The Need for Nuance: Toward an Evidence-Based Definition and Classification of Carbohydrate Food Quality

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) recommends adults consume nearly two-thirds of calories from carbohydrate-containing foods; however, the advice falls short on how to choose quality sources. Unlike protein and fat quality, there are conflicting views among scientists on how to define carbohydrate quality. While some support the Glycemic Index (GI) as a surrogate marker for carbohydrate quality, new research calls into question its reliability, utility and value. A new method to defining carbohydrate quality – one that focuses on the unique nutrient contributions of carbohydrate-containing foods – is needed.

During this educational session, you will hear from experts in the fields of nutrition, exercise science, algorithm development and dietary patterns as they review the current evidence that illustrates the need for a globally accepted definition of ‘quality carbohydrates.’ The speakers will unveil an evidence-based algorithm for high-quality carbohydrate-containing foods that supports equitable healthy eating patterns and aligns with DGA recommendations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize and evaluate existing approaches to define high-quality carbohydrate-containing foods
  • Recognize the need for nuance in defining high-quality carbohydrate-containing foods given the diversity within this food category
  • Interpret and utilize a more realistic approach to defining high-quality carbohydrate-containing foods

There is no fee to attend this event, but registration is required. To register, visit https://www.mcisemi.com/nutrition2022/ and select this event from the list of individual NUTRITION 2022 events available to register.

The Glycemic Index 40 Years Later: A Fresh Look at Its Reliability, Utility and Value

Over the past 30 years, the glycemic index (GI) has increasingly been used as shorthand for carbohydrate food quality, with some calling for its use in federal and global dietary guidance and policy. However, GI was not originally intended to be a broad-based tool, but rather a measure of predicted glycemic impact in people with type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the GI’s inter- and intra-individual variability limits its real-world utility, and reliance on GI has not been shown to improve overall diet quality or health outcomes compared to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ healthy dietary patterns. In this session, top researchers discuss more recent findings that demonstrate the GI’s limitations and offer new recommendations to more meaningfully assess the true quality of carbohydrate foods.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the purpose of the glycemic index and how it was developed
  • Summarize the body of scientific evidence connecting carbohydrate intake and GI values to health outcomes
  • Effectively communicate the limitations of the Glycemic Index as a maker for carb quality

“There is no fee to view the recording, but registration is required.  To register, visit https://www.mcisemi.com/nutrition2022/ and select this event from the list of individual NUTRITION 2022 events available to register.”

Direct Session Link