The Glycemic Index (GI) was originally designed for diabetics. It was a method of determining their insulin response to various foods. But, of course, desperate people wanting to lose weight or improve their health ran wild with it. And, not surprisingly, it even became a popular diet.
Finally, there is evidence this standard of judging blood sugar/insulin response is not accurate, report nutrition research scientists at Tufts University.
The GI represents the rise in blood sugar levels, two hours after consumption of a food. A value of 100 is the standard, the equivalent amount of pure glucose. Having a rating of 70 to 100 indicates the food is high GI, generating the most severe insulin response. Foods rated 56 - 69 have a medium GI. And foods 55 or less have a low GI.
However, the Glycemic Index/Load was always highly suspicious, especially given the lack of consistency, from chart to chart, in the varying ratings of certain foods. And common sense tells us we are all unalike in how we react to the foods we eat.
But the most troubling is that many people actually omitted certain (healthy) foods because of their high glycemic index! In addition, they prioritized unhealthy foods based on their low glycemic rating. Fortunately, there is now proof this food rating isn't accurate (and I promise I won't say "I told you so!").
I've been criticized for many years in my belief that the Glycemic Index or the Glycemic Load is not an accurate way to judge everyone's reaction to the foods they eat -- or a healthy way to design a diet. My peers asked me where my proof was. But frustratingly, I didn't have any.
Until now . . .
Eve Lees is a Certified Nutrition Coach, a Health Speaker, and a Health Writer for several publications. The former newspaper editor has also been active in the health & fitness industry for over 35 years.