(NaturalNews) A new study carried out at Ohio State University and published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling shows that consuming a number of foods with low glycemic indexes (GI)each day can improve long-term dietary habits for type-2 diabetes patients.
The study was carried out on 35 type-2 diabetes sufferers aged 35 to 65. Lead study author and professor of human nutrition, Carla Miller, explained that setting simple goals can help anyone overcome unhealthy eating habits, regardless of their history.
Low GI foods regulate health
Consequently, participants in the study were asked to eat either 6 or 8 daily servings of low GI foods over aneight-week period, as such foods contain slow release carbohydrates and will not dramatically elevate blood sugar levels. To achieve this goal, participants tweaked their diets by replacing 500 calories worth of food with low-glycemic-index foods, including whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Foods are usually measured against a GI range with a maximal value of 100, and those that score in the lower half of the range (with a GI of 55 or less) are generally considered healthy.
Some high GI foods include refined sugars and high sugar fruits and vegetables like watermelon, dates, squash and pineapple; fruit juices, jams and jellies, and cooked potatoes.
Previous research conducted by Dr. Miller showed that when on a predominantly low GI diet, diabetes sufferers are able to shed extra weight, lower their BMI and decrease their waist circumference.
Type-2 diabetes patientscan benefit from progressive diet goals with low GI foods
The science team also noted that participants who were confident in their ability to reshape their dietary habits showed more commitment and had a better chance of success. "We ask people to set goals because they motivate action. Telling people to 'go out and do your best' is not effective. It's not specific enough, or targeted enough, or timely. But in this context it's not just a matter of setting a goal. It's deciding what specifically you are going to modify to help you achieve a more healthful diet," explained Dr. Carla Miller.
Since no guidelines pertaining to the consumption of low GI foods currently exist in the scientific community, many doctors fear that a diet regime based on low GI foods would be difficult for diabetes patients to follow. However, Dr. Miller is confident that her research comes to prove the opposite -- that with the right education, people can learn to make the right dietary choices.
By the time the trial ended, Dr. Miller and her team discovered that many of the participants were in fact already consuming a multitude of low GI foods, even before entering the trial, as a means of fighting against diabetes. "We learned that we should set the goal for low-glycemic-index foods higher. We also learned that we need to set an individualized goal. We know that people can increase their consumption by almost two servings a day if that specific goal is set," explained Miller.
The Ohio State study managed to surpass its original purpose in that it showed the importance of goal-setting in controlling eating impulses. Setting substitution goals (which means replacing an unhealthy food item with a healthier version that would target the same craving) can prove particularly helpful for people dealing with diabetes.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.
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