New research suggests adopting a diet composed of high fibre, low glycaemic response carbohydrates may help keep those kilograms off. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal – either a low glycaemic diet or very low carbohydrate diet, may be preferable over a low fat diet when trying to achieve lasting weight loss. This four year study evaluated the effects of three different diets: a low glycaemic diet; a very low carbohydrate diet; and a low fat diet on energy expenditure in 21 overweight and obese adults who previously lost weight and were placed on a 6 month maintenance plan.
Resting energy expenditure (REE), the amount of energy expended by a person at rest and total energy expenditure (TEE), the amount of energy a person burns during daily activities, were measured before and after consuming the test diets. What researchers found was that the decrease in REE was greatest for the low fat diet, followed by the low glycaemic diet and then followed by the very low carbohydrate diet. Although the very low carbohydrate diet appeared to produce the best results in terms of its effects on metabolic rate, it was not without some important caveats. The very low carbohydrate diet was also found to raise cortisol levels, a stress hormone associated with insulin resistance and increased C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the body. Although more studies are needed to confirm effects on REE, a low glycaemic response diet appears to have metabolic advantages over other diets when it comes to keeping the weight off long-term.
Source: GNLD Lifestyle Magazine (West Africa 03/14)