Tag Archives: carbohydrates

Pasta Tied to Weight Loss

If you love pasta and also want to lose weight, there is good news for you. In a new study, eating pasta has been tied to weight loss.

Eating Pasta & Weight Loss

Eating pasta is linked to weight loss, study. Photo by Times of Malta

A study done at the University of Toronto looked at the results from 30 different studies of individuals who eat pasta as a part of a low glycemic diet. The pasta-eaters ate at least a half cup of noodles three times per week. They did not gain weight and lost about one pound after 12 weeks.

“The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” lead author John Sievenpiper, MD, PhD, a clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, said in a statement. “In fact, analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet.”

The trick is to pay attention to the low GI part. Foods that have a high glycemic index cause a rise in high blood pressure and have you feeling hungry afterwards. Low GI foods under 55 do the opposite and can help you lose weight. Sweet potatoes, beans and lentils are foods with low GI that you are probably already consuming.

Although this study sheds light on eating pasta, it does not mean you should stuff your plate with pasta on a regular basis. More trials are needed to examine the effect of pasta compared to other ‘healthy’ dietary patterns. Also, long-term research should be conducted on how people fare after a year or more on low glycemic diets that include pasta.

I do not believe that following a low GI diet is the secret to weight loss. Some of the most nutritious foods rank high on the glycemic index like watermelon and should not be avoided. The key is to eat smart by controlling your portion size and include whole grains to increase your chances of weight loss.

Source: Chiavaroli L, Kendall CWC, Braunstein CR, et al “Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycaemic index dietary patterns on body weight and markers of adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in adults” BMJ Open 2018;8:e019438. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019438

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Counting Calories May Not Be Key to Weight Loss, Study

If you have ever been on a diet, you know that the formula for weight loss is to limit the amount of calories you intake.

Counting Calories

If you eat quality foods you can still lose weight without counting calories, study. Photo by Diet Doctor

According to a new study, published in JAMA, that advice may not be so relevant. It found that individuals who reduced refined grains, processed foods and added sugar while focusing on eating whole foods and plenty of vegetables — without stressing about limiting portion sizes or counting calories — lost a good amount of pounds over a year.

The plan worked whether they followed diets that were low in carbs or low in fat. Also, their results were not affected by genetics or insulin-response to carbs. The findings bring support to the fact that quality, not quantity is what really helps people lose and maintain their weight for long term.

This should encourage Americans to focus more on eliminating processed foods that contain refined starches and added sugar like refined flour, sugary snacks and white bread instead of calorie counting.

The study was led by Christopher D. Gardner, the director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. During research, 600 overweight or obese people were split into two groups, “healthy” low carb and “healthy low fat. Both members attended classes with dietitians where they were trained to eat nutrient-dense, less processed whole foods, prepared at home whenever possible.

The low-fat group was encouraged eat oats, brown rice, fresh fruits, legumes and low-fat dairy products. The low-fat group was trained to eat salmon, hard cheese, vegetables, grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.

Unlike previous studies, this one did not set restrictive carb or fat limits but instead emphasize that they focus eating whole or “real” foods. “The unique thing is that we didn’t ever set a number for them to follow,” Dr. Gardner said.

Obviously, many dieters do regain the weight they lose, and this study cannot determine if the participants will maintain their new habits. There was a large variability in both groups although people on average lost a significant amount of weight. Some gained weight and others lost 50 to 60 pounds. The ones who lost the most weight reported that the study “changed their relationship with food.”

I think keeping track of everything you eat while trying to burn all those calories with physical activity is very stressful and in the long run, you give up. I believe that focusing on high quality foods is a much better approach.

Dr. Gardner said many of the people in the study were surprised — and relieved — that they did not have to restrict or even think about calories.

“A couple weeks into the study people were asking when we were going to tell them how many calories to cut back on,” he said. “And months into the study they said, ‘Thank you! We’ve had to do that so many times in the past.’”

After one year, the low-carb group lost an average of 13 pounds, while those in the low-fat group lost about 12 pounds. Both groups also saw improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, body fat and waist sizes.

Researchers took DNA samples and analyzed genetic variants to find out that it did not affect their responses to the diets.

The most important thing about this study is to focus more on diet quality and not tracking how many calories you have consumed. If you eat more whole foods, vegetables, less added sugar and less refined grains, you can really increase your chances of weight loss.

Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Del Gobbo LC, Hauser ME, Rigdon J, Ioannidis JPA, Desai M, King AC. Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin SecretionThe DIETFITS Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA. 2018;319(7):667–679. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0245

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Pasta May Be Good for Your Diet After All

Pasta has always been regarded as bad for you if you eat too much of it but a new Italian study says it may actually help you lose weight.

Pasta Diet

Pasta may help fight obesity and be a good diet choice after all, according to Italian study. Photo by Pasta For All

After analyzing data on thousands of Italians, eating pasta moderately looks to lower the risks of general and abdominal obesity. I love pasta but I try to eat it in moderation and make my meals as healthy as possible. For instance, I use whole grain noodles instead of regular noodles that have no nutritional value.

“Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio,” said George Pounis, first author of the study. Past studies would say that pasta is fattening and should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight so this finding is completely opposite.

“We have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite,” Pounis added in a journal news release.

Pasta is a part of the Mediterranean Diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, olive oil, grains, fish and poultry. This is my type of diet and it is one that I can stick to so it has been working well for me lately.

Pounis and his colleagues at IRCCS Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy, reviewed results of two large studies including more than 23,000 Italians. One was the Moli-sani Project, which involved citizens living in the Molise region — a little more than halfway down the boot. The other was the Italian Nutrition and Health Survey, which focuses on eating habits in all Italian regions.

The study did not mention how much pasta you can consume without getting fat. However, it did say that over eating pasta will make you fat.

“The obese population was older and at lower socioeconomic status, had higher waist and hip circumferences and waist-to-hip ratio, and consumed more pasta [grams per day] than normal or overweight participants,” wrote lead author Licia Iacoviello and colleagues, according to CNN.

After learning that eating pasta in moderation may actually help you lose weight, I believe that the Mediterranean diet is a good health choice for your diet.

Source: Pounis, G. “Association of pasta consumption with body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio: results from Moli-sani and INHES studies” Nutrition & Diabetes 4 July 2016

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Low-Fat Diets Better than Low-Carb Diets for Fat Loss

There has been much controversy as to which is better for fat loss, low-carb diets or low-fat diets. According to the National Institutes of Health, people lose more weight by reducing their fat intake.

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets

Low-Fat diets may be better than low-carb diets for fat loss, according to the National Institutes of Health study. Photo by Maik Wiedenbach

Researchers examined 19 obese people and they were allowed 2,700 calories daily. Over a two week period they tried diets that reduced their caloric intake by 30 percent, either by reducing fat or cutting carbohydrates. The findings published in BBC News found that participants on a low-fat diet lost 463g of body fat on average after six days. This was 80 percent more fat than the participants on the low-carb diet. I believe if it’s easier to stick to a low-carb diet permanently, I would choose just that and Dr. Hall thinks the same.

Dr. Hall told the American Cancer Society website: “If it’s easier to stick to one diet than another, and to ideally do it permanently, then you should choose that diet.

“But if a low-fat diet is better for you, then you are not going to be at a metabolic disadvantage.”

The theory says that lesser carbohydrates lead to lower levels of insulin, which in turn lead to fat burning. I prefer low-carb diets because research shows these type of diets help you lose weight more effectively but this is my first time learning how they compare to low-fat diets.

“All of those things do happen with carb reduction and you do lose body fat, but not as much as when you cut out the fat,” said lead researchers Dr. Kevin Hall, from the US-based National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The American Cancer Society says that ounce for ounce, fats contain more calories than carbohydrates or proteins, but it’s important to keep in mind that just because something is low in fat doesn’t mean it is low in calories. In this case it seems that you should choose a low-carb diet since fats contain more calories.

A good rule of thumb when you’re reading food labels: For every 100 calories, if the product has 3 grams of fat or less, it’s a low-fat product. This means 30% or less of the calories come from fat.

In reality, any diet that you can stick to is the best for fat loss, regardless if the calories you cut are fats or carbs. This study just shows that you can pick a low-carb or low-fat diet and still lose weight because they require you to reduce calories which is the most important factor for fat loss.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Hall, Kevin D. et al. “Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity” Cell Metabolism 13 August 2015