Glycemic Index -- What's the skinny?

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jwcalla
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Glycemic Index -- What's the skinny?

Post by jwcalla » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:06 pm

Okay... what's the deal with the glycemic index and, more to the point, all this anti-processed foods snootery?

Now when I first got into lifting ~6 years ago I really got super-anal with the foods I ate and I was eating really clean. I was into the anti-white [insert carb of choice here] philosophy and avoided the high-fructose corn syrups and all those other naughty things, so I completely understand where people are coming from.

I've had a change of heart since then and I don't really see the point of discounting "highly refined" foods such as white bread based on the glycemic index alone. My major stumbling block right now is that the GI doesn't really take into account how we typically eat meals. Yes, if I haven't eaten for 3 hours and I pop open a bottle of Coke and chug it, I would expect an insulin spike and bad results. But other then making bonehead moves like that, how much does it really matter? If one is "eating right", how often will an insulin spike be caused by ordinary meals containing refined foods?

Consider evil white bread. Now I typically switch between whole-grain white bread and whole-grain wheat bread, but both are "processed" products that contain a whopping 4g of sugars per 2 slices, including high-fructose corn syrup amongst other naughtyisms. But when making a sandwich I'll slather on 16g of peanut butter FAT. Is eating a PB&J really going to result in an insulin spike that causes the body to store fat?

Consider whole wheat vs. white pasta. Who eats pasta alone? Invariably pasta comes with tomato sauce and meatballs and cheese and other goodies. In the grand scheme of things, does the wheat vs. white really matter in such a meal?

Now I'm open to ideas here. Help me understand why I should be concerned about the glycemic index and "processed" foods like white bread and grape jelly under normal eating patterns.

John

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Ironman
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Post by Ironman » Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:46 pm

It can't be done. You've already made up your mind.

hoosegow
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Post by hoosegow » Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:48 am

John, you sound like you are well ahead of the curve. 6 years of working out and a working knowledge of nutrition is good. Unless you are planning to compete for Mr. Olympia in October, I wouldn't worry about it. It sound like you are eating healthy.

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TimD
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Post by TimD » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:14 am

Hi John. Interesting questions about the GI.Go over to johnberardi.com He writes a lot about what you are talking about. Most nutritionists are getting away from the GI index, and adjust more for what they call the II, or insulin index. It's based more on the glycemic load and measures how much insulin your body will secrete per given food combinations. You are absolutely right, most people don't eat pasta by iself, most people add some type of sauce, and depending on what that sauc is, it might slow down the absorbtion rate. I doin't eat much starch, but thats just my preferences. I don't think white bread will kill you, look at all the French and Italians that make it a staple, I just don't like eating lots of it/ But anyway, just do a search on the Insulin Index, and you should get the latest scoop on the subject.
Tim

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