Everything old is new again.
The latest buzzword in nutrition may be “low glycemic”. You’ve probably heard the term “low glycemic” bandied about in the media and in discussions about weight loss. You may have even come across some food products labeled as such.
It’s All About Sugar
“Glycemic” simply means “relating to sugar.” The higher the glycemic impact of a food (more about this below), the greater and more rapid its effect on your blood sugar when you eat it—and the more insulin required to return your blood sugar to normal. Since insulin is a fat-storage hormone and since overweight people often already produce too much of it, high blood sugar and high insulin can sabotage your weight-management and better health efforts. Eating lower glycemic foods is definitely the way to go.
But how do we measure the glycemic impact of foods containing carbs? And how does that translate into deciding what to eat and what to pass up?
The Glycemic Index…
The first ranking, known as the glycemic index (GI), measured the relative impact of carbohydrate foods on blood sugar. The GI of a particular food is determined by comparing the effect of a 50-gram portion on blood sugar to that of a 50-gram standard such as a glucose solution or white bread1. The higher a food’s GI, the faster and greater its effect on your blood sugar. Although the connection between high-sugar diets and obesity and diabetes has been obvious for some time, recent research has also shown a connection between high-glycemic diets and both cardiovascular disease and cancer2, 3, 4.
The Glycemic Load
The glycemic load (GL) improves on the measuring process of the GI. Because it takes portion size into account, it gives a more accurate reading.
Glycemic Impact of Atkins Advantage Products
Atkins Advantage nutrition bars and shakes are low-glycemic impact . A patent-pending clinical testing method substantiates the low glycemic impact and confirm the accuracy of the Atkins net carb labeling claims.
1. Foster-Powell, K., Holt, S.H., Brand-Miller, J.C., “International Table of Glycemic index and Glycemic Load Values: 2002.” Am Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July, 2002; 76(1):5-56.
2. Dickinson, S., Brand-Miller, J., “Glycemic Index, Postprandial Glycemia and Cardiovascular Disease.” Current Opinions in Lipidology, 16 (1), pages 69-75, 2005.
3. Brand-Miller, J.C., “Glycemic Index in Relation to Coronary Disease.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 13(Suppl), page S3, 2004.
4. Michaud, D.S., Fuchs, C.S., Liu, S., et al, “Dietary Glycemic Load, Carbohydrate, Sugar, and Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men and Women.” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention, 14(1), pages 138-147, 2005.