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Low Glycemic Index Diets
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What are Low Glycemic Index Diets?

Mainstream groups, such as the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association, endorse a unified set of guidelines for the optimum diet. According to these organizations, the majority of calories in the daily diet should come from carbohydrates (55% to 60%); fat should provide no more than 30% of total calories; and protein should be kept to 10% to 15%.

However, many popular diet books turn the standard diet on its head. As described in the entry on low-carbohydrate diets , the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, Protein Power, and other “alternative” dietary approaches turn thumbs down on carbohydrates and advocate increased consumption of fat and/or protein. According to theory, the low-carb approach aids in weight loss (and provides a variety of other health benefits)...

Weak evidence hints that a low glycemic index diet might help prevent macular degeneration . 1 Although there are theoretical reasons to believe that use of white sugar and other high glycemic index foods might promote colon cancer, a large observational study failed to find any association between colon cancer rates and diets high in sugar, carbohydrates, or GL. 2 It has been proposed that low-GI foods may enhance sports performance . One study involving a simulated 64-km bicycle race found no performance differences between use of honey (low GI) or dextrose (high GI) as a carbohydrate source. 3 However, another study did find benefit with a low-GI snack prior to endurance exercise. 4 One interesting, though far from definitive, study compared a low glycemic load diet...