1 September 2005

Food for Thought

The Low GI Diet—More Than Just “The Next Big Thing”
According to analysts at the market research/consumer intelligence company, Mintel International, American dieters are beginning to show interest in the glycemic index (GI) diet. ‘With the Atkins diet crashing financially, many consumers are in search of “the next big thing,”’ they report.

But encouraging people to adopt a low GI diet is not about being “the next big thing” for the weight loss industry or a best-seller list. For nutritionists and dietitians, it’s about encouraging people to adopt a way of eating that will make a real difference to their lives helping them to maintain long-term health and wellness and reducing their risk of developing chronic and crippling diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The real reward is when someone with diabetes says that the GI has transformed their life—and you can see that it has.

Low GI eating not only has science on its side, it dovetails with the key dietary guideline of countries right around the world: ‘Eat a wide variety of foods.’ Low GI carbs are found in four of the five food groups. There are wholegrains and pasta in the bread and cereal group; milk and yoghurt among the dairy foods; legumes in the meat and alternatives group; and virtually all fruits and vegetables (with potato one notable exception) in the group we should eat the most of!

Photo: Ian Hofstetter, The Low GI Diet Cookbook

The low GI diet is not a restrictive diet. No one has to jump through a hoop or turn themselves inside out (or even buy a book) to adopt this back-to-the-future, commonsense way of eating that delivers taste, nutrition, satisfaction and wellbeing as we eat food closer to the way nature intended. It’s suitable for the whole family as it essentially encourages a ‘this for that’ approach to making some simple changes—such as swapping white bread for a grainy one or cornflakes for natural muesli or porridge.

What are the lifelong benefits?
Low GI eating:

  • Reduces your insulin levels
  • Lowers your cholesterol levels
  • Controls blood glucose levels
  • Halves your risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • Helps control your appetite


Anonymous said...

After reading your book I thought the idea of finding and eating low GI carbs seems very logical.

So I was surprised to find that the American Diabetes Association has taken a position that is not supportive of this research. The comments I read in a guest editorial of their Sept 2005 issue of Diabetes Forecast suggest your approach may be more of a fad than a useful tool.

Please address the points made in this article. Here is a link.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-forecast/sep2005/editorial.jsp )

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the 'Perricone Diet' as endorsed by Oprah & Dr Phil? will be the 'next big thing' in America. I believe that this diet may have a fair understanding of the role of the glycemic index, however the way concepts are worded and put forward in this book is horrible!
I find it sad that diets which have a 'product' to sell seem to do better than those based on common sense. It's almost like a diet for some people has to be presented like a new religion.

Anonymous said...

per the first post. I didn't try the GI diet because of what the American Diabetes Assoc. said about it. After dealing with them for a few years I decided they are not the authority on everything diabetic. This diet has really helped my blood sugars as well as helped me not feel hungry all the time.

GI Group said...

Re: Diabetes Forecast September Editorial

Comments from Professor Tom Wolever, University of Toronto :

We can criticise carb counting using exactly the same arguments! Below, GR means the glycemic response elicited by carbohydrate:

The GR of a food varies substantially depending on the kind of food, its ripeness, the length of time it was stored, how it was cooked, its variety (potatoes from Australia, for example, have a much higher GR than potatoes from the United States), and how it was processed.

The GR of a food varies from person to person and even in a single individual from day to day, depending on blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and other factors.

GR is based on studies using only a specific amount of carbohydrate and people would hardly ever eat exactly that amount

The GR of a food might be one value when it is eaten alone and another when it is eaten with other foods as part of a complete meal.

Most GR values reflect the blood glucose response to food for only 2 hours, whereas glucose levels after eating some foods remain elevated for up to 4 hours or longer in people with diabetes.