Tag Archives: glycemic index


Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 18-1-2016


You could have been super busy on New Year’s, returning from a vacation or from a short getaway or even a party or fun celebration – and didn’t really have time to create your goals yet for the new year. Don’t worry, there is still time. You don’t have to be official and start on January 1st. You can start on any day of the year.

Composite image of new years resolutions on january calendarHere are some of the common goals of diabetics for the new year…

1.  Learn about the Weston A Price Foundation diet and switch your eating plan.
2.  Learn about – and follow the Glycemic Index.
3.  Take herbs for lowering your blood sugar.
4.  Clear up all infections – gums, toenail, yeast, etc.
5.  Start taking supplements.
6.  Get your vitamin D levels checked.
7.  Change aluminum pots and pans to stainless steel.
8.  Start walking more.
9.  Get a dog that likes to go for walks.
10. Pet the dog for consolation (instead of eating).
11. Eliminate all wheat from the diet.
12. Eliminate all sugar from the diet.
13. Stop eating foods with MSG in it.
14. Start gardening.
15. Buy heirloom seeds.
16. Start bicycling.
17. Go interview farmers about their grass fed beef.
18. Use the services of a herbalist.
19. Use the services of a nutritionist.
20. Use the services of a chiropractor.
21. Use the services of a massage therapist.
22. Spend more quality time with family.
23. Give up alcohol.
24. Eat two solid meals a day.
25. Change the grocery stores you go to.

What are your goals for this year? Many people don’t only have one goal; they have multiple goals. And by looking at the list, you see it’s entirely possible to accomplish five goals in one month. The first month, you could accomplish #1, 11, 12, 20, and 24. The second month, you could accomplish #7, 8, 13, 22 and 23. The more goals you achieve, the better you’ll feel both psychologically as well as physically.


Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva



Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 16-6-2015

glycemic indexQuizzes are fun and here are several questions about the Glycemic Index. Knowing these answers is important because it can help you regulate your own blood sugar levels. Doing what you can to keep your blood sugar levels closer to normal via diet is possible, and knowing how to avoid High Glycemic Index foods is a big part of it.

1. The Glycemic Index is a scale from 0 to 100 that measures carbohydrate foods. True or False?

2. Fats can also be given a Glycemic Index. True or False?

3. Protein foods may also be given a Glycemic Index. True or False?

4. Dairy products are protein foods and carbohydrate foods; therefore, they have a Glycemic Index.
True or False?

5. Nuts are protein foods so they don’t have a Glycemic Index. True or False?

6. The fruits with a low Glycemic Index include cherries, grapefruit, and apples. True or False?

7. The vegetables that could have a higher glycemic index are ones that are starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes. True or False?

8. The high fiber grains are healthy for you and have a low-Glycemic Index. True or False?

9. If a food is organic, it will have a lower Glycemic Index than a non-organic food. True or False?


1. True.
2. False. The Glycemic Index only measures carbohydrate foods; however, if a nut also contains carbohydrates, it will have a Glycemic Index.
3. True. Protein foods such as animal meats, poultry and fish do not have a Glycemic Index because they are protein and fat with no carbohydrates. However, any protein food that may also contain carbs has a Glycemic Index.
4. True.
5. False. Nuts are fat foods and the Glycemic Index only refers to carbohydrates, not fats. Nuts do contain a little protein, but it is not much. Nuts such as peanuts and cashews contain a little carbohydrate; thus these nuts will have a Glycemic Index.
6. True.
7. True.
8. False. Just because a food is high fiber does not mean it has a safe Glycemic Index.
9. False. The organic part of a food has nothing to do with its Glycemic Index.


Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva



Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 2-4-2015

Understanding the glycemic index cannot be stressed enough as a key factor in building a lasting healthy lifestyle for diabetes maintenance. Reflecting the quality of carbohydrates in a particular food, the glycemic index ranks foods according to how much they affect blood sugar levels.

Farm Fresh Potatoes...

Farm Fresh Potatoes…

Dr. Andrew Weil, the renowned writer and speaker on integrative medicine, has said “High-glycemic foods like rice cakes, bread, and potatoes stress the body’s insulin system and probably are chief culprits in obesity.”

The higher the number (ranking up to 100), the stronger the effect on blood sugar. In general, foods high in carbohydrates will rank higher on the glycemic index, whereas foods higher in fat or protein will rank lower. Not all carbohydrates will affect your blood sugar in the same manner, and there are plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that are perfectly suitable for a healthy meal plan while managing Type 2 diabetes. A comprehensive chart with foods and their respective GI levels can be found here.

Perhaps the most common (and arguably detrimental) vegetable individuals eat on a regular basis is the potato. The potato, a complex carbohydrate and very starchy vegetable, ranks higher on the GI than even white table sugar, especially when cooked in the most delicious way: into mashed potatoes. As Dr. Andrew Weil and other health professionals have agreed, eating white potatoes can have extremely negative effects on your levels of blood sugar.

Mashed potatoes, one of America’s favorite comfort foods, have a GI ranging from 80 to 95, and can spike your blood sugar levels immensely. The good news is there are plenty of vegetables to choose from that are equally mashable – and equally delicious. Mashed potatoes are so tasty because they are a creamy, starchy vegetable with mild flavors of salt and sweet butter. You can enjoy these same qualities in other mashed vegetables just the same, but by choosing vegetables with a lower GI, you will be doing your body better in the long run.

Learn about some healthy vegetables that can be used in place of white potatoes for your next “mashed potato” craving, and enjoy a few recipes to get you cooking your next diabetes-friendly meal in the kitchen…

1. Celery root. Also known as “celeriac,” this knobby root vegetable is a fantastic vegetable to get familiar with. When shopping for it at the market, look for a round, bulbous, gnarly-looking vegetable next to the sweet potatoes and turnips. Compared to other starchy vegetables, celery root is incredibly low in calories and very low in overall carbohydrate content. It has a GI ranging from 35 (when eaten raw) to about 65 (when cooked), and can be eaten in a number of ways. Shred it as you would with cabbage and use in a salad or slaw, or use it cooked as you would with any white potato dish.

Celery Root & Pear Puree
This sweet and savory mashed “potato” dish is wonderfully creamy and full of fall flavors.

3 pounds celery root, scrubbed, chopped
2 pears, peeled, chopped
2 cups low-fat milk
3 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1) Combine celery root, pears, milk, and garlic in a large pot; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until very soft, about 25 minutes.
2) Transfer to a food processor; puree until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to desired consistency. Serve warm.

From the Pumpkin Patch...

From the Pumpkin Patch…

2. Pumpkin. No doubt you’ve enjoyed pumpkin pie a number of times, but how often have you used it in savory dishes? Pumpkins can be roasted whole, used as fries, and mashed up exactly as white potatoes would, so you have no learning curve to get familiar with them. The vibrant orange coloration of the flesh is reflective of pumpkin’s strong antioxidant content, which has been shown to provide anti-carcinogenic properties. In addition, it’s been shown to improve lung health, immune healthy, and the digestive system – all valuable tips for a Type 2 diabetic. The GI of pumpkins appear relatively high on the table (ranging from 70 to 80), but the vegetable has a relatively low overall carbohydrate content, due to the higher proportion of fiber, minerals, and other nutrients – so don’t be afraid to enjoy this healthful foods as part of your balanced meal plan.

Mashed Pumpkin
This time-saving recipe calls upon canned pumpkin – just make sure you are buying unsweetened, unflavored pumpkin puree.

4 cups canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
2) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; whisk well to mix. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake, covered, until warmed through, about 30 minutes.

 3. Turnips. Depending on how they are prepared, turnips can rank anywhere from 30 to 80 on the GI scale. They are chockfull of vitamins and minerals, which helps to balance out the overall carbohydrate content. Part of the cabbage family, these cruciferous vegetables possess strong detoxifying and anti-carcinogenic properties – it’s those properties that give them their characteristic “bite.” Especially beneficial to eat in the winter months, turnips can help to keep a healthy immune system by keeping the system well-cleansed.

Mashed Turnips
The trick to getting a delicious turnip is to boil them in a small amount of sugar and salt. When mashed, they become simply irresistible.

6 cups peeled, chopped turnips
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1) Place turnips, salt, and sugar in a large pot; cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; lower to a simmer and cook, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
2) Combine drained turnips, milk, and butter in a large bowl; mash with beaters or a potato mashed to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva


Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 21-1-2015

You may be wondering this, and the same question was asked by Chinese doctors and researchers in 2013. They tested 140 pregnant women diagnosed with Gestational diabetes to see if there would be any benefits.

Pregnant woman eating sandwichA low-GI diet is one that replaces foods rated medium high and high on the Glycemic Index scale with foods that have a low-glycemic index. Foods with a low-GI are rated 0 to 55 on this scale; foods rated 56 to 69 are medium high-GI and foods 70 and above are rated high- GI foods.

In China, rice is eaten frequently for lunch and dinner but rice is a medium high or high-GI food. By replacing rice with low-GI foods such as yams and other non-starchy vegetables, you can see how your body responds and what happens to your blood sugar levels. If you continue the substitution for about three months, you can see what has happened with your hemoglobin A1c levels. The hemoglobin A1c levels are a way to see what has happened to your overall blood sugar levels in the previous three months.

The researchers divided the women into two groups – one group that ate a low-GI diet and one group that didn’t. Even though the women were only on the diet for 5 days, they were able to reduce their blood sugar levels significantly after breakfast, lunch and dinner. The researchers concluded a low-GI diet reduces blood sugar levels in women with Gestational diabetes.

If you are pregnant and have had Gestational diabetes, you are prone to develop it again during subsequent pregnancies. But now you have a solution. Go to the other articles on our site on Low-Glycemic index foods and Low-glycemic index diet and read them all. Create a plan for yourself. You will help yourself and your developing baby.

Source: Hu, Z.G., et al. A Low Glycemic Index Staple Diet Reduced Postprandial Glucose Values in Asian Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. J Investig Med 2014 Sept 8. Epub ahead of print.

Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva

New Info on the Glycemic Index and on Foods/Diet for Diabetics

New Info on the Glycemic Index and on Foods/Diet for Diabetics
Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 8-4-2014

We’ve reported on the Glycemic Index here on our site for several years now. It’s time to bring you the most updated information from the recent studies on the Glycemic Index.

Here are some new findings you may not know about yet:

1. A higher intake of dietary fiber was correlated with a lower risk of having high fasting blood sugar levels but not with a lower risk of high Hemoglobin A1c. However, the Glycemic load and amount of carbohydrates in the diet still were strongly correlated with high blood sugar levels.

Source: Farvid, M.S., et al. Glycemic index,, Glycemic load and their association with Glycemic control among patients with type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 2014 Feb 19.

2. Millet was found by scientists in India to have a Glycemic index of 50 when dehulled and a Glycemic index of 41.7 when dehulled and heated. Millet is 60% carbohydrate, 3.6% fat and 10.5% protein with 12.6% fiber and providing 398 calories/100 grams.

When fed to diabetics for 28 days, levels of laboratory indices fell:

Glucose            139.2                        131.1 mg/dl

LDL-C               167.7                        162.9 mg/dl

VLDL-C               24.0                          23.2 mg/dl

HDL                     3.2                            3.1

Source: Ugare, R., et al. Glycemic index and significance of barnyard millet (Echinochioa frumentacae) in type II diabetics. J Food Sci Technol 2014 Feb;51(2):392-5.



3. When 70 diabetic patients (Type 2) were given 1600 mg ginger versus 1600 mg wheat flour placebo daily for 3 months, the ginger improved insulin sensitivity. Specifically, fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol decreased along with CRP and PGE2.

The researchers concluded the ginger consumption can be a good way to prevent the complications of diabetes.

Source: Arablou, T., et al. The effect of ginger consumption on Glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2014 Feb 4.

A Diabetics Guide to Choosing Alternative Sweeteners and Sugars

A Diabetics Guide to Choosing Alternative Sweeteners and Sugars
Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 18-2-2014

Many that condemn sugar for its negative effects on health seem to prefer to suggest in its place people consume an alternative sweetener. But the truth is alternative sweeteners can be just as bad for you as sugar, if not in some cases worse.

Do you know which alternative sweeteners are better for your health than sugar? If not, read on as I try to break it down to help you have an easier time when choosing.

The following is a list of common sugars and sweeteners, their glycemic index (GI) and other important factors to consider when choosing all types of the sweet stuff:

Maltodextrin – This sugar has a very high-GI rating of 150. Which means it is deadly for a diabetic.
Glucose / Dextrose – This type of sugar also has a considerably high-GI of 100, which is the same as white bread.
High Fructose Corn Syrup – This alternative sweetener has a GI of 87, and is more damaging to the body than even table sugar.
Corn Syrup – This alternative sweetener has a GI of 75, which means if table sugar has negative effects for a diabetic (see below), then corn syrup definitely will.
White / Refined Table Sugar – This sugar has a GI of 65, which is considered on the high end of the spectrum with the worst effects to blood sugar coming from foods in this range. Most table sugar comes from plantations that are Genetically Modified, and is often so refined there are hardly any nutrients left, and it can also cause mineral depletion.
Refined Honey – This type of honey has a high-GI of 75 due to how much processing it has been subjected to, which sadly makes it no better than sugar on blood sugar levels which is what matters at the end of the day.
Evaporated Cane Juice – Has a lower-GI than white sugar but it is still refined and lacking nutrients which is why we eat  food – not just for a sweet kick!



Raw Honey – This type of honey is completely different to the refined honey and unpasteruised and less processed types (such as Manuka), and can be as low as 50 on the GI charts. Plus they have most of their amazing nutrients intact.
Coconut Palm Sugar – With a GI of 35, this nutrient rich low-GI sweetener that is acquired from the flowers growing on coconut trees, makes a much better alternative to white sugar, even for baking.
Agave Nectar – Although it has a low-GI of 30 and the agave plant itself is full of health benefits, sadly due to the amount of processing the common store bought agave syrups have been subjected to, makes them not much better for your health than regular white table sugar. Use sparingly.
Xylitol – A sugar alcohol with a GI of 7 making this a much better option for keeping blood sugar levels stable –  but again please use it sparingly as most brands of Xylitol are GMO and it could cause an intestinal issue.
Stevia – Finally, we reach the cream of the crop in terms of alternative sweeteners, as Stevia has a GI of 0! This sweetener is also 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar so use it sparingly for this reason only!
Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Sucralose) – Whilst these too have a GI of 0, they are by no means good for your health, as all artificial sweeteners are toxic and have demonstrated causing weight gain and kidney stones.

I hope this guide has been informative and you feel much more informed when going shopping for sweeteners or sugars of any kind. Stevia and coconut sugar are the clear best choices for your blood sugar level and overall health.

Remember the key to working out what amount suits you is to pay attention to how you feel after consuming the different types of sweeteners on offer and to go sparingly with most types, as even if they are low on the GI scale and demonstrate the ability to be gentle on your blood sugar – they still may be doing damage to your health in other ways.

Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Follow me on… Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva

Is There A Link Between Developing Type 2 Diabetes and Eating White Rice?

Is There A Link Between Developing Type 2 Diabetes and Eating White Rice?
Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 16-2-2014

Recent research has found a link between a high consumption of nutrient stripped white rice and the development of Type 2 diabetes.



The research team made comments to the British Medical Journal, stating the link they found came about from analyzing four previously published studies carried out in China, Japan, Australia and the United States. All together these particular studies followed 350,000 people over a timescale of 4 to 22 years and, at the end of these studies, more than 13,000 of the participants went onto develop full-blown Type 2 diabetes.

The studies carried out in China and Japan found the people who ate the most rice had a 55 per cent chance of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate the least. Whereas, when the researchers looked at the US and Australian studies where consumption of white rice is far lower, the difference was a 12 percent chance of developing the disease compared to those who also ate the least.

The participants living in Japan and China typically ate three or four servings of rice a day on average, compared to just one or two servings a week in the Western countries.

Qi Sun from the study carried out at the Harvard School of Public Health made the following comments…

“What we’ve found is white rice is likely to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, especially at high consumption levels such as in Asian populations.”

Going on to say…

“But at the same time people should pay close attention to the other things they eat. It’s very important to address not just a single food but the whole pattern of consumption.” Brown rice is a much healthier choice when compared with white rice that has been polished, hulled, bleached and milled which, by the time it reaches your table, is predominately starch.”

So when looking to make healthier choices as a Type 2 diabetic you are advised to opt for brown rice to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. Brown rice is less processed than white rice and has a lower glycemic index measurement – 44 compared to 72 for short-grain white rice. Brown rice also contains more fiber, magnesium and vitamins than white rice.

Even if you live outside of Japan and China, it should be remembered if you consume, on average, the same amount of white rice as they do in those two countries, then your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes increase from 12 percent to a massive 55 per cent.

Sources: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/white-rice-link-seen-with-type-2-diabetes/story-fn3dxity-1226301604911

Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Follow me on… Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva

Study Finds Legumes Eaten Daily Lowers Hemoglobin A1C Levels

Study Finds Legumes Eaten Daily Lowers Hemoglobin A1C Levels
Posted by admin, Dated 25-11-2013

bhp.BeansThere’s a big debate amongst health professionals about legumes. Many of them simply consider legumes to be foods, although they don’t know any of the health benefits. Some health experts report legumes have a substance in them called lectins that are supposedly bad for the body. The lectins could make the gut permeable and contribute to leaky gut syndrome. That’s why these professionals advise those with allergies and leaky gut to stay away from them.

On the other hand, those who teach the Glycemic Index, advocate legumes. They say lentils and beans are a low Glycemic Index food and because of this, the lentils and beans are good for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Added to any meal, the lentils will bring down your blood sugar levels. Beans and lentils are also a good source of fiber.

In New Delhi, India, researchers tested to see what the effect of legume intake was on the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. They analyzed data from a population-based cross-sectional study of 99,574 women and 56,742 men who were between the ages of 20 and 49 years old.

The study size is always important to know because it tells us how accurate the conclusions would be. The greater the study participant number, the more accurate the study. You wouldn’t expect a study with only 10 people in it would be as accurate as one with 10,000 people in it. This is because the differences in population would be more reflective as to what happens in a real population.

The original data also examined consumption of alcohol, smoking habit, number of hours they watched television, educational level, where they lived, and age but they didn’t compare any of these in the analysis.

The women who ate legumes (beans and pulses) had less incidence of Type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t. But interestingly, there was no relationship found in the men who ate legumes.

Source: BMC Public Health. 2013 Aug 2;13:706. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-706.

Type 2 Diabetes and Carrots…

Type 2 Diabetes and Carrots…
Posted by admin, Dated 2-9-2013

Girl with carrotsA few days ago I went to the farmer’s market and one of the vendors offered me a taste of her organically grown carrots. It was sweet, unlike the cardboard-tasting carrots I generally find at the grocery stores.

And today I found research linking the beta-carotene in carrots to genetics and diabetes.

Specifically, they knew that one gene can allow your body to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A and is associated with a decreased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, another totally different gene variant that shows a preference for gamma tocopherol (vitamin E) may increase the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

So the bottom line is both these nutrients affect the gene, sort of in a push/pull type of action. When one nutrient pushes the gene hard enough into diabetes, the other backs off. The specific gene is called SLC30A4 and it’s found in the pancreas cells that produce insulin. It also helps the mineral zinc get into the insulin-producing cells where insulin is next pumped out.

What the researchers aren’t remembering here is that the antioxidant vitamins protect each other in the body. Vitamin E protects Vitamin A. Vitamin A protects vitamin C. Vitamin C protects vitamin E. And so on.

There’s more of a complex interaction occurring from diet and nutrient status here than what they’re reporting. It may just be too early to discover it.

In the meantime, don’t worry about the myth about carrots having a high Glycemic Index and start drinking your carrot juice! A few glasses each week can only help.

What Will You Ask For As A Gift For Christmas?

What Will You Ask For As A Gift For Christmas?
Posted by Beverleigh Piepers RN, Dated 12-12-2011

As a diabetic, there are many things you could ask for this Christmas or holiday season – things you may not have considered before. Here’s a list.

1. A diabetic cruise for 3 days to one week. Why not learn the latest strategies to eliminate diabetes while living in luxury?
2. More diabetic supplies. It’s always helpful to have at least a 60-day supply on hand. Disaster experts recommend 90 days.
3. A few new cookbooks that focus on diabetic cooking
4. Diabetic footsies – these are socks that are automatically warmed up by a battery but they never get too hot
5. A gift basket filled with all kinds of remedies that are proven to work on wounds that won’t heal.
6. A gift certificate at a hyperbaric oxygen clinic for a full 30-treatment cycle. (This can literally reverse peripheral neuropathy by forcing new nerves to grow just by breathing in 100% oxygen.)
7. A series of massages, one for every month for six months.
8. A new electric toothbrush set, complete with new brush heads.
9. A toothbrush sanitizer. Why not prevent yourself from reinfecting your own mouth tissues?
10. A mini vacation weekend getaway to a warm climate along with sunscreen
11. An iron pot set for cooking – to replace aluminum ones
12. A puppy that will love only you.
13. A musical instrument you used to play as a child.
14. A book on the Glycemic Index.
15. A certificate to some herb classes on how to lower blood sugar with herbs.
16. A six-month supply of cactus jelly or cactus nectar, which can help lower blood sugar levels.
17. A fleece lining for your car seat.
18. A three-month trial of sheep placenta capsules for diabetics. Rich in stem cells, some diabetics are reporting amazing results with this.

If you come up with any more good ideas, let me know!