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With November being Diabetes Awareness Month, we’d like to bring your attention to the best resource for controlling blood sugars – the “Glycemic Index Food Guide.”

This guide lists carbohydrate foods that raise our blood sugar levels and is for anyone who thinks they are at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Since 11 million of us have diabetes or pre-diabetes, nearly all of us can use the guide to give us an easy way to eat healthily.

The guide is colour-coded like a traffic light – red means “stop, don’t eat these foods!” Yellow is “sometimes,” and green means “eat these frequently.”

Basic cooking skills are all you need to follow the guide—substituting foods you’ve been used to will become easy with practice. e.g. instead of white potato, use sweet potato (sweet potato does not raise blood sugar as much as white potato). Simple! These are small changes that can be made immediately.

The foods that don’t appear on the guide, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese (non-carbohydrate foods), do not raise blood sugar and are not a concern for people with diabetes. The non-carbohydrate foods can be eaten freely, in their pure form; non-processed, not smothered in sauces that might contain ingredients on the guide’s red list.

If you eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, or vegetarian options from the green list, along with some vegetables and a green zone starch at every meal, you are on the right track to preventing diabetes. Also, you could be cutting down on the need for medication to control diabetes.

Here is a suggestion to help you set yourself some goals: use the Glycemic Index Food Guide for one meal a day. When that becomes easy, use the guide for two of your meals and eventually for all of them. You’ll love the way you feel!

Author Kimana Soni, Retired Nurse