The U.S. Department of Agriculture says low-fibre vegetables are a great choice thanksgiving this year thanks to the turkey and beef festival and the pumpkin spice latte, but they are also high in saturated fat and sugar.
A new study from researchers at Harvard Medical School suggests the best way to eat low-carb, low-sugar foods is to eat more vegetables and fruits.
“We’re looking at low-calorie, low fat foods that are high in vitamins and minerals,” said study co-author Elizabeth Osterman, an assistant professor of food science at Harvard School of Public Health.
She said high-fructose corn syrup and other sugars added to foods, especially breakfast cereals, can have health benefits, but these should be added in moderation.
“When we look at low carb foods, like a ketogenic diet, we know that they’re healthy,” she said.
The Harvard researchers used data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to create a food database that tracked foods in the U, U.K., France, Canada and Germany that were served between 2001 and 2014.
They found that foods served at the holiday events were higher in fiber and less saturated fat than lower-caloric, less sugar-rich foods.
They also said that high-carb foods like eggs, potatoes and fruit, such as apples, pears and plums, were also low in sugar.
“People who are looking for a low-glycemic index (GI) score and they don’t want to eat a lot of sugar, they can look at fruits and vegetables,” Ostermann said.
Her study found that eating fruits and veggies increased your intake of fiber, which is important for the body.
“This is not the way you get a high-GI score, which means you have a high sugar intake,” Ostersman said.
“If you have high sugar, it affects your blood sugar levels, which causes insulin resistance.
It also affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.”
Low-carb diets also contain more antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients than higher-carbohydrate, higher-saturated fat diets.
“You want to have the right ratio of fat to carbohydrate,” Oesterman said, which can be achieved by eating lots of vegetables and fruit and low in saturated fats and sugar.
“Researchers also found that low-nutrient foods and refined grains like white bread and white rice were associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
They said these foods can cause a spike in the blood sugar and insulin levels, and they can also be associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke and other complications.
The researchers said the results of the study are important because it provides a better picture of how vegetables and other low-cost, low calorie foods are distributed in the American diet.”
A low-GI diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is likely a healthy choice for people with type 2 Diabetes and those who are not already diabetic,” Oestersman said in a statement.”
For people who are diabetic and may want to reduce their carbohydrate intake, it’s important to remember that vegetables and low-carbonate fruit and vegetables are also low glycemic index foods.
“The study was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.
Source: Harvard Medical Schools