After looking at hundreds of articles on large-scale studies using surveys or randomized, controlled trials, Gaesser says they show that people who consume high-carb diets tend to be slimmer, and often healthier, than people who consume low-carb diets. Even high-glycemic foods have a place in the diet, he said, attributing that to the overall higher quality of a high-carb diet, which includes more fiber-rich and other nutritional foods.
Gaesser also looked for a clear association between carbohydrate consumption and illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. He found no compelling evidence that avoiding carbohydrates with a high GI helps prevent these diseases and others. People with diabetes, as well as very sedentary women who are obese, may benefit from lowering their consumption of foods with a high GI, Gaesser says.
Reducing any part of the diet carbs or proteins or fats will result in modest weight loss in the short term, if calorie consumption is reduced, he points out. But for long-term weight maintenance, a high-carb, low-fat diet is still the best bet, he said.
|Contact: Anne E. Bromley|
University of Virginia