In the ever changing world of health, healthy eating, fitness and wellness it is easy to be lead to believe that certain myths are really facts. Some of this is because science is also providing new information on a regular basis and the new information may not be as readily embraced as the old or tried and true ways of eating, working out or following a wellness practice that we are used to. Change when incorporating new information is hard even when it is good and/ or correct change. That said here are a few myths surrounding glycemic index that you may have heard before:
- Glycemic index is a measure of how fast carbohydrates are absorbed from specific foods/supplements or drinks when eating or drinking a certain amount and gets into the blood stream. What is true is that glycemic index is the total amount that blood sugar rises over time. Research conducted by two different laboratories has shown the rate of glucose entry into the bloodstream, called glucose kinetics, for two high-GI carbohydrates can be remarkably different.In fact, a low-GI carbohydrate may possibly enter the bloodstream more rapidly than a high-GI carbohydrate-rich food (Eelderink et al, 2012a; Eelderink et al, 2012b; Schenk et al, 2003).
- Simple, refined complex carbs digest faster than complex carbohydrates. In a recent study done on the speed of absorption using bran cereal and corn flakes there was no difference. This data cannot translate to all foods, unless scientists conduct glucose kinetics studies on all foods. However, the examples from these studies completely disprove the assumption that GI represents speed of entry into the bloodstream. Moreover, it is absolutely an untruth that simple carbohydrate ingredients are automatically high-GI foods that are more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream compared to more complex carbohydrate, low-GI foods.
- It is important to choose all your foods and supplements based on glycemic index (GI) ratings. There is no research that actually proves foods with a certain GI rating are more healthy and/or promote a healthier lifestyle. When it comes to GI, many tests have actually been done, yet there is no consensus on whether GI truly makes a difference in long-term health outcomes.
Laurie Bagley MS in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, is a mother, ACE certified health coach, entrepreneurial business owner, VeraHeart coach and teacher. Her Health and Wellness products business and her Health Fitness Coaching Business, focus on assisting people reach their health/wellness/fitness and financial goals. She is also the 6th woman to summit Mt. Everest from the North Col route and has written a book called SUMMIT.