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Do Certain Foods Lead to More Weight Loss?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Have you ever wondered if you’re eating the right kinds of foods to lose weight? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms that there are certain kinds of foods that are more strongly linked to weight loss than others.


The study followed the dietary habits of 120,000 people for 16 years and found that people who ate foods with a high glycemic load gained more weight than those who ate foods with a low glycemic load.

But what does “glycemic load” mean? The glycemic load of a food is an estimation of how much the food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it.

Foods with a high glycemic load include refined grains, starches and sugars, such as:

  • Maltose, glucose and sucrose
  • Honey
  • Rice cakes and rice cereals
  • Potatoes (white, red, mashed and instant)
  • Candy
  • Breads
  • Instant products (oatmeal, grits, rice)
  • Carrots, corn and peas
  • Flaked cereals
  • Corn chips


Foods with a lower glycemic load include nuts, dairy and certain fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Legumes
  • Fructose (sugar found in fruit)
  • Milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Plums, peaches, apples, oranges, pears, grapes, grapefruit
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potato
  • Oats
  • Most vegetables that grow above ground

For a more complete list of low-glycemic index foods, click here.


The results of this study aren’t particularly surprising, but they did include some new and interesting findings in regards to weight gain and some foods. Researchers found that making some simple changes in your dietary habits can help boost weight loss.

If you’re struggling to lose instead of gain weight, or if you’ve hit a stall in your weight loss, here are a few tips that may help you lose more weight.

  • Eat more yogurt (low- or full-fat), seafood, nuts and skinless chicken.
  • Consume less red and processed meats, particularly paired with refined grains or starches. Replace red with other high-protein foods like eggs and cheese.
  • Pair meat with low-GI foods, such as vegetables.
  • Avoid eating foods like eggs and cheese with high-GI foods.

To lose or maintain weight in the long term, center your diet around high-protein foods and healthy fats, and reduce your intake of simple carbs, like breads and sweets. Fill your plate with foods that are low on the glycemic index, such as lean meats and vegetables. Making these small changes to your diet over time can have a big impact on your weight.