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Glycemic Index Deception Finally Understood

The fallacy behind using glycemic index (GI) values: They take into account far too many exceptions to be consistently useful. Conventional medicine is beginning to get the hint, according to a new study.

Based on a five-year study of more than 1,000 patients, no significant connection exists between a food's glycemic index and a patient's blood sugar levels. Numerous factors play a role in how a specific food will affect your blood sugar, says the lead researcher, and that's certainly true.

The glycemic index doesn't measure a food or specific ingredient, for example, or how it affects a patient over time. Moreover, it fails to take into account the harm chemicals like sucralose, sorbitol and refined fructose contained in supposedly low GI foods do to your body: Converting directly into triglycerides and adipose tissue instead of blood glucose, accelerating obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia and cardiovascular disease.

In fact, the index is so flawed, scientists believe patients would be better off using more traditional means -- an exercise plan and better eating habits -- to fight obesity.

British Journal of Medicine, Vol. 95, No. 2, February 2006: 397-405

San Francisco Chronicle March 1, 2006

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