Low GI Diet Experts Opinions

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While experts favour the focus of fruits, vegetables and grains in the Low GI diet, they are generally more skeptical of the diet itself, as it is largely unproven and in addition to this, it is difficult to determine the GI (and GL) of a meal, even if each of the individual component foods are known, as there are so many factors in the final GI level, including (but not limited to):

  1. How long the food was cooked
  2. If the food was in season
  3. How ripe the food was when picked
  4. Which country the food originated from
  5. The individual’s body chemistry and how they digest and absorb the food

Most experts agree with the basic premise of the low GI diet – to eat enough fruits, vegetables and grains that will provide a stead release of glucose in the blood stream and will ensure there is a steady level of insulin and this is the review of this diet:

  • Nutrition Australia favours this diet over other low carb diets
  • John Hopkins School of Medicine does not endorse this diet
  • Australian Heart Foundation cautiously favours diets based on GI
  • The Cleveland Clinic cautiously recommends this diet
  • The American Dietetic Association cautiously favours this diet
  • American Heart Association does not totally endorse this diet
Low GI does not necessarily mean low fat and healthy for you

Explanation of Experts Reviews

  • Nutrition Australia, which is Australia’s official nutrition and dietetic association generally favours this diet more than any of the other low carbohydrate, high protein diets (such as Atkinsthe Zone and South Beach diets), but Nutrition Australia does not yet endorse this diet, as there has been no research over the longer term on the health benefits and health risks of this diet
  • The John Hopkins School of Medicine views the glycemic index as a useful tool, but does not recommend this diet as a realistic one, instead advising people to disregard the glycemic index on packaging and recommending to people they ensure to eat enough of all natural fruits, vegetables and wholegrains each day as recommended by the national nutritional experts. It is also noted that when a high GI food is eaten with a lower GI food, the net GI of the meal becomes medium GI
  • The Australian Heart Foundation (AHF) cautiously approves of diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables and grains, low saturated fat and lean meat, such as the South Beach diet. There are reservations about the initial weight loss through the severe restriction of many carbohydrates – the AHF recommends all nutrient-rich and natural carbohydrates should be eaten and not restricted
  • The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association cautiously approve of this diet with the focus on low fat protein, low glycemic carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, together with healthy unsaturated fat as these are the basis of a healthy diet. The only hesitation that these two organisations have is the amount of weight lost in the initial phase, which is mainly due to water loss and this could disturb electrolyte balance. In addition to this, when high GI foods are combined with low GI foods, the final GI load becomes low-medium and is recommended. They recommend working closely with a dietician or doctor to tailor this diet to each individual’s health needs and ensure weight lost is in a gradual manner
  • The American Heart Association (AHA) currently (as at 10 January 2008) does not recommend any of the high protein diets that are popular today, as the AHA believes that these diets can cause a multitude of health problems and may not even provide all the nutrients required to keep the human body healthy. The AMA recommends no more than 35% of total daily calories from fat (of which only 7% of calories should be from saturated fats). The AMA also advocates the intake of all carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and grains to ensure there are adequate levels of all the nutrients in the diet

 

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