What Scientists Say About Low Glycemic Foods

By Maury M. Breecher, PhD, MPH

Read what scientists have to say about the low glycemic index lifestyle:

“Low GI and low GL diets are independently associated with a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. In diabetes and heart disease, the protection is comparable with that seen for whole grain and high fiber intakes.” – Barclay, AW, et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 March;87(3):627-637.

So, how important is fiber?

It is quite important. The recipes I recommend are generally high in fiber. However the health promoting effects of these recipes cannot be ascribed simply to fiber – it’s the low glycemic effect that is just as important.

For instance, Dutch scientists, after a study of low glycemic foods in their country, concluded: “In this population, a low-GI diet … low in potatoes and cereals, is associated with improved insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism and reduced chronic inflammation” – Du H, van der A DL et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 March 87(3)655-61. This is especially important to people with diabetes or who are pre-diabetic because insulin resistance and high lipids generally walk hand-in-hand with Type 2 diabetes.

“The best evidence of the clinical usefulness of GI is available in diabetic patients in whom low-GI foods have consistently shown beneficial effects on blood glucose control in both the short-term and the long-term,” wrote world famous Italian researchers at the Frederico II University, Naples.

“In these patients, low-GI foods are suitable as short-term and long-term” – Riccardi, G., Rivellese AA, & Glacco R. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 Jan;87(1):269S-274S

Even if you don’t have diabetes, you may have a health problem if you carry too many pounds. Low glycemic foods help in weight reduction, according to scientists at the University of Sydney. They did what is known as a “meta-analysis” – a study of other studies, in this case, six randomized controlled trials that compared a low GI diet to other diets including high GI diets.

They concluded: Lowering the glycemic load of the diet appears to be an effective method of promoting weight loss and improving lipid profiles and can be simply incorporated into a person’s lifestyle”—Thomas EE, Elliott EJ, & Baur L., Cochrane Database System Reviews 2007 July 18;(3):CD005105.

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Posted by on September 9th, 2008