Monday, March 15, 2010

GI Blues Part Two

Hello, everybody. I hope you are all doing well. I had a great night Saturday night playing drums for Country singer, Natasha Neely's concert. It was a blast. The band sounded great and Natasha put on a really awesome show. We had a packed house and the audience was very receptive. So, now, on to the GI Blues.
I left off in my last blog talking about problems with the Glycemic Index, or GI, and the confusion and issues with the index. Let's continue with that.  In a recent popular woman's magazine, a whole ten pages was devoted to the GI diet. It even stated on the cover that the GI diet was 'the healthiest low-carb plan around'. And it got it completely wrong!
While the authors correctly stated that the Glycemic Index is a measure of how much carbs raise blood glucose levels, in their lists of high-GI, medium-GI and low-GI foods they listed fatty foods as high-GI. Wrong! Their GI is actually zero! They also listed 'omega-3 eggs' as low-GI and 'eggs' as medium-GI, when neither type has a GI at all; and low-fat cottage cheese was listed as low-GI, light cream cheese as medium-GI and full-fat cheese as high-GI when, again, none has a GI. In fact, because fats, meat, fish, cheese and eggs have little effect on blood glucose, they don't have a GI! And lastly, diet fizzy drinks were listed as both low-GI and high-GI depending on whether or not they contained caffeine – yet caffeine is not even mentioned in the GI tables, as published in the July 2002 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Looks to me like ignorance trying to cash in on the latest diet fad.
The article goes on to recommend six recently-published GI diet books. Well, if the article was based on info from these books, then those authors must have gotten it wrong as well. Confused? Me, too. So I wanted to know how the GI was created, and here's what I found.
Scientists fed 50 grams of glucose to their test subjects and measured how much this raised the subjects' blood glucose. That became their reference point and they labeled it 100. Then they tested their subjects with other foods and measured blood glucose response and how it related to the initial reference. If, for example, one of those foods raised their test subjects' blood glucose level to 50% percent of the reference, then it had a glycemic index of 50. This went on as they tested other foods. Then they ran into a problem.
Glucose is very sweet; a bit too sweet for many people. The testers didn't like drinking 50 grams of the sweet stuff so, later, white bread was substituted. Another problem. White bread has a GI of about 70 compared to glucose. And while the people doing the eating preferred this, unfortunately it generated another index in which bread was rated at 100. First it's 70, and then it's 100. What?
So, now there were two GIs: one based on glucose equaling 100; the other based on white bread equaling 100. This started the confusion as both indexes came into general use – and most publications fail to state which one they are using (including the article I mentioned above).
Even more confused? Really, I'm not trying to confuse you guys. I am trying to educate. And in so, I am educating myself. This research that I do is very revealing to me. The more I learn, the more confirmation I get that the low carb lifestyle is the only lifestyle for me. It is not a fad. It has been and is continually being proven to be the healthiest lifestyle one can lead.
There is so much more to this and I don't want to inundate you with it all at once, so, I will continue again tomorrow. Until then, I hope you have a great day and a great life. See ya!

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