline environment, rather than an acidic one , which like like sugar does. This means thatIn this alkaline environment the bacteria that cause tooth decay can’t survive and decay is prevented. Thee alkaline environment which is created also favours calcium and mineral absorption so enamel decay is even seen to be reversed.

Increased calcium absorption in the stomach has led to studies observing a much improved bone density (stronger bones) when using xylitol regularly. This could be a potentially massive be a huge help for those living with conditions such as osteoporosis.

Bacterial and Yeast Infections
The killing of bacteria with xylitol, has further led to the discovery that ear infections, and other bacterial and yeast infections (such as thrush), can be prevented when using it. There has been particular interest in the use of xylitol to help prevent ear infections in young children.