Low Carb Out, Slow Carb In?
Researchers say people lose weight on a low-glycemic-load diet
WebMD News Archive
Low-Glycemic Diet Made Simple continued...
Other obese study subjects were put on a traditional, low-fat/low-calorie
diet. Both groups were asked to exercise regularly and were given lifestyle
"Those in the low-glycemic-diet group were told to eat as much as they
wanted and to snack when hungry," Ludwig says. "Yet after a year, they
lost fully as much weight as those told to cut back on fat and to cut back on
calories. But they did better in terms of heart disease risk
Weight, Heart Risk Down
After 12 months on the diets, the slow-carb group lost 7.8% of their body
weight compared with 6.1% in the low-fat-diet group.
Levels of triglycerides -- blood fats linked to heart disease -- decreased
much more in the slow-carb group. The levels were down 37% in the slow-carb
group compared with 19% in the low-fat group.
Levels of a factor that increases blood clots - called plasminogen activator
inhibitor - decreased by 39% in the slow-carb group but increased 33% among the
low-fat dieters. Blood clots in the heart arteries are usually the cause of
Slow-Carb Diet, Not Low-Carb Diet
The Ludwig study is far from the first to find benefits for a
low-glycemic-load diet, says Jennie Brand-Miller, PhD, professor of human
nutrition at the University of Sydney, Australia, and co-author of The Low
GI Diet Revolution and other books in The New Glucose Revolution
series. Brand-Miller's editorial accompanies the Ludwig team's report.
"This study is telling us that losing weight on a low-GI diet produces
better outcomes in terms of heart health than a conventional weight loss
diet," Brand-Miller tells WebMD. "Even if the amount of weight lost is
the same, you are better off on the low-GI diet. So it's a double
Brand-Miller says the slow-carb diet -- a name coined by Patricia and Harvey
Haakonson, MD, authors of Slow Carb for Life -- is the opposite of the
"The aim is not to get the lowest glycemic load possible. That's the
fastest route to a low-carb-style diet," she says. "A low-GI diet and a
low-carb diet are poles apart. We want you to eat lots of carbs, but
selectively -- the low-GI versions."