Trend-watchers predict that a diet based on the glycemic index, a scale that accounts for the impact individual foods have on blood sugar, will be popular in the U.S. this year. As food manufacturers follow suit, labels will increasingly advise consumers of the low-glycemic nature of certain products.
Atkins Nutritionals Inc. is already one step ahead. Through its own methodology, Atkins has been accurately measuring the effect that certain foods have on a person’s blood sugar. The result of this process is called the “Net Atkins Count.”
While the glycemic index applies to carbohydrates in foods, it does not take into account portion size and macronutrient interaction or how various foods containing fat, fiber and protein, when eaten together, impact an individual’s blood sugar. The new Net Atkins Count will make Atkins products especially easy to incorporate into any healthy lifestyle that seeks to stabilize blood sugar levels.
According to Atkins, a three-year collaborative effort between Atkins scientists and Dr. Thomas Wolever, one of North America’s most prominent nutrition researchers, led to the development of its method of determining the impact that a product has on blood sugar. The method evaluates a person’s base-line blood sugar levels and then tracks his or her body’s response to foods.
Researchers then gather data on a number of individuals that report actual measured increases in blood sugar, which ultimately yields an average blood sugar effect across a group of people. The term Net Atkins Count is used to express this clinically validated number.
The Atkins Nutritional Approach itself has long emphasized the value of consuming low-glycemic-impact foods, along with sufficient protein and natural fats, to maintain blood sugar stability and initiate fat burning.