Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted the world’s largest diet study, and have confirmed that eating a diet higher in protein and limited in refined carbohydrates, like white bread, rice and pasta, is the best way to lose weight.
The study also found that eating a diet consisting of a slightly higher protein content and low-GI (Glycaemic Index) foods will ensure that overweight people who have lost weight will maintain their weight loss, as well as reduce the prevalence of overweight among their children.
There is a wide variety of healthy protein-rich foods to choose from including legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, chicken, lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products and soy products. Protein-rich foods help encourage weight loss by stabilising blood sugar levels, curbing sugar cravings, as well as giving you a feeling of satiety (fullness), which will stop you from overeating.
The GI is a ranking of carbohydrate foods based on the effect they have on blood glucose levels. The consumption of high GI foods causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly, which triggers a surge in insulin. This ‘rush’ of insulin causes blood sugar levels to plummet, resulting in tiredness, sugar cravings and the body’s storing of fat. A high GI diet is associated with weight gain and obesity.
Low GI foods include most fruits and vegetables (except bananas, grapes, melon and corn, which should be limited), and wholegrain foods (breads, whole oats, brown rice, wholegrain pasta). High GI foods that should be avoided when on weight loss programs include white bread, rice and pasta, sugary processed breakfast cereals.