Such a "low-glycemic-load" diet, which does not cause blood-glucose levels to spike, also increases a hormone that helps regulate the metabolism of fat and sugar.
The controlled, randomised feeding study, which involved 80 healthy Seattle-area men and women – half of normal weight and half overweight or obese – found that among overweight and obese study participants, a low-glycemic-load diet reduced a biomarker of inflammation called C-reactive protein by about 22 per cent.
"This finding is important and clinically useful since C-reactive protein is associated with an increased risk for many cancers as well as cardiovascular disease," said Doctor Marian Neuhouser. "Lowering inflammatory factors is important for reducing a broad range of health risks. Showing that a low-glycemic-load diet can improve health is important for the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese."
Neuhouser and colleagues also found that among overweight and obese study participants, a low-glycemic-load diet modestly increased – by about 5 per cent – blood levels of a protein hormone called adiponectin. This hormone plays a key role in protecting against several cancers, including breast cancer, as well as metabolic disorders such as type-2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and hardening of the arteries.
"Glycemic load" refers to how the intake of carbohydrates, adjusted for total grams of carbohydrate, affects blood-sugar levels. Lentils or pinto beans have a glycemic load that is approximately three times lower than instant mashed potatoes, for example, and therefore won't cause blood-sugar levels to rise as quickly.
Study participants completed two 28-day feeding periods in random order – one featuring high-glycemic-load carbohydrates, which typically are low-fibre, highly processed carbs such as white sugar, fruit in canned syrup and white flour; and the other featuring low-glycemic-load carbohydrates, which are typically higher in fibre, such as whole-grain breads and cereals. The diets were identical in carbohydrate content, calories and macronutrients. All food was provided by the Hutchinson Centre’s Human Nutrition Laboratory, and study participants maintained weight and physical activity throughout.
MEDICA.de; Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre