Some have even argued all people should stay on a diet which keeps their sugar levels down, and that the glycemic index should be printed on food packaging as nutrition information. While a low glycemic diet can be nutritious and healthy if done properly, it may not be the most effective way to keep your blood sugar levels even.
With that said, the new study authored by Dr. Frank Sacks, of Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, looked at 163 participants over the course of two years, from 2008 to 2010, to see if the glycemic index can make a significant difference in the diet of an overweight adult.
The study was broken up into four groups:
- High carbohydrate/high glycemic foods
- High carbohydrate/low glycemic foods
- Low carbohydrate/high glycemic foods
- Low carbohydrate/low glycemic foods
Sacks explains, “A higher glycemic diet would have more bananas and instant oatmeal. A lower glycemic index would have dried apricots and steel cut oats.”
Over the course of the study, the researchers did not find much of a difference in the hormone insulin and no particular improvement in other health point indicators. There was also no change or improvement in the systolic pressure of the participant or a decrease or change of fat cells found in the blood.
Prior to the study researchers suggested that the different diets may not make much of a difference, since breads and fruit are both healthy, but they are on opposite ends of the glycemic index. For the most part, the researchers’ hypothesis has proven correct. However, Sacks was very quick to note that those with type 2 Diabetes or adult on-set diabetes should pay particular attention the the index when making dietary choices.
The final conclusion was a diet that includes fruit, non-fat dairy, fish, poultry, vegetable, nuts, vegetable oils and whole grains was the best ones for all adults, not just those struggling with weight issues.
Ultimately, the study has proven that while the glycemic index is important, it is only important in relation to diet change if you are not on a heart healthy diet, or if you are a diabetic patient.
(Photo courtesy of daBinsi)