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Diabetes Update: Eat Your Carrots!

Number 14; May 31, 2001

By David Mendosa

This mailing list keeps you up-to-date with new articles, columns, and Web pages that I have written. I list and link most of these on my Diabetes Directory at

From time to time Diabetes Update may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.

My most recent contributions are:

    on May 31, 2001
    About the Internet Column
  1. The new DiabetesOneStop Web site, sponsored by the U.K. arm of John Wiley & Sons Inc., the large American publisher of professional books and journals, serves as a pathway to free access to many articles in two of their diabetes journals. This is the focus of my current "About the Internet" column on the American Diabetes Association's Web site. The journals are Practical Diabetes International and Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews. While the articles are intended for a professional audience, some of them will be of interest to and understandable by many people with diabetes. The URL is

Updates include:

  1. Eat Your Carrots!
    For fully 20 years we have had questions about whether to eat carrots or not. The first journal article ever published on the glycemic index indicated that we quickly digest the carbohydrates in carrots. That study that showed the GI of carrots at 92 (where glucose = 100). A later study that got much less attention showed the GI of carrots to be 49.

    Originally, I included both studies as the basis for the average number I report on my GI Lists page. I based that on the first Australian edition of The G.I. Factor, which did the same thing.

    Subsequently, Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller, the lead author of that book, now published in the U.S. as The Glucose Revolution, determined that the first study was fatally flawed (as she wrote me) and threw it out of her tables. I followed suit.

    A week ago Dr. Brand-Miller wrote Dr. Thomas Wolever, Canada's top GI researcher, with the results of a new study. She sent a copy of the message to me, as follows:

    I have just received the results of 10 foods tested by one of my students. I got her to test carrots and also carrot juice. To ensure we fed exactly a 25 g carbohydrate portion, we had the carbohydrate assayed directly by the University of NSW, Department of Food Science and Technology.

    Anyway, the good news is that the carrots had a GI of 39 � 7 and the carrot juice 45 � 4.

    I just had a look at your original 1981 paper and I note the old value of 92 for carrots was based on only 5 subjects (we tested 10) and had a SEM [the standard error of the mean]of 20, about 2-3 times that of all the other foods tested in that paper.

    I think we need to put to rest once and for all the idea that carrots have a high GI. A letter to Nature perhaps???

    My response noted that Michel Montignac's book Eat Yourself Slim on pages 67-68 claims that it is cooked carrots that have a high glycemic index.

    Dr. Brand-Miller's reply was succinct and to the point:

    The carrots were cooked, the juice raw.

    These numbers mean that everybody—even those following the Sugar Busters! diet—should now feel comfortable eating carrots or drinking carrot juice.

  2. ADA's Free Trials for Its Journals
    Right now the American Diabetes Association lets you read all four of its professional journals free on-line, just as you can John Wiley's journals as noted above. The ADA won't tell me how long the free trial period will last, so if you have an interest in its important albeit technical articles, it would be best to hurry. The journals are Diabetes Care, Clinical Diabetes, Diabetes, and Diabetes Spectrum.

    Almost 2,000 other leading journals with important articles about diabetes are on-line. The government's PubMed site lists 1,894 on-line journals as of today. Not all, however, are free, but some of the most important ones regularly have at least some of its article available free on-line. This includes JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine (see its new policy announced today), and BMJ, The British Medical Journal.

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