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Subject: New Research Links Blood Sugar Levels and Cancer Risk.

April 09, 2007

Dear ND Friends,

A recent study revealed a newly discovered link between elevated blood sugar levels and the risk of developing cancer. Further research is needed to confirm this preliminary finding, but I think we'll be hearing much more about this in the near future. In the meantime, though, it gives us one more reason to pay attention to how dietary choices affect blood sugar levels. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level also lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

But some of the commentary that accompanied this news story points out just how much confusion and misunderstanding there is on this topic. For example, the news media quoted a physician who recommended that people who wanted to maintain healthy blood sugar levels switch from white rice to brown rice because whole grains are thought to cause a smaller rise in blood sugar than refined grains.

But as I commented on the ND Blog, the difference in the effects of whole grains and refined grains on blood sugar is much less than most people think! When it comes to high-carbohydrate foods such as breads, pastas, and grains, the size of the portion is far more important than whether the food is whole grain or not.

ND can help you understand how foods affect blood sugar levels. As a start, read our articles about the glycemic index and glycemic load. We also have tools that will help you manage this aspect of your diet. For every food, recipe, and total consumption report, ND includes the estimated glycemic load as part of its complete nutritional analysis.

To your health,
Monica Reinagel
Chief Nutrition Advisor, NutritionData.com

Quick Tips from Monica

Get an extra antioxidant boost. The best sources of antioxidant nutrients aren't vitamin supplements but fresh fruits and vegetables. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes are particularly high in antioxidants. .

What to eat before your workout. As a general rule, wait two hours after a large meal before working out. If it's been more than four hours since you've eaten, have a small, quickly digested carbohydrate snack (such as a piece of fruit) before working out. But save the protein, fats, and fiber (all of which are slowly digested) for after your workout. .

Nutrient of the Week: Fiber. A high-fiber diet can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep your heart and digestive system healthy. High-fiber foods also keep hunger pains at bay and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Here's a list of fruits that have the most fiber per 100-gram serving: .

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