Friday, 6 May 2011

Study Claims To Have Found The Perfect Diet

Nutritionists have long hailed the benefits of healthy wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and lean meat. What they have in common is their ability to leave you feeling fuller for longer, so you're less likely to overeat. Many of these foods also have a low GI (glycaemic index) value which, according to the world’s largest diet study, are the key ingredients to help dieters lose weight.

The £12 million, six month Danish study involved over 900 adults and 800 children from eight European countries including the UK. Participants were allocated one of five diets, each with a different combination of GI and protein. It was found that those following the high protein combined with low GI diet, gained the least amount of weight while those on the low protein, high GI diet gained an average of 3.5lb.

One of the researchers, Professor Arne Astrup, of the University of Copenhagen, initially a GI skeptic, said he was surprised by the findings declaring, “I expected in this trial it would make no difference. I was really surprised. It is as important as protein in maintaining weight loss.”

Foods with a low GI are those which break down more slowly while being digested, thereby gradually releasing energy to keep us going longer while maintaining a feeling of fullness. Typical high protein foods include lean meat, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts and poultry. Carbohydrates which have a low GI include wholegrain bread, oats and brown rice. And some foods when eaten cold also have a low GI, for example cold pasta.

 A typical day's menu might look like this: Breakfast – low-fat milk with muesli (no added sugar), wholegrain crisp bread with low-fat cheese, one orange; Lunch – Wholegrain rye bread with lean meat or chicken, mackerel in tomato sauce and vegetables; Dinner – stir-fried turkey with vegetables and wholegrain pasta, avocado salad with feta cheese and sugar peas.

While it's been known for a long time that high protein diets can help you lose weight, for example, the Atkins diet, they can be hard to stick to because of the lack of carbohydrates. By combining a high protein diet with low GI food, it's possible to still enjoy eating favourite carbs such as bread and pasta.

The high protein and low GI diet works because dieters feel full up quite soon after eating and this feeling remains for a longer time, making overeating less likely. While this diet seems to abandon the need for calorie counting, it may not suit everyone, particularly those who have other dieting issues. For example, people who have trouble recognizing when they are full, or who need to learn how to stop snacking, may not find it helps them. But overall, eating this way meets all the guidelines for healthy eating and is especially helpful for dieters who like to feel full and not deprived.

© Diets and Calories 2011


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