Low GI foods and weight loss

Most people with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels are overweight or obese and can benefit greatly from losing weight. Traditional weight loss advice emphasizes restricting calories, often reducing fats in food to a minimum of 30 percent of calorie intake and using portion control and behaviour modification as a way to change how calories are balanced throughout the day. However, in recent times, dietary advice has shifted to emphasize a low glycaemic index (GI) diet that seeks to eliminate the consumption of high glycaemic foods such as bread and white potatoes. GI is a ranking from 1 to 100 that measures the effect of a food on your blood sugar level over the two hours after the food is eaten. With low GI foods there is a slower steadier rise in blood sugar levels, meaning you are less likely to bottom out at 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Eating high GI foods spike blood glucose which stimulates hunger, whereas low GI foods keep you fuller for longer, meaning you are less likely to go searching for snacks every two hours. High GI foods also produces high amounts of a hormone called insulin, which makes it easier to store fat and make it harder to burn. A low GI diet is shown to reduce weight by 3 to 6 percent, individuals who follow a low GI diet when weighed after one year have been shown to maintain weight loss.

Bailey, W.A., Westman, E.C., Marquart, M.L. & Guyton, J.R. 2010. Low glycaemic diet for weight loss in hypertriglyceridemic patients attending a lipid clinic. Journal of Clinical Lipidology, 4, 508-514.


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