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3 Reasons Why I Don't Care About The Glycemic Index

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3 Reasons I Do Not Find the Glycemic Index Useful

Working with clients, so many have read information publicized to demonize foods and place excess restrictions on eating making it entirely too complicated to navigate their health and body composition. Many have utilized the Glycemic Index to categorize their food choices. Yes, this is a step in the right direction for grabbing hold of your health but at the end of the day, the Glycemic Index does not matter in weight loss. Here are the following 3 reasons why I do not utilize the Glycemic Index as a tool or recommendation.

1. Not practical

The testing measures of the GI is in conditions that are not realistic to what we face in day to day situations. To address the significance of the GI, when measuring the carbohydrate on the glycemic index,  50 grams of carbohydrate were tested in a fasted state. After the the dose of carbohydrate, the foods are measured from 0-100. The glucose response was measured then classified as either low, medium, or high glycemic foods. Here are the problems with this:

  • We usually do not eat carbohydrate alone and preparation methods vary widely which change the speed of insulin release. 
  • Eating primarily low- GI foods (as recommended) will not provide enough energy to meet an appropriate caloric need
  • As far as insulin response, study after study has noted that the daily amount carbohydrate matters most. NOT the specific type. 
  • Biochemistry from individual to individual changes. Although in measurement an "average" is shown, each person has a different response to different foods. 

2. Calories and Macro nutrients Matter the Most

No matter what discipline or percentage, when calories and carbohydrate are controlled so is the insulin response. Even with those with Type-II diabetes, when caloric restriction and exercise is implemented, blood sugar levels are positively effected and insulin sensitivity is reintroduced. When we eat carbohydrate in a caloric controlled environment, we will release insulin to match the carbohydrate intake we ingest. If we have a high carbohydrate meal after a training session, we will have elevated insulin levels due to that meal. For the rest of the day, since our carbohydrate intake is controlled, insulin response will not be as dramatic. The total consumption is the equator, not the source.

3. Everyone is Different

We are all individual points of data. Even though we all live by the physiological constraints of our bodies, all of us process foods differently and at different rates. In studies measuring the Glycemic Index response to foods, each individual had differing responses to the same amount of foods in the same scenarios. The researchers extrapolated the information and applied means. Therefore we all do not have the same response to the same source of carbohydrate BUT we all respond to hypocaloric scenarios.

Now..

Before you go off and start eating cupcakes and sugar packets, sugar laden products do not yield micro-nutrient value (Check my post on Micronutrients.). Although, if controlled, your chances for maintaining a healthy weight is still possible but from a micro-nutrient standpoint this mode of action is not desirable. Mixing in foods from a variety of sources with the occasional treat is ABSOLUTELY OK. I will not sell you on the boat of eating poptarts and gummy bears as a primary source of carbohydrate but the occasional snack will not hurt. In all likelihood, it may be beneficial.

To Conclude

Calories in vs. calories out, macronutrient ratios, and consistent exercise are the main determinants of health and body composition.

Uncontrolled caloric intake is the primary driving force of preventable disease including obesity, type-II diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

 

 

 

References

Aller, E., Larsen, T., Claus, H., Lindroos, A., Kafatos, A., Pfeiffer, A., . . . van Baak, M. (2014). Weight loss maintenance in overweightsubjects on ad libitum diets with high or low protein content and glycemic index: the DIOGENES trial 12-month results. International Journal of Obesity, 1511-1517.

Raatz, S. K., Torkelson, C. J., Redmon, B. J., Reck, K., Kwong, C. A., Swanson, J. E., . . . Bantle, J. P. (2005). Reduced Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Diets Do Not Increase the Effects of Energy Restriction on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Men and Women. Human Nutrition and Metabolism, 2387-2391.

Tay, J., Luscombe-Marsh, N., Thompson, C., Noakes, M., Buckley, J., Wittert, G., . . . Brinkworth, G. D. (2015). Comparison of low- and high-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: a randomized trial . The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 780-790.

Venn, B., & Green, T. (2007). Glycemic index and glycemic load: measurement issues and their effect on diet-disease relationships. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, s122-s131.

 

 

Charles SamsNutritionComment