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Low GI, low-fat diet works best

30th November 2010

A new diet high in protein can prevent people from becoming obese, as well as helping people who are obese to lose weight, according to a recent Danish study.

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The diet specifically limits the amount of refined starch, such as white rice and white bread, that people eat, while allowing them to eat their fill of unrefined alternatives.

The researchers said that, if people wanted to lose weight, they should maintain a diet that was high in protein, with more lean meat, low-fat dairy products, and beans.

The researchers also cross-referenced their study with official EU dietary recommendations, in order to gauge whether or not those recommendations were adequate.

For the purposes of the study, the researchers gathered 772 participant families, all from Europe, and randomly assigned each of the families to one of five diets.

The five diets included one with low protein and a high glycaemic index (GI), making it high in refined carbohydrates, one with low protein and low GI, a high protein and high GI diet, one that followed current EU recommendations, and finally the tailor-made diet which sought to minimise refined carbohydrates and maximise lean protein.

The subjects numbered 1765 people, 938 of whom were adults.

The families were allowed to consult dieticians appointed for the study, and the dieticians also collected blood and urine samples from them.

Each participating family had at least one child over 5 already in good health and at least one parent no older than 65.

Each of the five diets was low in fat, but the researchers wanted to test which was most effective at preventing lost weight from coming back.

Among adults who were overweight at the time the study began, the average weight loss was 11 kilos.

The researchers said that the diet helped people lose weight because high protein intake made people feel full after they had eaten fewer than usual calories.

Although the diet in question may seem similar to the Atkins diet, there is a big difference.

Instead of minimising carbohydrates altogether, the Danish diet minimises simple carbohydrates like sugar and refined flour, which are not costly to the body to process, and which some doctors and nutritionists believe can have a wearing effect on metabolism.

After the consumption of high GI foods, sharp increases in blood glucose can also lead to poor mental function.

 

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