A Cochrane Review meta-analysis of high and low glycemic index diets found that weight loss is greater and easier on low glycemic index diets.
Put aside the white bread and pick up an apple. A diet of foods less likely to spike blood sugar levels helps dieters lose more weight, according to a new systematic review from Australia.
“Losing weight is very difficult and many people are unable to sustain a weight-loss diet. The low glycemic index diet is satisfying and has proven benefits,” said review co-author Elizabeth Elliott, Ph.D., professor at the University of Sydney, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
It is disappointing that they could find only 6 suitable trials with a total of 202 adults.
Researchers evaluated randomized controlled trials that compared weight loss in people eating foods low on the glycemic index to weight loss in people on higher GI diets or other types of weight loss plans.
Six trials, involving 202 adults from Australia, France, South Africa, Denmark and the United States were included in the review. The diets lasted from five weeks to six months.
While the average low glycemic index dieter lost 2.2 pounds more the weight loss was even greater for obese dieters.
The review found that dieters focused on eating low GI foods dropped significantly more weight — about 2.2 pounds more — than participants on other diets. Low GI dieters also experienced greater decreases in body fat measurements and body mass index.
None of the studies reported adverse effects associated with consuming a low glycemic index diet.
“Compared to other diets, the low GI diet is more satisfying — people are less inclined to feel hungry. One advantage of this type of diet is that it is more likely to be maintained than other strict diets on which people feel hungry,” Elliott said.
Low glycemic diets appear to be effective even in obese people who need to lose considerable amounts of weight, the authors said.
In the two studies that evaluated only obese participants, low GI dieters lost about 9.2 pounds, compared with about 2.2 pounds shed by other dieters.
These results are not surprising. The higher blood sugar spikes after a meal the more insulin that pancreatic cells will release into the blood to bring it down. The insulin will make the blood sugar go down and all the food will get absorbed pretty quickly. Then you'll feel the need for more food.
High blood sugar spikes cause bad blood lipid profiles. So again it is not surprising that the lower glycemic index diets yield better blood cholesterol levels.
In the three studies that measured cardiovascular risk factors, people eating low GI foods experienced greater improvements in total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — sometimes called “bad” cholesterol. High levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol increase the risks for heart disease.
A professor at John Hopkins' public health school notes the paucity of good research on the weight effects of low glycemic index diets.
After reviewing the findings, Lawrence Cheskin, M.D. said, “There’s surprisingly little in the way of studies to draw any hard and fast conclusions.” Cheskin is director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center and associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. He was not involved with the review.
Most vegetables are very low glycemic index foods. But most people do not want to eat large quantities of vegetables every day.
Low glycemic index diets can be effective for weight management, Cheskin said, but the success of low glycemic diets lies with an individual’s willingness to comply with its nutritional principles.
“There aren’t many people who need to lose weight who are willing to eat lots of vegetables and whole grains. If they did, they wouldn’t have a weight problem in the first place,” Cheskin said.
A lot of people want to know what constitutes the ideal diet. The problem is that they've heard many times about the benefits of vegetables and filtered out that information as basically an unacceptable answer. They don't want to hear that the ideal diet involves eating 5 or 10 servings of vegetables each day. There aren't a few super high nutrient yummy foods that can substitute for low glycemic index vegetables. You have to eat more veggies.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2007 July 21 08:20 AM Brain Appetite|