Research has shown whether the glycemic index (GI) of foods affects the rate of weight loss.

What are complex and simple carbohydrates

Car­bo­hy­drates, as one of the three main macronu­tri­ents, form an impor­tant part of the mod­ern human diet. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, they are divid­ed into com­plex and sim­ple. Com­plex car­bo­hy­drates are main­ly com­posed of starch, are digest­ed slow­ly and pro­vide a smooth flow of glu­cose into the blood­stream — they have a low glycemic index (GI). In turn, sim­ple sug­ars are absorbed quick­ly, increas­ing blood sug­ar lev­els more — they have a high GI.

Which carbohydrates are best for weight loss?

For a long time, dis­cus­sions have been ongo­ing about which cat­e­go­ry of car­bo­hy­drates is more suit­able for peo­ple who want to lose excess weight. Many peo­ple are of the opin­ion that com­plex car­bo­hy­drates (low GI) are bet­ter for weight loss than sim­ple car­bo­hy­drates. Actu­al­ly this is not true. The authors of a recent review of stud­ies reaf­firmed this with com­pelling evi­dence.

The sci­en­tists’ con­clu­sion was: “The results of 30 meta-analy­ses of RCTs from eight pub­li­ca­tions showed that low-GI diets were gen­er­al­ly no bet­ter than high-GI diets for weight loss or body fat reduc­tion.” Giv­en the same ener­gy intake, the type of car­bo­hy­drates con­sumed does not affect weight loss. Almost all the car­bo­hy­drates we eat end up con­vert­ed into glu­cose or fruc­tose by the time they reach the blood­stream.

(Read also: The most pop­u­lar myths about car­bo­hy­drates)

Nutritional value of products

Please note that dif­fer­ent foods may con­tain dif­fer­ent amounts of oth­er nutri­ents that may be ben­e­fi­cial to our health: fiber, micronu­tri­ents, phy­to­chem­i­cals, and so on. As a rule, foods con­tain­ing a lot of sim­ple car­bo­hy­drates (processed foods, sweets) have less of these nutri­ents. In gen­er­al, eat­ing whole foods is seen as health­i­er, even if they don’t direct­ly allow you to lose more fat or lose weight faster.

(Read also: What is the most effec­tive diet for los­ing weight?

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