The original Glycemic Index was created in the early '80s by a team of scientists at the University of Toronto in Canada, and was in response to a growing problem among diabetics. The recommendation at the time was to avoid carbohydrates, and as a result their blood sugars were good but instead they were dying of heart attacks from a high fat diet - what some would call the Atkins phenomena.
Seven years ago I developed diabetes type II as a result of damage to my pancreas from a hereditary blood disorder (hemochromatosis). I didn't like the warning labels on the prescription meds my doctor was giving me, and while looking for alternatives stumbled over the Glycemic Index. I've since stuck to a strict GI giet (barley, steel cut oats, whole rye bread, squash, wholewheat fettucini and beans as carb sources rather than wheat, potatoes and rice). I've also managed to put in half an hour of walking every day. Protein sources are mainly fish and lean chicken.
After seven years, I could walk into a doctors office and have a full checkup and he or she wouldn't detect my diabetes. It hasn't gone away, it's just being controlled, day by day, by healthy eating and activity.As an unexpected but welcome 'side effect' of this, my weight dropped from 224 to 164 lbs, and has stayed there for the past years. So yeah, not surprised the 'diet industry' is discovering the Glycemic Index. However, when the users discover that there are no freebees, that it needs to be supplemented with regular exercise and that it has to become a lifelong thing, it will be interesting to see what happens.
The large diabetic health organizations do not fully support the glycemic index. The big Organizations won't get behind it because if you can fix your problem with a simple change in diet and can loose the shot everyday you won't be making their bank account bigger now, would you? NEVER accept the word of someone who is after your money!!
You may ask me: Is a GI diet suitable for people with diabetes?
Anyone with diabetes should always check first with their doctor before making changes to their diet. However, most diabetes experts agree that including foods with low GI value in meals can help to maintain even blood sugar levels. However, they also agree that eating to control diabetes, isn't just about looking at the GI value of foods. You should also focus on eating a balanced, healthy diet you can stick with for life.
Are there any other health benefits to the GI diet?
Of course! Following a diet that includes plenty of foods with a low GI index may have a role in helping to prevent or reduce the risk of getting Type 2 or maturity-onset diabetes, according to experts at Diabetes UK, the largest diabetes organisation in the UK. Research has also shown that lower GI diets can help improve levels of 'good' cholesterol and so may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Are there any cons to the GI diet?
As outlined above, one of the main limitations to GI diets is the fact that it's difficult to identify the GI value of a meal. Meanwhile, some foods with a low GI value are also packed with fat and/or salt and contain few nutrients. Consequently, it's possible to follow a GI diet that's packed with fat and lacking in many of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. However, most GI diet plans come with advice to cut down on the amount of fat you eat and recommend avoiding many of the high-fat, low GI foods. For example, they recommend choosing skimmed milk over whole milk.
What do the experts think about the low GI diet?
In general, most nutritionists and dietitians are supportive of the basic principles of the GI diet. They do, however, believe that you shouldn't get too hung up about avoiding all high GI foods because when foods are eaten together in a meal, that meal can have a very different GI value to the individual foods it contains.
And what do the media say about the GI diet?
"Glycemic Index Diet: The Hype Grows", read a magazine header. It seems there is always something "revolutionary" when it comes to weight loss. Over the past 6 months, the buzz surrounding the Glycemic Index has grown unabated. Also a large piece in the Health Telegraph is calling the GI "the new Atkins". However, unlike the Atkins, the cabbage soup and all the other diet crazes that have come and gone over the past decade or so, the GI has the thumbs-up from the medical establishment as well as the fashion pack.
An expert endocrinologist stated: I remain unconvinced. The GI is very useful in determining potential insulin response from various carbohydrates - and is particularly helpful for diabetics and other blood sugar issues (such as hypoglycemia). However once again we see a great and useful concept marketed as the panacea for all weight loss. The GI has been packaged together and called a "diet". It now has a number of incarnations and versions - (such as the Glycemic Impact Diet and The Holford Diet).
"The Low Gi Diet Breakthrough" is a great book and has become our eating "bible" . Every once in awhile I slip into old eating habits and within two days can truly feel the difference in mind, body, and soul!(Carol J. Peters) .
This doesn't mean the GI is hot air - I think it's a great tool for understanding insulin response from certain carbs - it's a good way to eat - but it's just another tool (Dr. Bertha Perkins)
"The LOW GI Diet Breakthrough" focuses on foods that are 'slow-release' in your body. What this means is that when you eat any food, your body digests that food either quickly or slowly, depending on the glycemic index of that food. 'Quick release foods' are your body's worst enemies as they are digested quickly by your stomach and your body is unable to burn off the calorie from that food causing fat deposits to stick to you. 'Slow release' basically means that your body is getting energy from your food throughout the day and therefore your fat stores will be limited as the calories from your food will be burnt off throughout the day.
"The low Gi diet breakthrough" is a simple step-by-step method for easily losing maximum weight in the shortest time possible while still eating the foods you love.
Sidebar: "The Low GI Diet Breakthrough" is available as a professionally formatted PDF software download. It comes with several additional bonus files... all worthwhile.
That's all well and good, but you may ask: does "The GI Diet Breakthrough" make good on its claims? Well, I read they have calculated that it has a refund rate of around of 7.61% when purchased at the standard price which is pretty low - meaning under one in ten people were unsatisfied with their purchase.
I don't know if "The Low GI Diet Breakthrough" is the panacea, the cure-all, the perfect remedy for all diabetics. You have to put persistence and consistency, but it's really easy to follow, and the results show up pretty soon. One important "side effect" of following it is that I save quite a bit of money on insulin and pills. Another one: I can eat all kinds of foods, in reasonable quantities, and I've already lost, as I said, a whole lot of pounds.
Read more about exactly what this product is about here.