Weight loss plans that allow dieters to eat all the low glycemic index (GI) foods they want are more effective than diets that focus on cutting calories or fat, say Australian researchers.
An analysis of six trials involving 202 overweight adults found that dieters who ate only low GI foods lost about 2.2 pounds (1 kg) more than calorie-restricted dieters who ate high GI foods. Low-glycemic dieters also had significantly greater reduction in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol than other dieters.
High glycemic foods - white bread, white rice, refined breakfast cereals, white potatoes and sweets - cause blood sugar (glucose) and insulin levels to rise rapidly. In response to excess insulin secretion, blood glucose levels drop lower over the next few hours which can trigger hunger and overeating.
Low GI foods, on the other hand, are digested more slowly and cause a steadier release of blood sugar. Researchers say dieters feel more satisfied eating low-glycemic foods, thereby, making it easier to stay on the diet.
Examples of low-glycemic foods include large flake oatmeal, bran cereals, whole grain rye bread, legumes, nuts, apples, citrus fruit, pears, grapes, yogurt, milk and soy beverages.
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