Low GL for Cardiovascular Health

  • 1 Jan 2008
  • Reading time 8 mins
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Many studies show that low GL diets have immediate and long-term benefits for your health, including lowering total cholesterol, raising ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, stabilizing blood glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity, and reducing diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.

GL evidence – Cardiovascular health

Study 1

Two groups of overweight or obese people followed either a low GL diet or a low-fat low-calorie diet for two years. After each person had lost ten per cent of their body weight, other measures of their health were taken. Those on the low GL diet had greater improvements in insulin resistance (blood sugar control), triglycerides (fat circulating in the blood), inflammation and blood pressure compared with those on the conventional low-fat, low-calorie diet. The researchers concluded that a reduction in glycemic load may aid in the prevention or treatment of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus.

Pereira M. et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, 2004, Vol 292: pp.2482-2490

Study 2

One group of people followed a low GL diet while another group followed a conventional low-fat, low-calorie diet (Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating). Those following the low GL diet, not only lost more weight, they also had greater improvements in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and fasting glucose compared to those on the conventional low-fat, low-cal diet after six months. These health gains were sustained or improved upon after twelve months. The researchers concluded that ‘implementation of a low GL diet is associated with substantial and sustained improvements in abdominal obesity, cholesterol and blood sugar control’.

LaHaye SA et al., Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2005, Vol 21(6): pp.489-94  

Study 3

A study published in the Lancet in 2004 in which two groups of mice were fed either a low-GL diet or a high GL diet and their health compared. Besides being leaner, the low-GL group had better blood sugar control, lower blood fats and did not suffer the pancreatic disruption of the high-GL group.

Pawlak D. et ......