An international group of nutrition scientists has recommended that the quality of carbohydrates in foods as measured by their glycemic index (GI) should be included in national dietary guidelines and on food labels. Drafted during the International Scientific Consensus Summit on Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load and Glycemic Response held June 6-7, 2013, in Stresa, Italy, the group’s scientific consensus statement concludes that carbohydrate quality is significant and that carbohydrates present in different foods affect post-meal blood sugar differently, with important health implications. The scientists also cited “convincing” evidence that low GI/glycemic load (GL) diets reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, help control blood glucose in people with diabetes and may help with weight management.

“Given essentially conclusive evidence that high GI/GL diets contribute to risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, reduction in GI and GL should be a public health priority,” said participating scientist and Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition Chair Walter Willett. See, June 11, 2013.