Glycemic Index – Is It of Any Use?


Glycemic Index has been “in” for some time. It provides a nice scientific sounding basis for choosing among carbohydrates. It is about as utterly worthless a guide to nutritional value as you could get.

Consider these items:gi

Glycemic index is measured by ‘administering’ a sole food, the one being tested, to a subject after an overnight fast. Is this how we eat? Obviously not, and this alone removes most of the value.

But let’s be fact based here. The theory is that a sugar spike will cause an insulin spike, which is true. Eating that sugar in two doses an hour apart would cause two little insulin spikes. So isn’t that better? Apparently it doesn’t matter. One big shot of sugar or two half shots have the same effect on overall sugar level.

This was studied by a British research team who concluded, “The present results call into question the utility of GI and GL to reflect glycaemic response to food adequately, when used in the context of usual diet. Further work is needed to quantify usual dietary exposures relative to glucose excursion and associated chronic glycaemia and other metabolic parameters.” The study could find no association whatsoever between glycemic index of food eaten and actual glucose load in the test subjects. The researchers essential finding: the glycemic index is useless. This study can be found here.

But issues with glycemic index do not stop at ‘useless’. It is actually doing harm, because people use it as a sort of nutritional guide. As such real food, such as carrots, comes out about the same as many breakfast cereals, but these are in no way equivalent. Carrots are a real food. Breakfast cereals are industrial ‘food’. Carrots are full of micro-nutrients. Breakfast cereals are a micro-nutrient desert.

Real food is what we are designed to eat. Starch based industrial ‘food’ is, for many people, if not most, actually bad for you. It will make you sick.

Real food is extraordinarily complex, has hundred of special molecules, molecules we depend on. The list goes far beyond the dozen or so found on a label. We do not thrive when deprived of these numerous nutrients.

Eat high nutrient vegetables, don’t eat food that comes in boxes, and don’t pay any attention to glycemic index.



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