Contrary to popular belief, a new study shows that incorporating good sugars into one’s diet can promote weight loss.
Often pointed out as the culprit in weight gain, lately there has been a trend to want to completely eradicate carbs from one’s diet in order to shed a few pounds. Still, a study published in Nutrients demonstrates that diets high in carbohydrates can reduce weight, body fat and improve insulin levels in overweight people.
However, this study does not recommend a processed sugar diet, but a diet containing carbohydrates of plant origin, highlighting the importance of fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet.
Conducted for 16 weeks by researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this study required two separate groups. The former followed a high carbohydrate, low fat herbal diet and avoided all animal products and added oils. The second, the control group, did not change their diet which included meat and dairy products. All participants kept their usual physical activity practices.
At the end of the trial, body mass index (BMI), body weight, body fat, visceral fat volume, and insulin resistance decreased significantly in the group of people performing the test, plant-based diet. There was no significant change in the control group, however.
The results of the study corroborate previous research findings that a plant-based, high-carbohydrate diet can help regulate weight and also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. These plant-based carbohydrates are also high in fiber, and allow a better transit as well as a good digestion.
“Fad diets often cause fears of carbohydrates, but research continues to show that healthy carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains – are the healthiest fuel for our bodies,” says Hana Kahleova, MD, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Research at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Fruits and vegetables, besides being good for weight loss, are known for their preventive role against diabetes and obesity. They would also have beneficial effects to prevent certain cancers, to protect against high blood pressure or, according to a US study, to reduce the risk of stroke.