Diabetes

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Diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic disease. It is estimated that in 2015, 415 million people had diabetes and that by 2040, 642 million people will have diabetes¹

Over 1 million Australians have diagnosed type 2 diabetes² , and for every four people diagnosed there is another that has the condition but doesn’t know it.³  This is known as pre-diabetes –where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the name given to a group of conditions in which there is too much glucose in the blood. The pancreas either cannot make insulin or it does not make enough insulin. Without insulin doing its job, glucose builds up in the blood leading to high blood glucose levels.

Types of diabetes include:

• Type 1: An autoimmune condition that destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas

• Type 2: A metabolic condition where the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin

• Gestational: A metabolic condition which occurs during pregnancy in part due to pregnancy hormones, and in most cases disappears shortly after giving birth

• Pre-diabetes: A condition where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. 

How can a Low GI diet help?

There is significant evidence that low GI diets not only decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes4  but also assist in improving the management of diabetes5 . Low GI diets have been shown to improve blood glucose levels, reduce insulin resistance and improve blood cholesterol, which are all important for managing diabetes and reducing the risk of long-term diabetes-related complications6Low GI and low glycemic load diets also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.7 It will also lower insulin levels, which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.

Top tips to help you manage your blood glucose

  • Swap it: There are simple swaps you can make to reduce the GI of your meal – for example choosing grainy bread over white bread. Try to include at least one low GI food with every meal or snack (if you have them). Get started with our Simple Swaps tool on the left of this page.
  • Exercise regularly: Being physically active every day will help improve your blood glucose levels and general health. Weight bearing exercises such as walking will also help you build strong bones and strengthen your muscles so they burn fat more efficiently. Aim for 30 – 60 minutes of moderate paced exercise every day – ideally on top of an active lifestyle.
  • Look for the Symbol: To help make healthy low GI choices quick and easy when you’re in the supermarket, look for the GI Symbol – an easy to recognise on-pack logo that you can trust.

Image of GI & Managing Diabetes Fact Sheet

Want to know more? Download a diabetes fact sheet here.

For a health professional fact sheet click here – more science referencing

 

Note: To view references please click on the subscript within the relevant paragraph.

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