GI Values Update

Carrots and Sticks
One of the most repeated criticisms of the GI approach over the years has been the fact that carrots were being excluded from diets simply because of their high GI value. Note to GI critics—carrots were retested and the new values published three years ago (2002) in The New Glucose Revolution and on (, so you need to find a new stick. When carrots were first tested in 1981, the result was 92, but only five people were included in the study and the variation among them was huge. This was in the early days of GI testing and the reference food was tested only once. When carrots were assessed in 2001, ten people were included, the reference food was tested twice, and a mean value of 41 was obtained with narrow variation. It was clear that this result was more accurate and the other value should be ignored. This is a good example of the need for reliable, standardised methodology for GI testing. It is also another case for not using the GI in isolation. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a plant form of vitamin A or retinol, which we need to maintain normal vision (a deficiency in vitamin A produces night blindness—an inability to see in dim light). Carrots also provide some vitamin C and fibre, so add them to soups, salads, stir-fries, stews, casseroles, cakes and puddings or enjoy them as a crunchy snack.