One of my biggest pet peeves is mis-information. I’ll never claim to be right all of the time, because science changes. However, there are sometimes when I just feel like someone needs to step up and say “Hey dude, do a little research before giving advice!” So this is a blog, about a blog, about a research study. Still following me? The study:
Basically, it was looking at the effects of low carb diets on diabetics. Now this was not a perfectly run study, by any means. They did not put them on an organic paleo style diet. The guidelines were the basics of Atkins and a Low Glycemic Index with a lot of the same moronic guidelines you would expect of conventional weight loss programs. Low fat, low saturated fat, fat free dairy blah blah garbage. Bottom line: that’s not what the study was measuring, and it would have been just another variable if they had switched them to a completely healthy diet.
The study basically found that both a low carb ketogenic diet and a low GI diet improved blood sugar regulation and A1c numbers for members of the study. It also suggested that the low carb diet was more effective than the low GI diet. While this was no surprise to me, I read a blog yesterday that was trying to discredit the study over a bunch of nonfactorial things. Here is the DUH moment that should be here for anyone knowledgeable in nutrition. Low GI foods are based off the glycemic index, which is not that useful because it doesn’t account for actual serving size and isn’t transferable to the hormonal response directly. GL or glucose load, is a much more acceptable measure.
That being said, even if they had used low GL instead of low GI, the results would still be the same. What is needed for a food to be low GI or low GL? It needs to be low in glucose polymers that raise insulin. A lot of low GI foods do not increase insulin because they are high in fructose. Fructose is a sugar that doesn’t raise insulin, but it has a negative effect on the body in terms of insulin sensitivity and basically turns on your fat storing genes without needing insulin. Fructose actually does much of the same things to your body as alcohol. Some would argue that fructose consumption is actually a greater potentiator for diabetes than high GI foods. Is it any wonder that a diet also low in fructose would be healthier for diabetics? The problem we face is that sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which are found in almost everything these days, are half glucose, half fructose, so it’s a double negative. In nature, high fructose foods are usually seasonal and packed with fiber and antioxidants to help the body deal with the negative effects, such as berries. When I have clients of mine eat a cheat meal, I prefer they use low fructose foods rather than low GI foods.
If anyone wants to read the blog I am referring to you can find it here.