A Calorie is a Calorie?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 27, 2012

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A calorie is a calorie

People seeking to lose weight prefer diets that control the spike in blood sugar (low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate diet) after a meal than low-fat diet. This is the finding of a study carried out by Cara Ebbeling, associate director and David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, Boston Children's Hospital. Furthermore, the study also concluded that following a low-glycemic index diet prevents you from negative effects of low-carb diet, which are stress and inflammation. It was published on June 26 in the Journal of American Medical Association.

The study challenges the dogma that all calories are equal and add to body weight in the same manner. The 21 adult participants in the study were asked to lose 10 to 15 per cent of their weight. After weight loss, they were instructed to follow three diets - low-fat diet, low-glycemic index diet and low-carbohydrate diet in random order, each for a month at a time. The month-long programme allowed thorough and accurate observation of effects of each diet, regardless of the order in which they were followed.  

It was noted that carbohydrate, fat and protein calories provided almost same energy content, but the body processes each in a different way with varying distinct implications on weight management.  Low-carb diet was found to be the most beneficial one, but it increased participants’ cortisol level, which is associated with cardiovascular diseases.



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