By the Nose

By Dean L. Jones

Diabetes is a serious disease and is emerging as a standard cash flow for thousands of businesses.  For example, there is a huge number of dialysis treatment centers that are unfortunately filled each day to capacity and they are literally less than four miles apart throughout most of the Los Angeles County.  Television commercials routinely air describing how to obtain insulin monitoring apparatus.  Newly developed oral medications are being approved that diabetes sufferers are prescribed by doctors including sulfonylureas, chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Micronase, DiaBeta, Glynase), and glimepiride (Amaryl), Repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix), metformin (Glucophage), rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos), acarbose (Precose) and meglitol (Glyset), sitagliptin (Januvia),…

Each of the aforementioned drugs work for a variety of symptoms from decreasing glucose production to increasing insulin sensitivity, and vice versa.  Some actually slow the breakdown of carbohydrates (carbs).  There are research clinics taking on patients as laboratory studies, recruiting men and women ages 18 and older who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes to establish the effects of taking certain oral drugs.

Avoiding or reducing the amount of processed sugar is a huge step to help minimize contracting type 2 diabetes.  Likewise, closely screening the intake from the ever-expanding fast food choices is a smart eating practice.  Because our fast-food nation is leading consumers around by the nose like foodstuff addicts wanting to ingest advertised juicy sandwiches and/or the multitude of spicy chicken pleasures.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food is digested and converted into glucose into the body.  The foods that rank under 55 on the GI are frequently referred to as slow carbs because they digest more slowly than unhealthy carbs.  Common foods in this category are artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, all types of greens, okra, peppers, squash and zucchini.  Among the starchy slow digesting vegetables are peas, carrots, parsnips and yams.  Fruits tend to be higher in natural sugars than vegetables and so they are digested and absorbed more quickly by the body, but still, a number of fruits are considered slow carbs, including apples, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines and grapefruit.

My favorite slow carbs are beans and legumes that have a GI under 55.  So anyone can take their pick of baked beans, black-eyed peas, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, lentils, soybeans and even peanuts.  The added advantage of these foods are that they are rich sources of plant protein.  With their high fat, high protein and low carbohydrate content, nuts and seeds are slow to digest.  Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts and cashews all rank under 25 on the GI, while sesame, amaranth, squash, sunflower and sprouted seeds are under 35.  Peanut butter, unsweetened pastes and butters made from low-GI nuts are each slow-digesting carbs.  Live SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.