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GI & Diabetes

There is significant evidence that low GI diets decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, and improve the management of diabetes.

Supporting scientific papers:


Low-glycemic index diets as an intervention for diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Low-GI diets may be useful for glycemic control and may reduce body weight in people with prediabetes or diabetes. Zafar et al,  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqz149.


High GI diets may significantly increase Type 2 diabetes risk.

An updated systematic review and meta-analysis by a team of 25 international scientists and researchers on GI, GL and the risk of Type 2 diabetes found that high GI diets could increase the risk of people developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 87 per cent. Livesey et al, Nutrients 2019, (ISSN 2072-6643)


Dietary Glycemic Index and Load and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Assessment of Causal Relations..

The study concluded that glycemic index and glycemic load are dietary factors probably causal of Type 2 diabetes and should be considered by future dietary guideline committees for inclusion in food and nutrient-based recommendations. Livesey et al, Nutrients 2019, (ISSN 2072-6643)


Dietary substitutions for refined carbohydrate that show promise for reducing risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women.

The evidence suggests that diets rich in low GI carbohydrates, cereal fibre, resistant starch, fat from vegetable sources (i.e., unsaturated fat), and lean sources of protein should be emphasized, whereas refined sugars and starches are to be avoided in order to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its related risk factors and comorbidities. Maki et al, J Nutr. 2015 Jan;145(1):159S-163S


Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies.

With an emphasis on overall diet quality, several dietary patterns such as Mediterranean, low glycemic index, moderately low carbohydrate, and vegetarian diets can be tailored to personal and cultural food preferences and appropriate calorie needs for weight and diabetes prevention and management. Ley et al, Lancet. 2014 Jun 7;383(9933)


Is there a dose-response relation of dietary glycemic load to risk of type 2 diabetes? Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

Based on this systematic review, the authors concluded that observational studies show a strong and significantly lower risk of developing type 2 Diabetes in persons who consume lower-GL diets. Livesey et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan 30.


Effects of different protein content and glycaemic index of ad libitum diets on diabetes risk factors in overweight adults: the DIOGenes multicentre, randomized, dietary intervention trial.

It was found that after a weight loss period, a modest increase in the dietary protein content and a decrease in the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index produced favourable effects on glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese subjects. Goyenechea et al. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2011 May 17.


Low glycaemic index, or low glycaemic load, diets for diabetes mellitus:

This Cochrane Review (systematic review and meta-analysis) found that a healthy low GI diet can significantly improve glycemic control in people with diabetes without increasing hypoglycemic events (hypos) compared to conventional healthy diets. Thomas et al. The Cochrane Library 2009, Issue 1


For more general information on GI & Diabetes please review our fact sheets:

GI & Managing Diabetes – Consumer

Glycemic Index & Diabetes – Healthcare Professional


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