Glycemic load not important?

There's an article up at that seems to suggest that - over the long term - when designing a diet for weight loss, the glycemic load does not have a significant effect on overall weight loss. See:

for more details.

Weight loss is one thing. Being Brad Pitt Shreaded is entirely different.

Word around the campfire is being Gerard Butler Shreaded is where it's at.

It is only one small piece of the pie.

That's always been my contention as well. Ultimately weight-loss, whether it's dropping a few lbs or getting "brad pitt shredded" comes down to calories in vs. calories out. Everything else is "just details" IMO.

Not that those details don't matter in a sense, but I maintain that for 99% of people trying to lose weight, they can safely focus on calories consumed vs. calories expended, and ignore the details (excluding reference to other health issues, like any correlation between sodium intake or cholesterol intake and associated health problems).

You can't eat even one piece of pie if you want to be Brad Pitt Shreaded.

You could if it was Angelina's pie. ;)

The study you referenced compared a 40/30/30 Zone-type diet utilizing low-glycemic index foods like barley, oats, etc. versus a 60/20/20 high-glycemic diet.

Protein and fat change the glycemic load of individual carbohydrate foods substantially, and the study didn't list what was used for protein and fat in the two groups. The glycemic index/load is a great idea on its own; however when you combine carbs of a certain GI with protein and fat, it becomes irrelevant to the point of being useless.

Plus, the two diets are not vastly dissimilar in terms of macronutrients (i.e., neither are really low- or really high-carb diets).

I'm a big proponent of Cals In/Cals Out.

But, what I would expect is that when you're not in such a controlled environment, eating higher glycemic foods makes it tougher to keep Cals In reasonable. Feeling energetic, not crashing, not bingeing.... plenty of "GI diet" type advocates say that it's about this, not about something that gets around bottomline Cals.

I've also read that the glycemic load has to due with controlling insulin
spikes, and controlling inflammation. Inflammation being the cause of
most health problems (arthritis, allergies etc) seems to be the latest
health craze as well.

[quote]Maybe the high glycemic load lost more muscle than the other group. That is what I would expect.[/quote]

Maybe so. But even if we knew it was a true statement that "a high GL diet results in more muscle loss than a low GL diet;" that would still be (nearly) useless information unless we can quantify it. Maybe there's a difference, but it's less than one half of 1%. If that were the case, it would be true but completely irrelevant. But if the difference is, say, 10%, then we're talking about something worth worrying about.

So until we get studies that not only prove a point conclusively, but that also quantify the effect, we don't have the answers we really need.

This was a really well done study, btw. It's one of the only studies (maybe the only) that provided food to the participants, AND checked for compliance biochemically- in other words they did not rely on self-reported compliance. They found that both groups cheated to about the same extent, and they were able to account for that statistically.

This study and the one a month or so ago comparing a few different popular diets are big nails in the coffin of various fad diets.