Low Glycemic Index Diet

Recent research on the Atkins approach (oversimplified, “avoid carbs”) suggests that it’s not ketosis and altered burn rates, it’s simply that people eat less. (Fewer calories = weight loss.) David Ludwig and team, at Children’s Hospital in Boston, published interesting research in The Lancet (364:778) on a controlled study in which rats were fed equal numbers of calories, the differences being in the proportion of low glycemic-index (GI) and high-GI carbs. At the end of the study period, the rats in the two groups weighed roughly the same. However, the high-GI group had 71% more body fat, and 8% less muscle. In addition, higher levels of triglycerides (linked to heart disease) were found in the high GI rats. Ludwig points to independent evidence that high insulin levels promote food uptake by fat cells, while low levels promote use by muscle cells. Ludwig and team think the effect of the low GI diet is to moderate insulin levels, while high GI diets cause spikes.
Whether or not this is the cause of the observed effects, nutritionists agree that, unlike Atkins, a low GI diet will do you no harm. Low GI diets have been used for a number of years to control Type II diabetes.
An earlier post on kid’s vision and low GI diets is here; for a general intro to low GI diets, try here. (9/10)

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