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Low or slow sugars help with weight loss

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A low-glycemic-index diet -- one with carbohydrates low in sugar or that release sugar slowly -- may lead to weight loss, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston conducted controlled studies of rodents and found a low-GI diet -- including whole grains, most fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes -- reduces body weight, fat and risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists fed rats diets with identical nutrients except for the type of starch. Both diets were 69 percent carbohydrates, but 11 rats were randomly assigned to high-GI starch and 10 to low-GI starch.

Food portions were controlled so the rats maintained the same average body weight in the two groups, but the high-GI group had 71 percent more body fat and 8 percent less lean body mass than the low-GI group. Their fat also was concentrated in the trunk to confer an apple body shape, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease in humans, researchers said.

Researchers said the findings show dieters should cut out high-GI carbohydrates rather than eliminating carbohydrates altogether.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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