Now THIS is Useful

OK, you’ve heard it before. But a picture is worth a thousand words, no? It was actually the DexCom sales rep who gave me this slide. Take a good, long look. Try to memorize it. Try to think on it when you open the fridge. In fact, paste it on your fridge! If you have diabetes, no image was ever more worthy of that honor.


Learn it.

Live by it.

Like it. (Or if that’s too difficult, revert to Step 2).


14 Responses

  1. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson August 2, 2006 at 7:24 am | | Reply


  2. Tiffany
    Tiffany August 2, 2006 at 8:28 am | | Reply

    I tend to ignore charts like this.


    The whole YMMV-everybody’s-bodies-are-different thing. And charts such as this are just too generalized. You’d be much better off getting an actual glycemic index listing different foods/food brands and posting that on your fridge.

    Hey, Amy, you should try what I’m doing. I’m using the continuous monitor on my Paradigm 522 to create a detailed listing of the GI of foods that I eat. I’ve got a big worksheet in Excel, and I’ve been noting the foods that I eat every day. I’m hoping to end up with a completely personalized listing of how each and every food I ingest affects my blood glucose level, and subsequently how to cover it with insulin.

    But somehow I don’t think it’s gonna fit on my fridge… ;)

  3. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell August 2, 2006 at 9:16 am | | Reply


    Don’t you think this diagram is a good starting point for folks? Especially anyone who hasn’t really thought about when a given food factors into your blood sugar readings.

    I mean I already knew that if I took something like a low fat yogurt (high GI) and mixed in some fiber, the net effect is that the blood sugar spike goes up less in total and takes a little longer to get there.

    So it’s just a way to visualize how food might affect you.

    Tiffany – how is the 522 going? Care to post an update when you get a chance?

  4. Jo
    Jo August 2, 2006 at 4:24 pm | | Reply

    I use it on things I’m not sure of yet … But it is a good reference to start with when you’re starting out. Gal at work has gestational diabetes and I told her about it and it’s helping her a lot.

  5. Nick
    Nick August 2, 2006 at 4:48 pm | | Reply

    Neat graph!

    That definitely explains why Bernstein’s diet is around
    70% fat, 20% protein, 10% complex carbohydrates, and 0% fruit.

  6. August 2, 2006 at 7:58 pm | | Reply

    You guys, get real, I am a endo doc and if a fraction of my patients comprehended a bit of this information their HgbA1cs would drop by 30 percent or more. Please remember the vast majority of patients with diabetes in the US are not particpating on this site. They are poor, not online, etc. Whatever we can do to simplify caring for their diabetes is our goal. I bet that perhaps less than 20 percent of my (100 percent) endocrine practice is patients like you. I would love it to be 100 percent. I could retire. Patients like you take care your yourselves! It is the “other unfortunate majority” of diabetic patients that are the real challenge. So go ahead and debate the virtues of the glycemic index and realize that most diabetics in the US don’t even have a clue what a carb is…

  7. August 2, 2006 at 8:01 pm | | Reply

    And for all the greatly compliant and compulsive type 1s and gestationals, bravo to you to figure out your own glycemic index, I think it is the only way to go… The GI is a valid theory but everyone must find their own GI chart through careful trial and error! Glass

  8. Mo
    Mo August 3, 2006 at 6:50 am | | Reply

    > most diabetics in the US don’t
    > even have a clue what a carb is

    It might help if you just called them sugars. A complex carbohydrate is nothing more than a complex sugar. And most people should be able to make the connection between sugar and diabetes, even if they find the word “carbohydrate” a bit hard to swallow.

  9. Tiffany
    Tiffany August 3, 2006 at 7:34 am | | Reply

    My comment was both personal (you may have noticed the “I” in my first sentence) and directed toward Amy.

    I think that chart is a good starting place for people who are new to carbs. However, the only problem with starting places is that they can often become stopping places as well. I worked in Geriatrics with a significant number of Type 2′s, and it became noticeable that some people will go no further than the information they are given. Sure, we want to make it simple for the Diabetic to care for him/herself, but what kind of care will they be capable of if they are not educated beyond the basics?

    For those of you who missed the point of my first comment, I’ll reiterate the internet acronym that I initially used to sum it up:

    YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary

  10. AmyT
    AmyT August 3, 2006 at 10:57 am | | Reply

    Hi Tiffany,
    Good for you for being so meticulous! I personally found this slide very helpful.

  11. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk August 3, 2006 at 12:17 pm | | Reply

    Woohoo! A new reference for my thesis on glycemic control using computers. :-D Thanks for sharing!

  12. Kelsey
    Kelsey August 3, 2006 at 4:19 pm | | Reply

    As a type 1 for 13 years with a current A1C of 6.4, I found this chart helpful. Sometimes my blood sugar will raise 4-5 hours after a meal and it takes me awhile to connect the fact that I had a high protein or high fat meal!

    Also, lately I’ve been using fruit almost exclusively to treat lows. This chart shows me why they’re a quick fix, but how I’ll need something more substantial if I’m going to keep the bg up for awhile.

    Simplistic, perhaps… but this kind of visual representation of the glycemic index is a great reminder when you’re trying to factor in the many things that effect our blood sugars!

  13. Johnboy
    Johnboy August 4, 2006 at 5:30 am | | Reply

    Tiffany, are you a minimed pump rep? ;)

  14. Bernard Farrell, Diabetes Mine 2011 Design Challenge Judge | A Sweet Life

    [...] In March of 2006 I read an article about Dr. Denise Faustman’s research into a possible cure for type 1 diabetes. When I was diagnosed in 1972, the doctors told my mum that “people were working on a cure” and it might be available “within 10 years.” Ā And since that time I’d heard a lot about possible cures, and discounted all of them. When I read the article about Dr. Faustman I remember tearing up as I thought to myself that she might be onto something. Up to then I’d raised money for the ADA and JDRF at several bikes rides. This time I wanted to do a bike ride to support her work, and I was trying to raise $6,000. I figured a blog might be a good way to spread the word, so in July of 2006, I put up my first blog post. It took me a while to get started on a theme, but even in the early days I was focusing on diabetes technology. One of my early posts had a link to a post by Amy Tenderich that showed a graph from Dexcom. [...]

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