||Food in The News
Right Breakfast Bread Keeps Blood
Sugar in Check All Day
If you eat the right grains for breakfast, such
as whole-grain barley or rye, the regulation of your blood sugar is
facilitated after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was previously not
known that certain whole-grain products have this effect all day.
This is due to a combination of low GI (glycemic index) and certain
type of indigestible carbohydrates that occur in certain grain products.
The findings are presented in a dissertation from the Faculty of Engineering
at Lund University. The dissertation shows that even people who have
had a breakfast low in GI find it easier to concentrate for the rest
of the morning.
Great variations in levels of blood sugar are being associated more
and more with the risk of old-age diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular
diseases. These findings can therefore provide valuable information
for tailoring a new generation of whole-grain products with low GI that
can counteract these so-called lifestyle diseases. They may also have
a beneficial effect on short-term memory and mental acuity.
“It is known that a carbohydrate-rich breakfast with low GI can
moderate increases in blood sugar after lunch. But my results show that
low GI in combination with the right amount of so-called indigestible
carbohydrates, that is, dietary fiber and resistant starch, can keep
the blood-sugar level low for up to ten hours, which means until after
dinner," says Anne Nilsson, a doctoral student at the Unit for
Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry and author of the dissertation.
Experiments also showed that the blood sugar increase following breakfast
can be moderated in a similar way by eating the right grain products
the night before.
Barley evinced clearly the best results of the four types of grain.
In her test, Anne used boiled grains and whole grains in bread. But
when the grain was ground into porridge, the effect was weakened, since
key structures were then destroyed, which had a negative effect on both
GI and the content of resistant starch. On the other hand, splitting
the grain worked fine.
The studies also revealed that the right grain can have a favorable
impact on the metabolic syndrome, which is a catch-all name for a condition
involving severe risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The diagnosis
includes heightened levels of blood sugar and insulin, raised blood
fats, high blood pressure, and abdominal fat. When you eat indigestible
carbohydrates, they ferment in the large intestine. This bacterial process
proved to have a beneficial effect on a number of risk factors for metabolic
syndrome, such as markers for inflammation and level of insulin efficiency.
The process also produced a greater sense of satiety.
Anne Nilsson also studied the connection between mental acuity and blood
sugar levels after meals. Trial subjects were given experimental breakfasts
with low and high GI, respectively, and afterwards they were asked to
perform mental acuity tests. It turned out that subjects who had eaten
low GI breakfasts could concentrate better and had a better working
memory (a type of short-term memory) than the other group. These experiments
also showed that healthy individuals with low glucose tolerance, that
is with high rises in blood sugar than average following a meal, generally
performed less well.
“The findings indicate that people with great fluctuations in
their levels of blood sugar run a greater risk of having a generally
lower cognitive ability," says Anne Nilsson. -Swedish Research
© 2007, Harminka / Huliq