high gly

So last week I wrote an article on nutrition called Nutrition 101…5 guidelines to follow. One of the guidelines I listed was to avoid the white foods (such as sugar, bread, pasta, milk, and rice).

This article got a lot of attention and I was fortunate enough to have someone ask me why I listed rice in the list above.

My response was because rice is a high glycemic food that should be limited and only eaten by people with 10% body fat (or less).


After learning this new piece of information I looked into studies that supported this.

What I found were two articles in the Journal of Nutrition called;

1. Physiological Validation of the Concept of Glycemic Load in Lean Young Adults

2. Reduced Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Diets Do Not Increase the Effects of Energy Restriction on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Men and Women

Both studies tested the effects of (high glycemic foods vs low glycemic foods) on insulin and other factors, like hunger, fullness, insulin sensitivity etc.

What they found was that a carbohydrate of high glycemic index raises blood glucose more quickly and to a higher level than a carbohydrate of low glycemic index.

Stating that Epidemiological studies found that an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease is linked to the consumption of high glycemic index foods and diets of high glycemic load.

Not only that but “Ludwig and his colleagues demonstrated that obese teenage boys, responded to low glycemic index meals by consuming substantially less food after a 5 hour post eating period compared to medium or high glycemic index meals. This study concluded that high glycemic foods induce hormonal and metabolic changes that lead to overeating in obese subject.”

Also studies of short duration suggest that diets containing reduced glycemic index and glycemic load have beneficial effects on body composition.

In the 2nd study I read, they had 3 groups; one was the low glycemic index group, the other was the high glycemic index group, and the last one was the high fat group. They had these groups follow a calorie deficit diet that consisted of their prescribed category of foods for 12 weeks.

What they found was that insulin sensitivity was significantly better in all 3 groups. But of course theirs one that had to improve insulin sensitivity better than the other 2 groups and that was the low glycemic index group.

They also found that after the 12 week period subjects from the low glycemic and high fat group had a better reduction in body fat and maintained their LBM.

Although these results were in favor of the low glycemic and high fat group the high glycemic group wasn’t far behind in the end results.

They had improvements just as the other 2 did.

So in the end the study didn’t support the hypothesis of the researchers that low glycemic load diets would dramatically enhance weight loss, relative to other diets. But their findings did suggest that a diet that creates a deficit in their energy consumption (calories) would experience a drop in body fat even if the subject were to eat only high glycemic foods.

Now what does this mean for you?

If you have 15% body fat or above I don’t recommend eating a diet high in the glycemic index. The reason is because these types of foods usually have higher grams of carbs. If you’re on a calorie deficit diet then eating high glycemic foods would restrict you to only have very small portions of food to meet your macronutrients for the day.

Who the hell wants to eat less food and feel hungry?

And plus the study above found out that high glycemic foods stimulate hunger quicker after eating them than low glycemic foods do.

I suggest sticking with lower glycemic foods. This way you’re able to satisfy your hunger needs and still meet your macros (the amount of protein, carbs, and fat you need for the day in grams).

People that are leaner (10% body fat or less) will be able to take the glycemic index concept and throw it out the window. Your body reacts the same whether you ingest high glycemic or low glycemic carbs because your body is able to handle carbs a lot better than an overweight person. Just make sure to get your macros in depending on your goal.

I hope this helps clear the glycemic index concept for you and steers you towards the right direction.


I hope you enjoyed today’s article, show some love and share the knowledge with your friends

Talk to you soon,


Brand-Miller, J.C, M. Thomas, V. Swan, Z.I. Ahmad, P. Petocz, and S. Colagiuri. “Physiological Validation of the Concept of Glycemic Load in Lean Young Adults.”The Journal of Nutrition (2003): 2728-732. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.
Raatz, Susan K., Carolyn J. Torkelson, Bruce J. Redmon, Kristell P. Reck, Christine A. Kwong, Joyce E. Swanson, ChengCheng Liu, William Thomas, and John P. Bantle. “Reduced Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Diets Do Not Increase the Effects of           Energy Restriction on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Men and Women.”The Journal of Nutrition (2005): 2387 391. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.