Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

GI diet doesn't control blood sugar levels

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A new study shows that diets based on the glycemic index, like the South Beach Diet, do not effectively control blood sugar levels.

The glycemic index, which measures how quickly carbohydrates convert to sugar in your blood, has never been accepted by many dieticians.

This study, which examined food questionnaires from more than 1,000 people over the course of five years, did not find any link between the glycemic index of foods and the blood-sugar levels of participants. Mercola

Take it from a hypoglycaemic – low-GI doesn’t work for us!

The methodology used in this study is actually just as dubious as the methodology of the two tiny pro-low-GI studies. To be honest all of the studies need throwing away because they have been designed by monkeys. A much better approach to studying the effects of macronutrients in the diet is through an understanding of endocrinology.

Dr. Bernstein (the oldest living T1 diabetic in the world) has been saying since the eighties that low-GI and low-GL diets don’t work on himself or his patients – the effects of low-GI are tiny in comparison to a reduction in the total quantity of carbohydrates in the diet, and indeed the necessity for fat in the diet.

The reason doctors stopped recommending low carbohydrate diets for diabetics back in the fifties was because they were scared (without proof) that fat was giving their diabetic patients heart disease. Fat is not the cause of the heart disease so commonly suffered by diabetics. High insulin levels and high blood sugar levels are both independent risk factors for heart disease. Doctors have known since the seventies that if you drip insulin into the femoral artery of a dog, the artery will become almost completely occluded by plaque within around three months. This has since been replicated in a wide variety of other animals. Insulin also causes the blood to clot too readily.

The problem with regards to blood sugar is in part due to the GI diet’s failure to take into consideration other sugars apart from glucose, like fructose, or to consider the vast differences between different individuals’ ability to digest certain foods (the more you eat any carbohydrate food, say, beans, the better you will be able to digest them, and the more likely they will be to raise your blood sugar faster and the more insulin you will release). Palatability may even impact on blood sugar and insulin release – one of the advantages of the GI diet is its complete lack of palatability! I say may because the study in question used food dye to decrease palatability – which also decreases gastric emptying.

Fat is the only thing that does not raise blood sugar in a diabetic, though even the glycerin component of fat triglycerides (5% by weight) can be turned into sugar. Over half of all amino acids are glucogenic (the rest are ketogenic). Some proteins are both ketogenic and glucogenic and will be converted into one or the other depending on the requirements of the body. Dr. Bernstein will not even allow his patients to eat ‘diabetic’ sweeteners like maltitol because of their recordable impact on blood sugar. Splenda is partially metabolised – broken down into chlorine and carbohydrate in the body. Aspartame should be avoided for other reasons than blood sugar impact.

Endocrinology is far, far more complicated stuff than the GI diet allows. There are many feedback mechanisms at work in the body that depend on the remaining nutrient content of the diet – from fat, to vitamins, to minerals, to EFAs, to a wide range of other not so nice chemicals in foods that can affect organs, hormones, and prostaglandins.

I’ve been griping about the GI diet for a long time now – partly because of Dr. Bernstein’s evidence, but mainly because it encourages the consumption of foods that do bad things to your body. A low fat, low animal protein diet encourages the consumption of plant foods, particularly energy-rich ones like beans and grains in order to replace missing calories. Plants grow very fast and they are always one step ahead of us in evolutionary terms, particularly when it comes to protecting their seeds. Beans and grains contain lectins, phytates, phytoestrogens, goiterogens, coumarins, oxalates, salicylates, protease inhibitors, and cyanogens, all designed to prevent them from being eaten. Each one of these substances contributes and causes different problems, from autoimmune diseases, to mineral deficiencies, to thyroid problems, to sex hormone imbalances, to uncontrolled bleeding.


Written by alienrobotgirl

23 March, 2006 at 12:51 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Posted in Low Carbohydrate Diets by the witch on June 13th, 2006 Some time ago I had another gripe about the failure of the GI diet to control blood sugar in diabetics. If you or a relative have diabetes and are following this diet to control your blood sugar, you […]

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