Thursday, March 19, 2009

Satiety and the GI factor

Ever wondered why whole grain bread makes you feel fuller than white, well wonder no more!
Scientists at Kings College London got 12 volunteers to eat a medium glycemic index (GI) meal before bed, then for breakfast one group ate a low (46) GI meal and the other a high (66). Blood samples were drawn every 30 min for 150 min, and both insulin and glucagon like peptide 1 was measured. It has been shown that GLP1 causes a feeling of fullness and decreased appetite. In the group that consumed the low GI meal their production of this gut hormone was higher. Interestingly some of the newer classes of diabetes medications such as Byetta clinically mimic this hormone. In fact patients using this drug often lose weight.

So what's the take home, well back in the UK where I am from and also Australia and Europe dietitians often discuss the glycemic index with patients, and encourage more whole grains, whole wheat pasta and less processed food. With carbohydrates its important to think of quality and quantity, folks can get confused with GI as carrots are high but you eat them as part of a meal, also the way you cook has an effect. For example cook pasta al dente as overcooked pasta has a higher GI.

Basically GI is just another tool in the toolbox to make better food choices, a low GI diet/healthy diet is one with less highly processed foods, more whole grains and fruits and vegetables. We should be all eating this way for health especially if we have diabetes for better blood sugar control.


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