Low-Glycemic = Weight Loss?


It’s something that people with type 2 diabetes have known for years – a diet for diabetes can actually be a healthy diet for everyone. And this morning brings additional proof with a National Public Radio report on a small study that notes that the best way to lose weight may turn out to be a low glycemic diet.

The study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared calories found in low-carb, low-fat, and low glycemic diets. It found that low carb diets cut the most calories and low fat the fewest.  But low glycemic diets burned more calories than low fat diets and were easier for subjects to stick with than low-carb diets.

Why? Because low-glycemic foods are slow to digest, they tend to burn more calories than a diet of highly processed, highly refined foods. Since low glycemic foods take longer to digest, they also tend to fill you up longer — without the spikes and subsequent drops in blood sugar you get from more quickly digested sugary foods.

Although this is a new finding, I’ll bet this research news won’t surprise most type 2’s. I think eating a low glycemic diet is something many people with type 2’s may have intuitively discovered a while back – that moderate consumption of non-processed foods, including beans, nuts, grains and fruits and vegetables have a great effect not only on blood sugar but also on the waistline.

What shocks me is how long some of the principles that we type 2’s have long accepted take to sift down into popular culture: it seems that the importance of the glycemic index to weight loss was being talked up by my nutritionist at least eight years ago, if not before.

It’s nice to see that science is catching up with common sense, and healthy eating.

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Nathan Shackelford
10 years ago

Great insights on this. I think you referred to it, but the difference in the way that different ways of eating impact satiety and appetite are a big factor. Low fat diets typically make you feel hungry, so that often causes overeating.
I know they had their official categories, but, isn’t low-carb the ultimate form of low-glycemic dieting? Just really low glycemic? My green veggies have carbs in them, but they are very slowly processed. Just a thought…

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