A recently conducted small study done at Boston revealed that foods with a low GI (glycemic index), which are digested relatively slowly and causes smaller rise in blood sugar, may protect the heart and blood vessels better than low-fat diet/foods.

In this study, 23 obese young adults are enrolled and are instructed to follow either a low-fat diet or a diet in which they ate low-glycemic index foods for one year. People could eat the low glycemic index food items as much as they want and got roughly 45 to 50% calories from carbohydrates and 30 to 35% from fats. The low-fat diet group cut their calorie intake by 250-500 calories per day and limited fat to less than 30% of their calories and got between 55 – 60% of calories from carbohydrates.

Researchers found that when obese individuals consumed as many carbohydrates with a low-glycemic index as they wanted, they lost just as much weight in 12 months as people who stuck with a conventional calorie-restricted low-fat diet. It has also been noted that people taking the low-glycemic index foods did not overeat because they felt less hunger after eating foods that take longer to digest. Some carbohydrates of low GI are nonstrachy vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and dairy products.

Now various weight reduction plans are also available in the market which works on the principle of low glycemic index. Dieters who closely evaluated their glycemic indices also experienced a greater decrease in fatty substances in the blood linked to heart diseases and had a drop in levels of a protein which interferes with the body’s ability to break down the blood clots. In contrast, low-fat dieters had an increase in levels of the same protein putting them at higher risk of heart attack.

So it seems that reducing the intake high Glycemic index foods may be more effective than cutting back on fat over the long-term, both for the weight loss and also for reducing risk of heart disease. Based on the above mentioned study and other clinical trials and epidemiological studies it can be recommended to take/consume foods of low glycemic index.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how efficiently the body can metabolize carbohydrates. It ranks carbohydrates by how much a person’s blood sugar rises immediately after eating, and tends to favor high-fiber foods that take longer to digest.