Comparing Weight Loss Diets and Energy Supply
Ironically, for a country where the majority of its population is considered obese by its own standards, dieting is more popular than ever in the United States. With the heightened popularity of dieting in American culture, it’s no surprise that a plethora of commercially endorsed weight-loss diets exist, however the effectiveness of these diets vary. Despite the large amount of existing weight-loss diets, a substantial amount of popular diets emphasize either limiting the consumption of saturated fat or carbohydrates1 in order to lose weight. The effectiveness of a diet can be judged in its ability to encourage weight-loss and keep the weight off—longevity is a key issue. With respect to longevity, energy transformation from food to biological energy is significantly important in how painless a diet can be. Let’s face it, it’s not at all desirable (let alone comfortable) to proceed through the day with low blood sugar, having hunger. We humans are lazy creatures and have a low threshold for discomfort; the easier it is to conform to the eating restrictions of a diet, the more likely that the diet will remain in use (given that the diet is effective). Low-fat weight-loss diets are superior to low-carbohydrate diets because they provide a sustained energy supply in a manor that’s flexible enough to adapt to almost any lifestyle.
In comparing weight-loss diets, the matter is fairly complex so it’s important to take consideration of the components associated with a weight-loss diet. Glycemic responses are a critical part in assessing a weight-loss diet’s efficiency and these response trends differ substantially between low-fat diets and low-carbohydrate diets. A glycemic response describes how the body’s metabolism reacts to a particular consumed food. More specifically, a glycemic response expresses how much energy is derived from the food in the form of glucose—an organic chemical substance that serves as a source of biological energy in the body.
In the clinical study, “Glycemic and insulinemic responses to energy bars of differing macronutrient composition in healthy adults” (Hertzler S.R., Kim Y. Med Sci Monit, 2003; 9(2): CR84-90), glucose blood concentrations in test subjects are closely examined after consuming particular foods in order to compile an accurate representation describing the glycemic response to those foods. The results of this study indicate that food consisting of higher amounts of carbohydrates yield increased glucose blood concentrations, thus providing more available energy. The positive correlation exhibited between glucose blood concentrations and the consumption of carbohydrates inversely establishes that low-“carb” foods provide considerably less biological energy—which is affirmed by the study.
Interestingly, the foods items that had a greater carbohydrate content also had the least...