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Understanding glycemic response can be useful for health and wellness professionals striving to steer consumers, patients and clients toward true, evidence-based information. With the rise of CGM sales, research around the glycemic index of certain ingredients like oat milk and even “anti-spiking” supplements, it’s key to navigate myths and accurate information amidst discussions on blood sugar impacts.

Below is an excerpt of our “Addressing Glycemic Response Questions, Concerns, Research and Myths with Clients” six-page document, which we’ve made free to all readers. Members can access the full, comprehensive whitepaper in our Member Resource Library. We hope you enjoy this sample of our expert content.

Science and history of glycemic response

The Glycemic index (GI) categorizes foods based on their impact on blood glucose levels, ranking them on a scale from 0 to 100. Foods with a high GI cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, whereas those with a low GI lead to a more gradual increase.

(More on the science and history in the full document) 

Glycemic responses in the modern diet  

In today’s nutrition landscape, the concepts of GI and GL provide valuable insights, but should be incorporated into a balanced and personalized philosophy. While high-GI foods, often found in processed products, can lead to quick blood sugar spikes, it’s important to remember that the context of the overall diet and lifestyle matters a lot more than individual ingredients.

(More on the modern diet in the full document)

Recent research and myths 

As we continue to advance our understanding of nutrition science, recent findings in the areas of GI, GL and the scrutiny of nutritional supplements, like anti-spiking products, provide valuable insights for health and wellness professionals. These developments not only refine our dietary recommendations but also highlight the critical need for evidence-based advice in the midst of emerging trends and products. 

Positive advancements in GI and GL research  

Recent research advancements have further clarified the relationship between GI, GL and health outcomes, suggesting a link between lower GI and GL diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. This evolving body of evidence advocates for a personalized approach to dietary advice, considering individual variations in glycemic response. 

(More on advancements in research in the full document) 

Addressing glycemic concerns with clients 

In counselling sessions, health and wellness professionals are often tasked with demystifying many concepts and with new research around GI and GL on the rise, advising on moderation and debunking prevalent myths will be key. Simplifying these concepts — explaining GI as the speed at which foods cause blood sugar to rise and GL as the actual quantity of sugar delivered — can provide a foundational understanding important for making informed dietary choices.

(More on working with clients in the full document)

FAQ 

Q. How should I approach discussions about CGMs with clients who do not have diabetes but are interested in using them for dietary management?

A. Inform consumers, patients and clients that CGMs are primarily designed for individuals with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels closely. For those without diabetes, emphasize the importance of a balanced diet, regular physical activity and other lifestyle factors as foundational for managing blood sugar levels. However, also acknowledge the growing interest in personal health data and suggest that, for some, CGMs might offer insights into their body’s responses to certain foods, provided they use the information to support healthy dietary habits rather than focusing excessively on minute-to-minute fluctuations.

Access the full Addressing Glycemic Response Questions, Concerns, Research and Myths with Clients document found in the Member Resource Library, which includes sections on oatmilk, anti-spiking supplements and continuous glucose monitors. There are additionally two more questions in the FAQ section to explore.

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Additionally, check out this free download, below, of this quick reference guide for glycemic response! Download the full six-page whitepaper in our Member Resource Library.

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