Wednesday, June 27, 2012

All Calories Aren't Created Equal

Yesterday, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman published a compelling commentary titled "Which Diet Works?".  In it, the notion that all calories are created equal is challenged.  "Big food" would have you believe that your body treats 100 calories of Cheetohs is the same as 100 calories of spinach.  When consumed, highly processed carbohydrates cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.

A recent study from JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the results of three diets.  The first was a standard low-fat diet.  The second, a low-carb diet similar to the Atkins diet.  And the third, a low-glycemic index diet consisting of mostly unprocessed foods.  And the results?  The 12 week study showed that the low-glycemic index diet stood the highest chance of improving health in the long run.

Mr. Bittman's article and the JAMA study had a simple takeaway:  compared to other diets, a low-glycemic index diet consisting mainly of unprocessed foods has numerous health benefits because of the nature of the calories being consumed.  In other words:  all calories are not created equal.

Be sure to read the full article here.


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