Low fat? Low CHO? What is the answer?

The USDA, the American Heart Association, as well as, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has traditionally recommended a low fat diet for acquiring and maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing metabolic disease.  Other research has supported a low carbohydrate diet as being the most effective plan for weight loss.  Recent studies, however, have revealed that along with an actual decrease in energy expenditure, a low fat diet brings unhealthy lipid results and insulin resistance. A low-carbohydrate diet is equally unappealing since it may severely limit an entire (??) food group.

A restrictive diet may result in weight loss, but at what cost? Typical diet plans tend to offer very limited food choices and are unsustainable. A better option, according to doctors Cara Ebbeling and David Ludwig, researchers with Harvard Medical School, is a low glycemic index diet.

The glycemic index is a ranking system that indicates how high a given amount of food containing carbohydrates raises blood sugar (glucose).  The slower carbohydrate is converted into sugar, the steadier it keeps the glucose level.  It is easier to control hunger and effectively lose body fat when your blood sugar level is steady.

Foods with a low glycemic index include most fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Examples of foods with a high glycemic index include; white bread and other highly processed grains, chips, breakfast cereals made from enriched grains with added sugars, and sugary beverages.

A low glycemic diet combines carbohydrates from minimally processed plant foods (whole grains, nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables and fruit), lean protein and healthy fats.  This nutritious food combination helps you stay full longer, because these foods digest slowly therebykeeping blood sugar and hormones under control.

Following a low-glycemic index diet is very doable.  You do not have to memorize a chart or the glycemic index of foods.  If you would like a nutrition consultation for following a low glycemic diet, contact (email hidden to thwart spambots; JavaScript is required).

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