Are calories all equal? We are told and I must admit I have always thought that calories are what counts in weight loss or gain. Isn’t a low carb calorie ultimately the same as a high carb calorie? Well now a new study questions this notion. The study found that reducing the fast rise in blood sugar after a meal is more important than how many calories we eat.
“A new study published June 26 in the Journal of American Medical Association challenges the notion that “a calorie is a calorie.” The study, led by Cara Ebbeling, PhD, associate director and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital, finds diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal–either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate-may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss. “
So does this prove that low carb enthusiasts have been right all along? Perhaps but that doesn’t make a low carb high fat/protein diet any healthier. Eating nothing but animal derived foods is not healthy and even if it slims you down and this hasn’t been shown to be the case long term, it is not good for your long term health which has been shown.
Research shows that only one in six overweight people will maintain their weight loss. This is the same for the low carb dieters as it is for low fat and low calorie dieters at 12 months post diet. One further benefit of a low GI diet is that it is easier to stick with long term.
However the authors go on to say that:
“Furthermore, the study finds that the low-glycemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet…”
“In addition to the benefits noted in this study, we believe that low-glycemic-index diets are easier to stick to on a day-to-day basis, compared to low-carb and low-fat diets, which many people find limiting,” says Ebbeling. “Unlike low-fat and very- low carbohydrate diets, a low-glycemic-index diet doesn’t eliminate entire classes of food, likely making it easier to follow and more sustainable.”"
By following a low GI (low-glycemic index) diet you can eat healthy enjoyable food and still prevent the high blood sugar surge after your meal. No more sticky date pudding though!
So what is a low GI diet? These have been around for years and there are plenty of books on the topic but they never seem to have been seen as super cool or top of the pops. Yet this isn’t the first time low GI diets have been shown to be the best for weight loss, weight maintenance and health as well as being the easiest diets to follow. Or maybe because they are the easiest to follow!