The Glycemic Index Problem

Glycemic index, used to indicate blood sugar response, may be unreliable

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(RxWiki News) The glycemic index varies so much that it may be an unreliable indicator of blood sugar response, according to a new study.

This study looked at 63 individuals who did not have any chronic conditions. The study results suggested that blood sugar responses could actually range in any of the three glycemic index categories — whether they were low, medium or high — even when patients were given the same food. 

The glycemic index is a system that ranks foods on a scale based on how much they affect blood sugar when eaten.

In fact, how fast the blood sugar responds after eating varied by an average of 25 percent among individuals and 20 percent within a single individual, these Tufts University researchers found. 

This study suggests the glycemic index may not be as reliable as previously thought in predicting how food actually affects blood sugar levels and, therefore, may not be useful in guiding food choices

Speak to your doctor about what foods to avoid and how best to manage your blood sugar levels.

This study was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 

The National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service funded this study. Conflicts of interest were not available at the time of publication.

Last Updated:
September 15, 2016