Fat is evil. For decades the intake of saturated fat had been demonized, and this dietary rule had gone deeply ingrained in every individual and household's dining table. But  with the current trend of increasing number of obese and Hypertensive individuals, modern dietary studies had proven that this nutritional notion is wrong. To add to injury, this mistake lead to a catastrophic result - the increase in intake of Carbohydrates.

The 'fat phobia', as what Dr. Frank B. Hu of H. T. Chan School of Public Health of Harvard University, was created due to this notion. 'The mistake made by the earlier dietary guideline was an emphasis on low fat without emphasizing the quality of carbohydrates, creating the impression that all fats are bad and all carbs are good.' he added.  Thus, the modern obesity crisis was due to the uncontrolled Carbohydrate intake as a result of fat phobia.

The Glycemic Index, published as early as 1981 by David Jenkins, could have been the one of the key in meddling this crisis. The Glycemic Index 'is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating'. The higher the rate, the easier it is digested and absorbed thus the more rapid it raises the blood sugar levels.

Photo: Low Glycemic Certification Lab

Photo: Low Glycemic Certification Lab

The use of the Glycemic index is proven on a study by Dr. David S. Ludwig, a nutrition researcher from Boston Children's Hospital and a professor at H. T. Chan School of Public Health of Harvard University, which emphasizes the relevance of the values indicated by the index in preventing and treating obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

With these, the 'Moderation is key' advice should never be taken with a grain of salt. The decade old mistake of falling in to the extreme of avoiding saturated fat, all the while getting caught in the wrong side of consuming the wrong Carbohydrates could've been corrected with the index, which keys in the balancing act between good fat and bad carbs. 

Words: Jek Llanos


References:

(n.d.). Retrieved October 3, 2016, from http://www.lowglycemiccertification.com/

Brody, J. E. (2015, October 19). The Fats you don't need to fear, and the Carbs that you do. Retrieved October 4, 2016, from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/19/the-fats-you-dont-need-to-fear-and-the-carbs-that-you-do/?contentCollection=smarter-living&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Miller, J. B. (2016, May 1). Retrieved October 3, 2016, from http://www.glycemicindex.com/about.php

Ludwig, D. S. (2002, May 8). The Glycemic Index Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease. The Glycemic Index Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease. doi:10.1001/jama.287.18.2414.


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