Trimming excess kilos goes a long way to helping prevent pre-diabetes from escalating to type 2. The problem is, having higher insulin levels (which is a hallmark of prediabetes, the precursor to type 2) can make you hungrier and increase your fat stores, says Diabetic Living dietitian Lisa Urquhart. This is where a high-protein, low-GI eating program can help.
What is low GI?
‘The Glycemic Index (GI) is a way of measuring carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100, according to the effect they have on your blood glucose levels after eating,’ explains Urquhart. ‘Low-GI foods – which have a ranking of 55 or less on the Glycemic Index – such as wholegrain breads, peas, apples and pasta, produce a gradual rise in insulin and blood glucose levels.’
So why does low-GI, high-protein work?
When low-GI foods are paired with high-protein foods such as lean meat, eggs, fish and tofu as well as plenty of vegies, the result is a more sustained release of insulin, says Urquhart. This means you will maintain a feeling of fullness for longer. If you’re satisfied, it’s much easier to resist temptation. This will help you decrease your kilojoule intake, and promote weight loss.
And the benefits don’t stop there. ‘A high-protein, low-GI diet is simple to follow,’ says Urquhart. ‘It’s healthy and balanced and not really a diet at all – you probably choose many of these options already!’
What are some tasty combos I can try?
Your GP or an accredited practicing dietitian can help you build a tailored low-GI, high-protein plan, but in the meantime, Urquhart recommends wrapping your tastebuds around these:
BREAKFAST: Whisk 2 x 50g eggs and 1 Tbsp of reduced-fat milk. Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Scramble eggs. Grill 3 mushrooms, and serve with 2 slices of toasted Bürgen Soy-Lin bread.
Nutrition Info PER SERVE: 363kJ, protein 25g, total fat 13.5g (sat. fat 3.6g), carbs 23g, fibre 6g, sodium 453mg. Carb exchanges 1½.
LUNCH: Spread 1 tsp reduced-fat mayonnaise on a Goodness Superfoods Better For U! Barley Wrap. Top with 30g reduced-fat grated cheddar cheese, 50g shaved turkey breast, ¼ cup of grated carrot and ¼ cup shredded cabbage.
Nutrition Info PER SERVE: 1154kJ, protein 24g, total fat 10.2g (sat. fat 5.2g), carbs 15g, fibre 10g, sodium 792mg. Carb exchanges 1.
For delish low-GI dinner options, check out our Food section!