What’s the best way to lose excess weight and keep it off? A study from Boston’s Children’s Hospital suggests that a low-glycemic-index diet is the best. The researchers recruited 21 young adults who were overweight or obese and put them on diets so that they were able to lose between 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, about 30 pounds on average. Then they put their volunteers on one of three different diets that provided exactly the same number of calories but from different food sources.
All of the volunteers spent four weeks on each of these three diets. These included:
1. A low-fat diet with 60 percent of calories from carbohydrate, 20 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein.
2. A low-glycemic-index diet designed to keep blood sugar stable with 40 percent of calories from carbohydrate, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein.
3. A very low-carbohydrate diet with only 10 percent of calories from carbohydrate, 60 percent from fat and 30 percent from protein.
They found that the low-fat diet slowed metabolism the most and that the low carbohydrate diet had a negative impact on certain hormone levels, resulting in increased inflammation in the body (and consequent increase in disease risk). The winner here was the low-glycemic index diet with its emphasis on fiber-rich, natural carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, including nuts, avocados and olive oil.