Low Glycaemic Index Diets Better for Weight Loss

Low Glycaemic Index Diets Better for Weight Loss

A Cochrane systematic review from Australia found that the low glycaemic index diet [GI] is satisfying and has proven benefits. The glycaemic index ranks foods rich in carbohydrate based on their effect on blood sugar levels.

Low GI foods, such as lentils, sweet potatoes and apples produce more consistent blood glucose levels compared to high GI foods such as white rice and French fries. Previous studies suggest that keeping blood sugar levels steady throughout the day may stimulate more weight loss so the reviewers evaluated randomized controlled trials that compared weight loss in people eating foods low GI foods to weight loss in people on higher GI diets or other types of weight loss plans. The conclusions were:

  • Those eating low GI foods dropped significantly more weight – about 2.2 pounds more than those on other diets.
  • Low GI dieters also experienced greater decreases in body fat measurements.
  • None of the studies reported adverse effects associated with consuming a low glycaemic index diet.
  • The low GI diet is more satisfying than other diets so people are less inclined to feel hungry and therefore are more likely to maintain this diet than other strict diets on which they feel hungry.
  • Low GI diets appear to be effective even in obese people – obese low GI dieters lost about 9.2 pounds, compared with about 2.2 pounds by other dieters.
  • People eating low GI foods experienced greater improvements in total blood cholesterol and LDL [bad] cholesterol.

The message really is that the success of low glycaemic diets lies with the person’s willingness to comply with its nutritional principles.

Ref 1. Low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load diets for overweight and obesity.
Review, Thomas, DE, Elliott EJ, Baur L. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 3