The power of low GI foods: a path to a healthier body shape for heart disease patients

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Eating the right foods plays a crucial role in managing heart disease.

Recent research conducted by scientists at the Republican Specialized Scientific Practical Medical Center of Therapy and Medical Rehabilitation has highlighted the benefits of consuming low glycemic index (GI) foods for patients with heart disease.

This study, presented at the ACNAP-EuroHeartCare Congress 2022, sheds light on how incorporating low GI foods into the diet can promote a healthier body shape.

Let’s delve into the findings and discover how low GI foods can positively impact patients with heart disease.

Understanding the Glycemic Index

The glycemic index ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on their effect on blood sugar levels. High GI foods, such as white bread, white rice, potatoes, and sweets, cause a rapid increase in blood sugar.

On the other hand, low GI foods, including certain fruits and vegetables (e.g., apples, oranges, broccoli, leafy greens), pulses (e.g., chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans), and whole grains (e.g., brown rice, oats), are digested more slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

It’s important to note that meat, poultry, and fish do not have a GI rating as they do not contain carbohydrates.

The Study Design

The research team assigned 160 heart disease patients, aged 38 to 76 years old, to follow either a low GI diet or a routine diet for a period of three months.

Both groups continued to receive standard therapies for coronary artery disease. The objective was to assess the impact of a low GI diet on body shape and weight management in these patients.

Positive Results for Low GI Diets

The study revealed significant reductions in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference among participants following the low GI diet.

In the low GI group, BMI decreased by an impressive 4.2 kg/m2 compared to 1.4 kg/m2 in the routine diet group. Waist circumference also saw a substantial decrease of 9 cm in the low GI group compared to 3.3 cm in the routine diet group.

However, there were no major differences between the two groups in terms of hip circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.

Gender Differences

The researchers also explored whether the impact of the intervention varied between men and women.

Interestingly, they found that a low GI diet had a greater influence on waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio in men compared to women. However, the beneficial effect on BMI was observed to be similar for both genders.

Emphasizing Low GI Foods

The study’s findings highlight the significance of incorporating low GI foods into the diets of patients with heart disease.

By placing emphasis on these foods as part of a balanced diet, individuals can better manage their body weight and waistline.

The slow digestion and gradual rise in blood sugar associated with low GI foods can contribute to improved body shape and overall health for heart disease patients.

Incorporating low GI foods into the diet of heart disease patients can have a positive impact on body shape and weight management. By choosing low GI options such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, and whole grains, patients can promote better overall health.

This study underscores the importance of adopting a balanced diet that includes low GI foods for individuals managing heart disease.

By making these dietary choices, patients can take significant steps toward achieving a healthier body shape and supporting their heart health journey.

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