Low GI carbohydrate diet does not improve cardiovascular risk factors, study claims

17 December 2014        

A dish of salad

Healthy diets with low glycemic index (GI) of carbohydrate do not improve cardiovascular risk factors more than healthy diets with a high GI, according to research.

The study, published in JAMA, found that the low GI, low-carbohydrate diet, did not affect insulin sensitivity, systolic blood pressure or LDL cholesterol, when compared with the high-GI, high-carbohydrate diet.

Foods that have similar carbohydrate content can differ in the amount they raise blood glucose, a property called the glycemic index.

The results suggest that people who already follow a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, should not worry about additionally choosing low GI foods to help to lower their risk of heart disease and insulin resistance.

Victoria Taylor, our Senior Dietitian, said: “It might be a surprising finding but keeping dietary messaging simple is no bad thing.

“The easier it is to put recommendations into practice the easier it is to stick to them.

“This doesn’t mean that there is no benefit to a low GI diet for anyone though.

“This trial didn’t include people with diabetes or those trying to lose weight where there may still be benefit.”