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By now we are aware that inflammation is the cause of most health conditions, be it something simple as acidity or anything chronic like cancer. As per a new study by professionals from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, sources of slowly digested carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes and high-fiber foods are apparently linked to low inflammation in obese people.

As part of the trial, 80 healthy men and women, half of those who were overweight and other normal weight individuals were observed. The subjects were exposed to a 28-day feeding phase of high and low glycemic load carbohydrates in a random manner. While the former constitute highly processed carbs like white sugar and canned fruit syrups, the latter comprise foods high in dietary fibers like whole-grain cereals and breads. The foodstuffs provided to the participants were identical, but for the glycemic load.

“This finding is important and clinically useful since C-reactive protein is associated with an increased risk for many cancers as well as cardiovascular disease. Lowering inflammatory factors is important for reducing a broad range of health risks. Showing that a low-glycemic-load diet can improve health is important for the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese,” commented lead author Marian Neuhouser, Ph.D., R.D., a member of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center.

The team found that a specific inflammation biomarker known as C-reactive protein supposedly reduced by 22% among obese participants who conformed to a low-glycemic-load diet. Interestingly, a low-glycemic-load diet also seemed to moderately increase the proportions of a protein hormone called adiponectin in the blood. This protein is critical for shielding against various cancers such as breast and other metabolic disorders like type-2 diabetes and stiffening of arteries.

Basically, a low glycemic diet does not elevate blood glucose levels. Not all carbohydrates can be considered the same as far as the risk factor for chronic diseases is concerned, the authors conclude. The study is published in The Journal of Nutrition.