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What is the difference between low GI and low carb?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Scandichic, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Scandichic

    Scandichic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am asking this question in response to a thread I read earlier today. I tried the search engine but am ICT challenged and couldn't find an answer. Please be gentle with me if the answer is obvious! :)
     
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  2. kesun

    kesun Other · Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that low GI means you can eat carbs that release their sugar/starch slowly such as whole grains but not those that release it quickly such as table sugar. There's a scale that rates carbs 1-100 in order of how slowly the burn (Table sugar is 100 IIRC). You make up your own mind about fats, though it's often combined with low-fat. LCHF means you minimise even slow-release carbs and avoid low-fat products - either because you believe fat is good in itself or because fats are usually replaced with sugars in low-fat products.

    Kate
     
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  3. pavlosn

    pavlosn Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    A Low-GI diet is one where items of food are selected in accordance to their Glycemic Index value

    The glycemic index or (GI) is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels (i.e., blood sugar) rise after eating a particular type of food. Glucose (the defining standard) has a glycemic index of 100. The effects that different foods have on blood glucose levels vary considerably. The glycemic index estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a food raises a person's blood glucose level following consumption of the food, relative to consumption of pure glucose.

    A practical limitation of the glycemic index is that it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate actually consumed. A related measure, the glycemic load, factors this in by multiplying the glycemic index of the food in question by the carbohydrate content of the actual serving.

    Watermelon, being mostly water and to a lesser extend carbs, has a high glycemic index, as the carbs are highly soluble and quickly digested, but a low glycemic load because of the relatively low carbs it contains.

    The idea is that by eating food that has a lower GI value e.g. Whole meal instead of white bread, digestion is slower, glucose enter the blood stream more slowly and the pancreas , particularly in diabetics with impaired insulin response, does not have to work so hard to keep it under control.

    Strictly speaking GI is a method of deciding what carbs to consume not how many carbs to consume.

    As such it is not incompatible and in my opinion should be combined for best glycemic control with a low carb diet.

    I do not know if there is a formal definition of a low carb diet. I prefer to think of it as any diet where the contribution of carbohydrates to one's daily calorific intake is less than the 55% currently recommended by nutritionist and the medical profession.


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  4. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    The GI institute explains how it works far better (and more poetically) than I can
    When they have compared GIs of foods tested in people with diabetes with those tested on non diabetics the results correlate well. (though obviously some people with D will start and possibly reach higher levels than the non D, the relative GI of the foods remains the same)
    I could actually see an argument as to why this might not work so well with injected insulin, however the injected insulin we use doesn't work nearly as quickly as high GI foods . I find that lower GI carbs , as long as they aren't made lower by the addition of high amounts of fat can be managed more easily. (ie foods like pizza)
    I gave the Univ of Sydney link in the other thread but will give it again. As I said there the FAQS, and the newsletter will tell you al lot about what the GI is about.
    http://www.glycemicindex.com/faqsList.php#1

    Many GI diet plans (as opposed to just using the index) suggest adopting the half plate veg, 1/4 starch and 1/4 protein (+ daily: some dairy, usually low fat ie skimmed or semi skimmed milk and some fruit)
    Jenny Brand -Miller (professor at Sydney Uni and doyenne of the GI diet) is a bit more specific in her books and suggests specific amounts for different weights.
    Eg she suggests (for weight reduction and this isn't from her diabetes book which I can't find) that a woman weighing less than 70kg (me) should eat 3 portions of low GI carb rich foods (20-30g a portion), 5 portions veg (80g portion 150g of veg soup is a portion) 2 fruits( each medium or 80g), 3 protein portions (each providing 10-15g protein) 2 fat servings ie oils cheeses, butter , seeds etc ( each10g fat)

    Looking at that again (haven't looked at it for a long time) I probably eat a bit more protein , about the same amount of added fat (but more with the protein) and often larger than 80g portions of veg . I think that it's worth noting that many of the carbs in the diet come from veg/fruit/dairy and not all from starchy carbs.
    A man and someone who weighed more would though be advised relatively higher amounts of everything.
     
    #4 phoenix, Mar 1, 2014 at 5:02 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2014
  5. Scandichic

    Scandichic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your help. I think I'll probably stick to low carb as I like more of the foods on offer but think it's always important to listen to ther people and find out about things where I have limited knowledge.
     
  6. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    I use both as unless you are doing very low carb (nothing wrong with that) then the latest advice for T2 is to look to control your total carbs first then supplement and finesse using gi techniques.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  7. DiamondAsh

    DiamondAsh Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was in a caffuddle about this too :)
     
  8. elaine77

    elaine77 · Well-Known Member

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    Since I was diagnosed with LADA in 2012 I have relied heavily on a low GI diet to control my BS as I am not insulin dependent yet and take only Metformin.

    Low GI is really good for us LADAs because we are insulin deficient which means we have insulin but not enough to deal with high GI carbs as they convert to glucose too quick for our reduced insulin levels but, if we eat low GI foods, the glucose converts a lot slower meaning our beta cells can cope with it a lot better...

    Not sure whether type 1 diabetics really bother with low GI as I imagine it would difficult to inject for conversion times... But for LADA it's a good thing :)


    Diagnosed with GD in 2010, Completely disappeared postpartum. Re-diagnosed December 2012 with type 1.5/LADA diabetes, age 27, BMI 21 currently controlled by only Metformin, 500mg twice a day.
     
  9. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    I agree with Elaine. I am now on insulin but still go for low-carb and low-GI. The low-carb minimises the amount of insulin needed which reduces swings and the risk of hypos. Low-GI also helps reduce spikes even with the insulin. So for many diabetics of all types low-carb and low-GI carbs can help reduce medication and spikes smoothing blood sugar
     
  10. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    I agree with you Elaine, I used a low GI diet for almost 3 years , from the time I realised I had diabetes to the time I had the 'shock' T1 ie LADA diagnosis.
    I still use the GI to choose foods, rapid insulins are not as fast as high glycemic carbs.
     
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  11. mrman

    mrman Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  12. squeezelouise400

    squeezelouise400 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Low GI foods have a less of an impact on your blood sugar results and can help to keep blood sugars stable, where as low carb is where people consume less carbohydrate over a space of time.

    I eat mostly low GI foods and have had some amazing success with it.
     
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