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Diabetics Can Eat Sugary Foods
Many other 'taboo' foods may be OK

FRIDAY, October 20 (HealthSCOUT) —  Generations of diabetics have been following misguided dietary advice, a published report says.

The goal for diabetics is to avoid heavy surges in blood sugar after eating. Doctors have long advised patients to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates -- starchy foods such as crackers or potatoes. But a new understanding of how foods contribute to blood sugar have rewritten all the advice.

Some of the new revelations are quite surprising. Baked potatoes, for example, release sugar into the body faster than pure table sugar. The new insight also means that sugar and other foods often considered taboo might be incorporated into a sensible diet.

A feature from The Times of London explains that the revisionist diets are based on the glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly foods release sugar into the body. Foods with a low GI rating release sugar gradually, which is ideal for diabetics and a good goal for non-diabetics, too.

By the way, diabetics shouldn't fret that their own doctors haven't told them how to use the GI rating of various foods to plan a better diet -- many of them are just learning about it, too. Rick Mendosa, a medical writer with adult-onset diabetes, has created an extensively referenced Web site explaining the glycemic index in detail. A companion Web page lists the GI ranking for hundreds of foods.