Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A new potato for diabetics

EarthFresh Farms of Waterdown is marketing a potato variety that has a lower glycemic-index response and is therefore better for diabetics.

Joanne Lewis, director of nutrition and diabetes education with the Canadian Diabetes Association in Toronto, says the new variety, Carisma, is good not only for diabetics, but also for everyone.

EarthFresh has only limited quantities of Carisma this year, so they will be available in some stores.

"The nice thing about having a potato that's low glycemic index is that people lately have become more careful about the type of carbohydrate that they consume and potatoes sort of have been given a bad rap because it's considered like a white starch," says Lewis.

"But having a low glycemic index potato is kind of a win-win because you can still basically enjoy your potatoes."

A food is designated low glycemic if it is rated 55 or less on a scale of 100 when compared to a standard — usually straight glucose or white bread.

Testers look at the impact on blood sugars within a two-hour range from consumption in comparison to the standard.

"What that's demonstrating is that the blood sugars don't rise as much after consumption as if you were to have another food with a higher glycemic index and so there's a lot of health benefits to low glycemic index," says Lewis.

"There's a lot of evidence around cardiovascular benefits, definitely for people with diabetes, satiety and sustained energy," she said.