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Glycemic Index Deception Finally Understood

March 23, 2006 | 17,426 views
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A new study shows that diets based on the glycemic index, like the South Beach Diet, do not effectively control blood sugar levels.

The glycemic index, which measures how quickly carbohydrates convert to sugar in your blood, has never been accepted by many dieticians.

This study, which examined food questionnaires from more than 1,000 people over the course of five years, did not find any link between the glycemic index of foods and the blood-sugar levels of participants.

Previous, smaller studies have had different results, including one that seemed to show that a low-glycemic diet lowered risk of heart disease. Supporters of the index claim that foods lower on the index make a person feel full longer and reduce cravings, helping with weight loss.

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Many have long advocated the use of the glycemic index as a useful tool to help you select foods that would have a minimal effect on your blood sugar.

The underlying premise, that some foods can seriously raise your blood sugar and as a result cause harm and damage in your body, is true. The main problem is that the glycemic index is not a valid tool to use to determine which foods will do that for you.

The glycemic index values have far too many exceptions to be consistently useful. A classic example is fructose, which has a very low glycemic index yet has been clearly established as a major reason why many people are overweight. This new data clearly supports my assertion that you should avoid using the glycemic index to select your foods.

The fact is, numerous factors play a role in how a specific food will affect your blood sugar. The glycemic index doesn't, for example, measure how a food, or a specific ingredient, affects you over time.

Moreover, it fails to take into account the harm chemicals like sucralose, sorbitol and refined fructose contained in supposedly low-GI foods do to your body; they convert directly into triglycerides and adipose tissue instead of blood glucose, accelerating obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia and cardiovascular disease.

Rather than using the glycemic index, you would be better off using more reliable means. This is not hard, folks.

If you have diseases that are clearly worsened by high insulin levels such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excess weight
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes

    Then you should severely restrict all your grains and sugars until these problems normalize. No complex tables are required to reach this conclusion, just common sense. You can fine-tune the program by applying nutritional typing principles, as some people may need far more vegetable carbs than others once the grains and sugars are removed.


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