Study: ‘High-glycemic’ foods tied to diabetes risk

“The analysis did not pinpoint precisely how many of the 125,000 participants actually developed the disease.”

Read more at Reuters.

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20 responses to “Study: ‘High-glycemic’ foods tied to diabetes risk

  1. ‘”By raising blood sugar and demanding that the pancreas keep pumping more insulin, meal after meal, day after day, a high-glycemic diet can put people at risk over the edge,” said Dr. David Ludwig.’

    The edge of what?

    “The glycemic index is calculated by multiplying the total of carbohydrate grams in a given food by its assigned glycemic index, a number that can be found in online tools.”

    What? Glycemic Index = Grams X Glycemic Index?

    Science by breathless report.

  2. Why so intolerant? Simply put, a diet high in quickly digestible carbs (sugars, flour products of any kind, and starchy vegetables) will lead to insulin insensitivity. This in turn shuts down the body’s ‘fat burning mode’ as the blood is constantly flooded with insulin. A by-product of this is that such insulin insensitive people are “always hungry” and hungry for more carbs. Net/net — starving obesity. Concomitant with this is lack of energy (the body is actually starved, even though it’s getting fatter). So it reacts by trying to conserve energy. You’re not “getting fat because you don’t exercise” you’re “not exercising because you’re getting fat.”

    That all this results in diabetes, heart disease and other ailments is no surprise.

  3. Friend of John Galt

    The only problem is that objective tests show that the “glycemic index” is a very highly variable figure. Higher-sugar foods from different sources (even if otherwise seemingly identical) show very wide variation in the tested “glycemic index.” As a tool for diabetic control, glycemic index is nearly worthless.

    The American Diabetic Association claims (in their objective tests and clinical experience) that a carb is a carb is a carb — and good diabetic control requires ensuring a balanced diet and keeping carbs at the appropriate portion of your diet.

    • To your first paragraph: Who cares? My research tells me to eliminate all carbs save leafy vegetables or high fiber vegetables.

      To your second paragraph: Who cares (what the ADA says?). How’s the country doing following this advice? We have an epidemic of obesity and of diabetes. The ADA advice is both fatuous (because no one can follow it) and wrong (because if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ve got to figure a way to not be constantly hungry, and to date, only an Atkins-like diet does that — and you never have to go off the diet).

      My opinion of authority has taken quite a hit during my 67 years, probably starting with Watergate. My view is that the medical system has done a pretty lousy job dealing with what perhaps is the largest threat today to public health — obesity. Their worst nightmare must be the dawning realization that Atkins was right all along and that their ‘healthy carb’ recommendations for the past 50 years has been killing us all.

  4. “Why so intolerant? Simply put, a diet high in quickly digestible carbs (sugars, flour products of any kind, and starchy vegetables) will lead to insulin insensitivity. ”

    That is simply false. No such relationship has ever been demonstrated.

  5. This is your “liar liar pants on fire” argument, right? I’ve been on a low/no carb diet for 6 months and have lost 40 pounds without ever being hungry. I just had blood work done, and when I get the the results I’ll know, but my expectation is that: 1) my triglicerides will be down 50%, my HDL will be up 20% and my LDL will be up 5-10%, but with low particle size and particle number. You might want to google “A to Z study”, “metabolic syndrome” and “insulin insensitivity.” Or not. Your choice.

    I’m indifferent to the appropriateness of Glycemic Index.” I’m eliminating all carbs save leafy high fiber vegetables. When I lose another 20 lbs I plan on getting a calcium score test to see how all this has affected my coronary plaque levels. We’ll see.

    I went to Nutri-Systems about 10 years ago. They seems to have a plausible program (and maybe it’s different today), but when I asked and they admitted that their recidivism rate was 98%, I basically walked. Why bother if you have only a 2% chance of long term success?

    My research tells me the Atkins diet works. Few/no others work. And the reason is that all diets that emphasize carbs lead to constant hunger. You may scoff, but I know — from my own personal experience and results.

  6. First, what works for weight loss for one does not work for another. Weight loss is a complex thing–bottom line, it’s calories in, calories burned. However, since people use food for comfort, etc, there’s a psychological side also.
    The GI made a great diet marketing tool. Much is counterintuitive–beets have a higher index than some fruit. Popcorn is supposed to be high GI, but I never could maintain blood sugar if I counted popcorn the way the index did (I am diabetic). The foods act differently in combinations. Some low index foods will actually raise blood sugar rapidly in some people. Some diabetics get blood sugar rises from foods that are not supposed to cause this–cheese, meats, etc.
    I have also wondered why it is that we are so convinced that our pancreases can’t do what they are designed to do. In a 500 lb person, that’s probably a good bet. For the rest of the world, not. Being able to measure blood sugar was a boon to diabetics but a bad deal for those who are not. Sometimes we can know too much and make all kinds of really bad connections that don’t exist.

    • I am torn between saying that your post is largely unhelpful to saying ti’s wrong in important respects. I realize it is aspirational of me to think that folks read what I say or that they follow my suggested links.

      Let’s start with what I say vs your “different things work for different folks (which you have to admit is pretty vapid at best, along with your “weight loss is complicated”)”. vs;my “Nutri-Sysems had a 98% recidivism rate.” Call me stubborn, but I suggest you should revise YOUR claim to “Nothing seems to work for most people.” I’d say that’s closer to the truth, assuming you accept my Nutri=System fact and that it’s still true.. Now had you followed my suggestion to check out the “A to Z study” you’d see why I favor the Atkins diet. You say “it’s complicated” but then say it’s “calories in vs calories out.” I say it’s simple IF WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT CALORIES WERE true on it’s face, but moreover I’m saying it’s not “calories in/calories out” but rather how can you address the “I’m always hungry” phenomenon both WHEN you are dieting and AFTER you get off the diet? And I say furthermore, that it is indeed simple, because all you have to do is avoid sugary/starchy carbohydrates ….forever.

      Now of course different people are …. well, different. And of course IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A WEIGHT PROBLEM, then you don’t need to diet at all. But if you want to lose weight without suffering and you want to keep it off without suffering, then Atkins-like is the way to go.

      I realize you might not have read my other comments, but I really don’t care about the glycemic index, for the simple reason that I avoid sugars and starchy carbs as a matter of course.

      BTW insulin intolerance has NOTHING to do with the pancreas. Indeed it depends on the pancreas doing its job normally. It’s the rest of the bodies’ cells that are the problem.

  7. davidrussel22–Excuse me for not realizing this entire thread was about you. As a diabetic who has followed a diet for OVER 40 years, I am obviously completely ignorant about nutrition and weight. I am so sorry to have taken away from your spotlight.

    • Thanks for a vacuous comment. You do realize that you have actually made no response to anything I’ve said, right? Nor have you asserted anything affirmative with which to disagree or agree. All you’ve done is assert you are sick with diabetes (an irrelevancy, albeit a personal hardship for you) and in a round about way that you don’t like something I said (or indeed me personally). So you are not forgiven.

      Agree with me or disagree. Present some argument or evidence.

      • I did NOT assert I am sick with diabetes and I certainly do NOT have any negative feelings for it. I was asserting that I was familiar with nutrition through dietitians and other teaching. To bad you can’t actually read what is written.
        Why would I want to be forgiven?
        You may continue your commercial for Atkins without further interruption.

        • Now your are embarrassing yourself.
          1) Diabetes is a disease, an illness. You say you’re diabetic, so therefore you are ‘sick with diabetes.’ QED
          2) Re-read my sentence containing “negative feelings.” I didn’t say you had “negative feelings” AT ALL in my posts here. I did suggest something like this, but not ‘about diabetes’ or ‘having diabetes’ rather ‘about something [who can say “what”) I said, or about me personally.’
          3) “Too bad you can’t read what is written” — see # 2 above and #4 below..
          4) “Why would I want to be forgiven”? Because you said: “davidrussel22–Excuse me for not realizing….”
          5) If you last sentence is saying you’ll post no further on this thread, you have my thanks.

  8. Westchester Bill

    Why Atkin’s works and calories-in/ calories-out doesn’t is a real mystery to me. I thought for some time that meat proteins took more work to digest. Think about the sleeping time of cats like lions. I now think that humans have been doing grain agriculture only recently- 14,000 years or so. Late onset diabetes would not be selected against because in comes on after reproduction.

  9. The mystery is solved by what I’ve said above, but for a more complete solution read Gary Taubes’ “Why We get Fat.”

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