Glycemic load (GL) is a term often associated with type 2 diabetes. It’s a barometer of how much food needs to be consumed to raise blood glucose. However, what about its relation to weight gain? That’s what researchers from Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University sought to find out.
In a study that consisted of 120,000 men and women and more than 16 years of follow-up exploration, researchers concluded high-GL diets containing simple carbohydrates such as refined grains, starches, and sugars were connected to weight gain. Now even if you don’t think the GL is important, the foods they refer to are. Additional findings from the study:
• Increasing intakes of red meat and processed meat were most strongly associated with weight gain
• Increasing intakes of yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts were most strongly associated with weight loss — the more people ate, the less weight they gained
• Increasing other dairy products, including full-fat cheese, whole milk, and low-fat milk, did not significantly relate to either weight gain or weight loss
It’s not as simple saying “all carbs are bad” and “all proteins are good,” it rarely ever is. “Some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, senior author of the study. “Most interestingly, the combination of foods seems to make a big difference. Our findings suggest we should not only emphasize specific protein-rich foods like fish, nuts, and yogurt to prevent weight gain, but also focus on avoiding refined grains, starches, and sugars in order to maximize the benefits of these healthful protein-rich foods, create new benefits for other foods like eggs and cheese, and reduce the weight gain associated with meats.”
Your heart may mean well with some of your food choices, but may fall short on being part of a healthy diet. Make wise food choices in smart combinations and you won’t just have a healthy diet; you’ll have a diet that can boost weight loss with proper physical activity.