Has the Good Carbs/Bad Carbs Nutrition Advice Been Debunked?

Staff Writer
New research from the National Institutes of Health finds that the high glycemic index warning may be a myth
Has the Good Carbs/Bad Carbs Nutrition Advice Been Debunked?
Wikimedia Commons

We’ve all been looking for that excuse to eat more pasta and potatoes.  

For years, the distinction between good carbs (quinoa and whole wheat everything), and bad carbs (white bread and potatoes), has been drilled into our heads. However, a new study by the National Institutes of Health has come out that is making us question everything. According to the study, diets containing low-glycemic foods (i.e. the “good carbs”) do not actually lower cholesterol or heart disease risk. In fact, a diet rich in low-glycemic foods can actually make insulin sensitivity worse. Unless you suffer from diabetes, the study urges people, even those who are overweight or obese, to ignore the myth of the glycemic index.

In the study, 163 overweight adults were placed on four different heart-healthy diets for five weeks at a time, with varying degrees of carbohydrate and glycemic levels. Overall researchers found that despite diet changes, there was little to no discernable markers of health differences between high- and low-glycemic diets.

If you’re eating a heart-healthy diet, glycemic index is not important to consider,” said Dr. Robert Eckel a professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, who wrote an editorial for the study. “I think the emphasis need to be on the overall diet pattern,” he said.

So what do the researchers suggest overweight people look to instead? Mediterranean-style diets rich in vegetables, nuts, fish, and healthy fats were at the top of the list, according to Reuters.

Related Links
Knowing Nutrition Facts Doesn't Make You Eat Healthy, Study SaysYeah, No One Looks at Nutrition LabelsFDA Considering Nutrition Label ChangesNew School Nutrition Law Takes Youths’ Health to Heart