Low-Glycemic Index Diet: All Calories Are Not Equal in Dieting

Low-Glycemic Index Diet While comparing and researching diets, researchers concluded the best diet for most people is the Low-Glycemic Index Diet. Why? Because as a unit of measurement, all calories are equal. As a specific type of food – as far as the human body is concerned – calories are NOT equal. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (June 27, 2012) conducted by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital (USA).

In the ongoing search (it’s tempting to say, desperate search) for truly effective weight loss diets, the new study puts figures to something that many nutritionists and doctors have said for some time: cutting down on carbohydrates and glucose (sugars, also a carbohydrate) is preferable to cutting down on fats.

The study goes further by saying that a low glycemic index (blood sugar level) diet has similar benefits to low-carb diets but without the risk of stress and inflammation that very low-carbohydrate intake may cause.

In very simple terms, the study is recommending that people eat less sugary foods as the primary way to lose weight on a permanent basis. The study is also saying that eating the same number of calories in fat as in carbohydrates will cause the body to burn 300 fewer calories. Another way of staying fit and healthy is to choose the food or products that you will eat and you can find it via 7supplements.com. To the body, not all calories are the same. For example, if you are trying to lose weight while building muscle, there are best fruits for building muscle mass.

Low-Glycemic Index Diet

The study, led by Cara Ebbeling and David Ludwig, backs up the recommendations with figures drawn from research with 21 adult participants (ages 14-40). Each of them had to lose 10-15% of their body weight. When their weight stabilized, they then followed a Low-Glycemic Index Dietsequence of three diets in random order. Each diet lasted four weeks.

  1. A low-fat diet, reducing dietary fat and increasing whole grains, fruits, vegetables so the daily mix for calories was 60% carbohydrates, 20% fat and 20% protein.
  2. A low-glycemic index diet, consisting of minimally processed grains, vegetables, healthy fats, legumes and fruits making a daily caloric mix of 40% carbohydrates, 40% from fats and 20% from protein.
  3.  A low-carbohydrate diet, similar to the Adkins diet that created a daily mix of calories at 60% fat and 30% protein.

The study followed each participant’s daily energy expenditure, working with the latest methods such as stable isotopes (using the quantity of stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopes to measure calories in the body). All diets provided normal ‘healthy’ levels of protein.

The very low-carbohydrate diet produced the most improvement in metabolism – with the significant caution that it also raised the level of cortisol and C-reactive proteins, which are linked to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

The very-low fat diet caused the greatest decrease in energy expenditure (it burned fewer calories) and showed an unhealthy lipid pattern (fat deposit) and insulin resistance.

The low-glycemic index diet proved to be the easiest to repeat day after day, especially to the low fat or low carb diets, which usually leave people feeling limited (what, no hamburgers!). They also noted that low sugar intake at mealtimes results in slow digestion of the other carbohydrates, helping to keep blood sugar and hormones stable after the meal.

Prior research by the same team has already demonstrated that a low-glycemic index diet is good for weight loss and diabetes prevention. The new study showed that a diet with fewer overall sugars (from beverages and foods) was more effective at burning calories, especially after an initial weight loss.This addresses the problem most people have with regaining weight after dieting.

As co-author of the study Dr. Ludwig put it, “We’ve found that contrary to nutritional dogma, all calories are not created equal.” With an equal amount of exercise and eating an equal number of calories, the body burns fewer calories from diets of fat or sugars, than from diets with the best kind of carbohydrates such as non-processed grains (whole grains).

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As ever with nutrition studies, the low-glycemic index diet is not likely to be the last word on diets; but the trends in study results have gone this direction for a while – it’s not just eating less and exercising more, but eating less of some foods and exercising more.

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