A diet with a low glycemic load may be more effective in reducing cardiovascular disease risk than a conventional energy-restricted, low-fat diet, according to the researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
A study involving 23 obese young adults was conducted over a 12-month period. The experimental treatment emphasized consumption of low glycemic index foods, with 45 to 50 percent of energy from carbohydrates and 30 to 35 percent from fat. The conventional treatment consisted of less than 30 percent of calories from fat and 55 to 60 percent of calories from carbohydrate.
While body weight decreased in both groups, the experimental-diet group showed a significantly greater mean decline in triglycerides than the conventional-diet group (declines of 37.2 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively). Changes in cholesterol concentrations, blood pressure and insulin sensitivity did not differ significantly between the groups.
—American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2005
Food editor’s note: Lowering triglyceride levels plays a part in reducing risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Glycemic load is equal to a food’s glycemic index times the number of grams of carbohydrates in the serving of food that’s being eaten.