Fat Burning Enhanced After Low Glycemic-Index Breakfast

Whole grains are carbohydrates with a low glycemic-indexFat burning appears to be enhanced when a 60-minute walk follows a breakfast of low glycemic-index carbohydrates, according to a small study from the University of Nottingham in the UK.   

High Glycemic-Index carbohydrates, such as white bread and pure sugar, are known to have a more pronounced effect on the body’s blood sugar levels whereas low glycemic index foods (LGI) will increase the body’s sugar levels more slowly.  LGI foods include cereals made from oats, barley, and bran, along with whole grain breads and most vegetables other than white potatoes.  In fact, white is usually a color to avoid when it comes to carbohydrates:  white bread, white sugar, white potatoes, white pasta and white rice.

Not only do the white carbs interfere with fat burning, according to this study, but they also tend to stimulate hunger. In another study of 12 obese adolescent males, the researchers found that after eating high-GI meals, the subjects were hungrier and ate again sooner: voluntary food intake was 53 percent greater than after a medium-GI meal, and 81 percent greater than after a low-GI meal.  So eating sugary foods not only interferes with fat burning, but it creates a viscious cycle of hunger and overeating.

The bottom line, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet — but stick to the good ones.

Source: Stevenson EJ, et al “Fat oxidation during exercise and satiety during recovery are increased following a low-glycemic index breakfast in sedentary women” J Nutr 2009; 139: 890-97.

Source: “Fat Burns Faster After Low-Glycemic Breakfast”, MedPage Today, April 15, 2009

Source: “High Glycemic Index Foods and Overeating in Obese Individuals”, NIDDK, NIH.gov


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