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More fat loss bang for your exercise buck with a low GI breakfast
‘If you are trying to shed fat, you may consider eating low GI foods before you exercise,’ suggests Dr Emma Stevenson. Her study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that a low GI breakfast before exercising could help with weight loss because it increases fat oxidation both at rest and during subsequent exercise. ‘A low GI breakfast also had an impact on appetite, with the women feeling fuller for longer after they’d eaten these types of foods,’ said Dr Stevenson.

Eight healthy women ate either a high GI breakfast or a low GI one in test sessions several days apart (each breakfast contained the same number of calories and same proportion of those calories from carbs, fat and protein). Three hours later they did 60 minutes on a treadmill before lunch.

Breakfast foods

Blood glucose was higher – as expected – after the high GI breakfast than the low GI one, and had returned to normal levels by the time the women began exercising. But plasma free fatty acids (FFA) – which indicate the amount of fat being used as an energy source – began to rise two hours after the low GI breakfast. Exercise led to a rapid increase in FFAs in both groups – but concentrations were higher in the low GI group. After lunch the concentration of FFAs was the same in both groups, but overall fat oxidation was higher in the low GI group than the high GI group.

Eggs for breakfast help weight loss
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity shows that eating two eggs for breakfast, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, helped overweight adults lose more weight and feel more energetic than those who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories. This study supports previous research, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition which showed that people who ate eggs for breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at the following meal. ‘People have a hard time adhering to diets and our research shows that choosing eggs for breakfast can dramatically improve the success of a weight loss plan,’ said lead researcher Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD. ‘Apparently, the increased satiety and energy due to eggs helps people better comply with a reduced-calorie diet.’


Is an egg a day OK? It depends …

‘Eggs are very nutritious. They are a good protein source,’ says dietitian Glenn Cardwell. They also contain omega-3 fats, as well as 11 different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The common belief that eggs cause high cholesterol is untrue. ‘This idea was made on the assumption that cholesterol in food became cholesterol in your blood, which we now know to be incorrect. Most health authorities agree that an egg a day will do no harm – provided it’s not soaking in bacon fat,’ says Glenn

‘However, people with diabetes or those at risk should not consume an egg a day,’ says Dr Alan Barclay. ‘There is evidence that daily egg consumption will significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and common diabetic complications in people with existing diabetes,’ he said.

Staying up to date with breakfast research
On the Breakfast Research Institute (funded by Quaker and Tropicana) website you can check out published studies relevant to breakfast science. (Links to PubMed abstracts are provided where available.) The News section includes reviews of recently published studies summarizing research objectives, design/methods, results, strengths and limitations. There’s also a commentary on the study.

For example, here’s what they say about the recent Association of Breakfast Skipping with Visceral Fat and Insulin Indices in Overweight Latino Youth study published in Obesity.

[Summary] ‘Breakfast skipping [in overweight Latino adolescents] was related to increased visceral fat independent of age, gender, total fat, total lean tissue, and total energy intake.” Even occasional breakfast consumption appeared to result in lower visceral adiposity.’

Boy eating breakfast

[Commentary] ‘This is a well-designed and well-executed study on a minority population examining the relationship of breakfast consumption to changes in visceral adiposity. The study adds support to the importance of breakfast in a high risk (adolescent) minority population. It also breaks new ground in a useful area of study, setting up further exploration into breakfast and visceral adiposity in differing populations. The authors also plan future longitudinal studies of the factors examined in this study and studies examining the potential influence of eating patterns and breakfast composition on specific adiposity and insulin dynamics measures in this population. The importance of visceral adiposity and the relationship to chronic disease has already been established, making this a study of great interest in breakfast research literature.’

Blood glucose and cancer risk
People with elevated blood glucose levels have a greater cancer risk than those with glucose levels in the normal range according to the findings of a prospective cohort study published in PLoS Medicine. For every mmol/L increment of glucose, the incident of cancer was 11% greater among women, and 5% among men. The association was more significant in certain forms of cancer, such as in the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and urinary bladder.

Dr Tanja Stocks
Dr Tanja Stocks

The study, which was headed by Dr Tanja Stocks and colleagues from the University of Umeå, included about 275,000 men and 275 women from Sweden, Norway and Austria. Their blood glucose levels were measured at the beginning of the study and their risk of cancer during the follow up (typically about 10 years later). ‘We still do not know for certain if the effect of high blood glucose directly causes cancer, or whether other factors are behind the association. We believe that a lifestyle that is beneficial for blood glucose control also reduces the risk of cancer,’ says Tanja Stocks.

Because this study made the headlines, it was reviewed by the NHS Choices ‘Behind the Headlines’ team. ‘Overall,’ they say ‘this research provides some evidence that high blood glucose is associated with an increased risk of some types of cancer. However, it did not directly test or suggest that high blood glucose causes these cancers. Although the research did find an association between high blood glucose levels and cancer risk, there are many other lifestyle, medical and genetic factors that may contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing cancer, few of which were considered in this analysis.’ Read more.

New website for type 2:
The ODB is a brand new website for people with type 2 diabetes. It covers all the new drugs and treatments. The man behind it – Jim Montgomery – is a low GI diet success story. He swears his 11 years of an HbA1C of around 5.5-6.0 is due to exercise and Jennie Brand-Miller’s Low GI Diet. His belief shows in the weekly updates of the ODB [the Original Diabetes Blog] where there is always a story about the low GI diet. In its first issues, Jim is engaged in an interesting trial of the world’s first, blue-toothed glucometer automatically reporting back to a specially prepared, personal website on Telstra’s BigPond. Check it out HERE.