Thursday, July 27, 2006

Diet seesaw swings back to carbs

The most effective way to lose weight is through a high-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index diet, according to a world-first Australian study.

The theory behind low GI diets is that rapidly digested, high GI carbohydrates cause fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels, contributing to hunger and preventing the breakdown of fat.

Lowering the GI level of the diet effectively doubled the fat loss -- an effect strongest in women.

Popular staples such as natural muesli, poached eggs, pasta, meat, and chicken get the green light under the plan.

Foods with a low GI include breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran, wholegrain and sour dough breads and Basmati or Doongara rice.

Foods with a high GI include potatoes and white bread.

"High carb, low GI is the best of all in terms of total heart health because it delivers the best fat loss and reduces cholesterol level," said University of Sydney nutritionist Joanna McMillan-Price. "Our findings suggest dietary glycemic load, and not just overall energy intake, influences weight loss and blood sugar levels."

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