I got a talking-to from the GP: my blood sugar level has been rising and although there’s nothing to worry about yet, he thought that I ought to be aware of my exercise regime and diet.
This dietary issue has introduced me to a new set of issues. Of course, exercise is good, and alcohol and sugar are “bad”, but so too are some carbs. It all depends on the Glycemic Index (GI) of carbohydrates. This opened a new world to me. I checked the internet and then walked the supermarket aisles. I thought I could just look for foods labelled “Low GI”. After all, there are “gluten-free” and “organic” foods, aren’t there?
But, no such luck. Although the supermarket aisles are full of organic and gluten-free foods, few if any products are labelled with a GI figure, even though a Low GI symbol is available. This is perhaps because there are factors other than the inherent quality of the food itself that affect the GI, most notably, the preparation and cooking processes. So, choosing appropriate foods is a little more complex than just looking at the label. Yet there are choices to be made: “quick” oats have a higher GI rating than normal rolled oats, and whole-grain is even better. In relation to potatoes, there’s a specific variety that has a much lower GI than others (at Coles). Most rice is “not good”, and bread should be wholegrain if possible. But when I bought some muesli with “wholegrain oats” (because there were no “wholegrain oats” to be seen), thinking that it was “good”, I was told by a family member, “but it’s full of dried fruit, which is chockers with sugar”!!!! And it goes on……
But I do wonder if greater use if the Low GI label could occur? Diabetes Australia state that around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered and up to 500,000 undiagnosed estimated). This is before taking into account the people such as myself who “aren’t there” yet but might benefit from watching their diet. All of these would benefit from more labelling.
On the other hand, far fewer people have coeliac disease (perhaps 250,000 all up). True, people with this disease probably have to be even more careful (to avoid gluten) than most people who have blood sugar issues, but it seems a little perverse that labelling of foods is so much more convenient or them.
However, my “journey” has only just commenced; no doubt there’s a way to go yet.