A revolutionary study has suggested that the glycemic content of foods may be the key to weight loss.
A revolutionary study has suggested that the glycemic content of foods may be the key to weight loss, so much of the conventional wisdom on dieting may be missing the mark.
Low fat alternatives and religious calorie counting have become synonymous with dieting for weight loss, but new research seems to suggest that we may have been getting it wrong.
Researchers at Tufts University from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy have analyzed data from three studies over 16 years, involving 120,000 adults and have made some interesting discoveries.
The results seem to indicate that the best recipe for weight loss lies in adding certain foods to the diet and avoiding others, but the weight gain culprits may not be the usual suspects and calories may not be king.
It was discovered that eating dairy products, such as butter and cheese, didn’t seem to have much effect on weight either way and had the side-effect of leading to a more dangerous dietary habit.
“The fat content of dairy products did not seem to be important for weight gain,” Jessica Smith, one of the authors of the report, is quoted by Consumer Affairs as saying.
“In fact, when people consumed more low-fat dairy products, they actually increased their consumption of carbs, which may promote weight gain."
"This suggests that people compensate, over years, for the lower calories in low-fat dairy by increasing their carb intake.”
The results seem to indicate that the age-old tendency for calorie counting may be misleading. The research indicated that glycemic index is a more important factor.
The glycemic index or glycemic load (GL) is a measure of how quickly a food can raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GL, like simple sugars, are more likely to make it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it, but the key may lie in the mixtures of foods that you eat.
Avoiding foods with a high GL, and eating those with a low GL, seemed to make fish, nuts and other food associated with weight loss even more effective.
Weight-neutral foods like eggs appear to contribute to weight gain when combined with high GL food, but they are associated with weight loss when eaten with low GL food. So it may be most important to pay attention to the combinations of foods rather than cutting out individual items.
“Our study adds to growing new research that counting calories is not the most effective strategy for long-term weight management and prevention,” study senior author Dariush Mozaffarian said.
“Some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse. Most interestingly, the combination of foods seems to make a big difference.”