Tag obesity

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Low GI is one of the buzzwords of the moment, and for excellent reason. Low GI foods that release energy slowly and sustainably, keeping glucose levels in your bloodstream steady, have indeed been shown to help regulate appetite and weight. High GI foods also tend to be the sugar and starch packed carbs which Go Lower avoids.

But the problem with buzzwords is that they tend to be seen in very simplistic terms, and Low GI needs a balanced approach rather than blind acceptance.

Fructose is a perfect example. The fact that this fruit sugar is ‘natural and ‘low GI’ leads many to believe it to be an ideal component of a healthy diet. However, a recent research paper on fructose by George A Bray, a specialist on obesity and metabolism (you can read it online here), highlights just how misguided this is, linking fructose to metabolic risks, obesity and gout.

Of course, fruit is still a great option, as the fructose is balanced with plenty of fibre and water. But it’s worth remembering that sugar is sugar, low GI or not, and carries with it many of the same health implications. My advice would be to avoid fructose wherever you can in its crystalline or liquid form – which often means you often have to check the label of foods for unwelcome hidden extras.

And don’t forget that every diet ‘rule’ should be taken with a pinch of salt!

9 October 2008

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I’d like to start the week by highlighting another study which has just been published on the net before being printed. Its a paper on the efficacy of low carb vs low fat diets in the treatment of adolescents with obesity, by Israel’s respected Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes, and definitely worth a read.

The main findings corroborate the basis of Go Lower: that a low carb programme helps you loose as much or more weight as a high carb, low fat regime. But the paper also shows that the insulin profile of the low carb test group was significantly improved compared to the low fat group; which is extremely important for overall health, and especially so considering our increasing levels of diabetes in the UK.

It seems incredible that people are still recommending a starch based diet when the science against it is rock solid. In fact, it seems irresponsible. Can we really afford to ignore such research when obesity and diabetes are such a threat?

7 October 2008

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