Incorporating the GI to Foods

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The current low carbohydrate diet fad is phasing out and, therefore, food companies may be looking for a new marketing approach. With the current publicity regarding the GI in diet books and by many health providers, it would appear logical to think that knowing the GI of foods would be useful. The low fat diet approach stopped working when food companies flooded the market with low fat foods that were not necessarily lower in calories. The same can be said regarding the low carb approach. Instead of avoiding carbohydrate foods which would lead to a reduction in calories the market became flooded with low carbohydrate (net carbohydrate, low impact carbohydrate) foods that also were not necessarily lower in calories. This can potentially happen to low GI foods as well.

The methodology for determining the GI has been criticized and each food must be tested individually. This requires food companies to invest financial resources into GI testing of their food products. The GI must be tested in humans and cannot be determined from data bases.

Companies that have foods with a naturally low GI have an advantage if the low GI movement catches on. The type of food companies most likely to benefit are companies with whole grain or unprocessed starch foods and dairy products.

Table 4. Randomized controlled trials and outcome studies: outcomes from medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for type-2 and type-1 diabetes

Type of study

HbA1c decreases

MNT studies in type-2 diabetes

UK Prospective Diabetes Study Group [40] Franz et al. [41]

Goldhaber-Fiebert et al. [42] Ziemer et al. [43] Lemon et al. [44]


Reduced energy/fat intake

Reduced energy/fat intake

Portion control and healthier food substitutions Healthy food choices Carbohydrate counting and simplified meal plans

MNT in diabetes self-management training studies (DSMT) in type-2 diabetes

Banister et al. [48]

2% (newly diagnosed) 2.3% intensive DSMT 1.7% standard DSMT 1.5%

MNT in type-l diabetes management Delahanty and 0.9%

Halford [49]

DAFNE Study Group [52]

Healthy food choices for improved glycemia Carbohydrate counting Reduced energy/fat/

carbohydrate Basic nutrition concepts/ individualized meal planning strategies

DCCT who followed meal plan (carbohydrate counting) >90% of the time compared to those <45% of the time Carbohydrate counting and exchange lists Carbohydrate counting/ adjusting insulin dose based on carbohydrate intake Carbohydrate counting/ adjusting insulin dose based on carbohydrate intake

The problem with the low GI approach will be similar to the problems that occurred with the development of low fat and low carbohydrate foods. Food companies can develop low GI foods. This can be done by adding or substituting sugars, especially fructose, and fat to foods. However, this may change the 'healthy' image of low GI foods and turn off health providers and potentially the public to low GI foods.

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Atkins Low Carb Diet Recipes

Atkins Low Carb Diet Recipes

The Atkins Diet is here. Dr Atkins is known for his great low carb diets. Excluding, Dr Atkins carb counter and Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution.

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