New Study Touts Low Glycemic Diet
What the GI has to do with your NutriSystem Program
Newsletter by Nutrisystem Staff
Great news! A new study in the May edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that low glycemic diets—the core of the NutriSystem® Nourish™ program—may not only beat low-fat diets for weight loss but also may offer other substantial health benefits, too.
NutriSystem® Nourish™ is a low glycemic program. It’s based on the Glycemic Index and includes delicious, “good carb” foods that are great for your waistline and your overall health.
Recently, during a 12-month study, researchers in Boston found that when obese people consumed unlimited low glycemic carbohydrates, they lost as much weight as those who stuck with a calorie-restricted, conventional low-fat diet. This confirms what we’ve known for years—that a low glycemic diet is an effective, healthy way to shed those unwanted pounds. But now, based on this study, a low glycemic diet seems to yield yet another health benefit—a healthier heart.
This new study found that those on the low glycemic diet also had large decreases in fatty substances in their blood (which are linked to heart disease), as well as lesser amounts of a protein that can interfere with the body’s ability to break down blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks. (For more information on this study, click here.)
Based on these new findings, and the renewed interest nationwide in the Glycemic Index these days, we thought it might be a good time to offer up a”refresher course” of sorts on the Glycemic Index and the role it plays in your Nutrisystem Nourish program. So here’s a Question & Answer session with our in-house nutrition expert and Vice President of Product and Program Development, Dr. Jay Satz, about the Glycemic Index and the science behind the NutriSystem program. Dr. Jay heads up the charge of creating foods for the low glycemic Nutrisystem Advanced program, and we thought we’d ask him a few questions about the strategy surrounding it all.
Q: Why did NutriSystem create a low advanced glycemic index diet food program?
In the past few years, the weight loss industry has been bombarded with major controversies surrounding issues like whether carbohydrates are good or bad for you, whether the high-protein diets work or not, and how”low fat” is too low fat. At NutriSystem, we looked into all of these issues and based on the most recent scientific research available in weight loss and nutrition, we created a revolutionary weight loss program. It centers around the proven solution to all of these nutritional dilemmas, and that is, a program that includes good carbohydrates and optimum amounts of proteins and fats. Our Nutrisystem Nourish program does this, and all of its foods are based on something called the Glycemic Index.
Q: What is the Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic Index is recognized internationally and by the World Health Organization and measures the quality of carbohydrates and their impact on your blood sugar levels. Some carbs are broken down in your body too quickly and this spikes your blood sugar levels. This spike causes your insulin to also spike, which in turn causes your body to store fat (something you do not want to happen if you’re trying to lose weight!). These carbs are given a”high” glycemic value and are referred to as”bad” carbs.
Other carbs are metabolized more efficiently by your body and break down slowly which stabilizes your blood sugar levels so your insulin levels don’t spike, and you don’t store fat (a good thing if you’re dieting). These carbs are listed as”low” on the Glycemic Index and are referred to as”good” carbs.
In other words, the”good” carb equation looks like this:
GOOD CARBS = NORMAL BLOOD SUGAR & INSULIN LEVELS = LESS FAT STORED
(and LESS HUNGER, too!)
Knowing this, we focused on formulating our foods with those”good” carbs that rate well on the Glycemic Index. Because they stabilize your blood sugar levels, you’re less hungry and your cravings are kept to a minimum. It’s really the science of weight loss.
Q: How will eating foods with low Glycemic Index values improve my ability to lose weight?
Again, low glycemic foods are healthier for you because they don’t spike your blood sugar levels, so your insulin doesn’t spike (which is the thing that causes you to store fat). But also, when your blood sugar levels are stable, that reduces the feeling of hunger. Low glycemic carbohydrate foods stay in your system longer, which translates to your brain that you are full for a longer period of time.
In a nutshell, by following the NutriSystem program that includes low-calorie, portion-controlled, good carb foods, you can decrease the storage of fat in your body so you lose weight without being hungry.
Q: Do low glycemic foods taste good?
Yes, ours do! In fact, when we go into the kitchens to make sure our foods are healthy with optimum levels of good carbs, proteins, fats, and fiber, we place top priority on taste, too. No doubt, we know how important that is, and we’ve had great feedback from our members about our foods. NutriSystem customers love being able to eat things like pasta, rice, and pizza without worrying about all those bad carbs. They get great taste, great nutrition, and all the benefits of a low glycemic diet while getting to eat the foods they love!
(Nutrisystem Nourish has been replaced by Nutrisystem Advanced for 2008)
What is the Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic Index measures the quality of carbohydrates and their impact on your blood sugar. Carbohydrates that break down slowly in your body encourage stable blood sugar levels, which is good, so they rate well or”low” on the Glycemic Index. On the other hand, carbs that break down too quickly cause your insulin levels to spike, and high insulin levels cause your body to store fat, so these carbs are given higher glycemic values. These”bad” carbs also leave you hungry soon after a meal, so if you’re looking to lose weight, you should seek to incorporate more”good” carbs with low glycemic values to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your metabolism burning strong.
Do Nutrisystem Advanced foods have low glycemic, “good” carbs?
Yes! They created the entire new line of Nutrisystem Advanced foods to feature”good,” low glycemic carbs, plus they added optimal amounts of protein and fiber to their meals and desserts. That makes Nutrisystem Advanced the first prepared foods program that totally integrates low Glycemic Index carbohydrates into a meal plan that is also low in fat. In essence, with this program, you get the best of both worlds—low fat AND good carb—a unique combination that helps support stable blood sugar levels more than ever before, and keeps you from feeling hungry while boosting your metabolism for maximum weight loss results.