101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: Glycemic discussion

Friday, January 1, 2010

Glycemic discussion

This is really the basis for low carb diets of all types even if they don't admit it. Unfortunately, nobody quite knows what to do with it. 

 Glycemic Index(GI)- this is an experimental measurement of how fast any food product will raise blood sugar. It is usually measured against a standard of sugar. So some thing with a GI of 100 is equal to sugar in its rate of absorption. If 50 then it raise blood sugar at only 50% as fast as sugar. There is no way to calculate this, it must be measured which means cost and and disagreement. Most companies don't have this done especially if it would be an embarrassing number. You can't even get a understandable list of ingredients or nutritional information.

Glycemic Load (GL)- Is basically the GI multiplied by total carbohydrates. So a carrot has a high GI but low carb load will have a small GL.

What to do with this?
Basically nobody really knows. Of course, the diet companies clam to know. You know the ones that work by "the magic of the glycemic index". I don't doubt that they have some idea of what they do. But the science is just not there yet. There are probably too many variables to ever be of much use in their current state.  Examples: is the wheat grown in farmer Y's farm in North Dakota in September the same as farmer X in Kansas in June? What about how fine it is milled? What about variability between patients. I have a thousand of these. The easiest thing to do is just keep simple carbs down but is it a balanced and healthy diet? I'm trying to watch GL more than carb counts  But it is all "fuzzy logic" for now.

So my suggestion to you is to discuss your diet with your Primary Care Provider.

"So there is no magic bullet Tonto."



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