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Low GI diets bunk?

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Low GI diets bunk?

Old 03-15-06, 07:17 PM
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Low GI diets bunk?

Well, it wasn't long ago that "glysemic index" was the Holy Grail of what foods were good/bad for you. Now it is discredited bunk

'Glycemic index' of little use to dieters
Popular tool doesn't translate from the lab to the dinner plate, study finds

Updated: 6:28 p.m. ET March 15, 2006
NEW YORK - Dieters may not gain health or weight-loss benefits from following the trendy so-called low-GI diets, a new study suggests.

In recent years, researchers have taken to classifying carbohydrates based on their GI, or glycemic index -- a measure of the effects of a given food on blood sugar levels. High-GI foods, like white bread and potatoes, tend to produce a quick surge in blood sugar, and some studies have suggested that diets heavy in such foods can contribute to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.

Book titles and Web sites espousing "low-GI" diets have followed suit.

But the science is mixed. Some studies have failed to find links between high-GI foods and elevated blood sugar and diabetes.

The new research suggests one reason is that it's hard to translate lab findings on glycemic index to the much more complicated realm of everyday eating, according to Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, the lead author of the new study.

One problem, she explained, is that a food's GI is determined under artificial conditions where a person eats the test food after a fast, then has blood sugar tests taken two hours later. But a food has different blood sugar effects when it's not eaten after a fast, she said.

In addition, many factors sway blood sugar levels after a meal, according to Mayer-Davis, a diabetes researcher at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. These include the length of time a carbohydrate is cooked, the foods it is eaten along with, and the workings of an individual's hormones, among other things.

In her team's study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, there was no association between high-GI eating habits and elevated blood sugar among 813 adults who were followed over 5 years.

The findings, Mayer-Davis said, reinforce the notion that GI is "simply not a good index of how food impacts blood sugar."

The health benefits that some studies have attributed to low-GI foods may actually reflect other qualities of those foods -- like high fiber content, according to the researcher. Fiber-rich foods like whole grains are often lower on the GI scale.

What's more, GI is a complicated way to judge a food's value. Certain vegetables, for instance, have a fairly high GI, but actually contain very few grams of carbohydrate and few calories. On the other hand, a dish of ice cream may have a lower GI than a bowl of brown rice.

Mayer-Davis said that in her view, health-conscious consumers should not bother with seeking out the GI of their favorite foods.

The best move, she advised, is to keep calories in check and eat plenty of fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans -- and to burn calories through regular exercise.

Many studies, she noted, show that obesity is the "major player" in the risk of diabetes, and weight control is essentially a matter of balancing calorie intake with calorie expenditure through physical activity.
Old 03-15-06, 07:40 PM
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The one and only foolproof diet:

Burn more energy than you take in by eating.
Old 03-15-06, 07:56 PM
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I try to avoid the so called high Gi foods because they usually lack any nutritional value. One thing I noticed is that the high GI foods screw up my digestive system and make me tired.
Old 03-15-06, 09:07 PM
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I thought this was gonna be about what an army guy eats in bed.
Old 03-15-06, 09:08 PM
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Yeah, I don't look at carb or GI when selecting food. I try to limit my trans fats and sodium, and avoid stuff with High Fructose Corn Syrup altogether or sugar as one of the first two or three listed ingredients.
Old 03-15-06, 09:10 PM
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That article doesn't debunk any low GI diets. You can have high blood sugar and still lose weight.
Old 03-15-06, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
The one and only foolproof diet:

Burn more energy than you take in by eating.
If you are going to make sense, then we will ask you to leave...

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