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World’s Best Diet revealed by scientists

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Brand-Miller, co-author of the Australian edition of World’s Best Diet, believes we’ve often missed out on the filling power of these foods – partly because of the  ‘eat more carbs’ message but also because so many carbohydrates are very refined.

“The advice over the last 30 years has put too much emphasis on carbohydrates and neglected the satiating effect of protein – we took it for granted that Australians were getting enough protein,” she says.  “At the same time the carbohydrates we were eating were getting fluffier.” 

There are no fluffy carbs in this diet. Instead it’s based on fresh vegetables, lean protein sources like fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and dairy foods and dense, grainy foods like rye bread, pumpernickel and barley – the book’s recipe for rye porridge with apple and hazelnuts is the polar opposite of lightweight breakfast cereal.  

The reason these robust carbs are more filling than their more refined cousins like white bread isn’t just that they keep blood sugar levels steadier, Brand-Miller explains. They also stimulate cells in the gut that produce one of the satiety hormones we need to feel full. These cells are located deep down in the gut – a place that rapidly digested carbs never reach because they’re digested in the upper half of the gut, Brand Miller explains.

“This explains why we still feel hungry after we’ve eaten fluffy white rice,” she says.

But while the World’s Best Diet is higher in protein and lower in carbs it’s no radical diet. The idea is to modestly lower the carbohydrate content of the diet and modestly increase the protein content  to give a ratio of around 2:1 in favour of carbs, says Brand- Miller explaining that a typical Australian diet is generally higher in carbohydrates with a ratio as high as 4:1

Another reason why increasing protein is helpful is because it helps the body’s basal metabolic rate – the rate at which it burns kilojoules – to stay higher, she adds.  

One concern about higher protein diets has been the long-term effects on health, especially with eating plans high in animal foods. But after a year, the people taking part in the Diogenes study, who were eating the high protein low GI carb combination, ‘had healthier levels of inflammatory markers in the blood – a positive sign that their risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases had lowered.’

Brand-Miller is now testing whether the diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight and have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you may be eligible to participate (go to: preview.ning.com/sydney).

World’s Best Diet by Arne Astrup, Christian Bitz, Jennie Brand-Miller and Susan B. Roberts is published by Penguin, rrp $35.00.

27 comments so far

  • I am diabetic. Aussie doctors and dietitians tell me that my diet is totally wrong but cannot explain why I can maintain a 6.3 blood sugar level purely by diet.
    My diet is far closer to this “worlds best” than any the Aus doctors have recommended but exactly what my PNG doctor prescribed..
    Then again the Aus doctors start by saying eat what your grandparents ate (I do) and then say no animal fats and lots of chemicals yet they cannot see the hypocrisy of their position.

    Stranger in Paradise
    Date and time
    August 25, 2014, 7:08AM

    • I agree. I followed the doctors advice and was up around 12 blood sugar level. I changed my own diet to cut out carbs and eat closer to this 2:1 level of lean meats, veges and only carbs for breakfast and my levels have halved.


      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 7:28AM

    • I agree. The saying “eat what your grandparents ate” is just plain stupid in Australia unless the grandparents happened to be Italian or Greek. Mine descended from the English, Scots Irish their diet was mainly fatty mutton, lots of potatoes boiled cabbage. They never saw a capsicum or an aubergine in their life. They ate very little fruit – maybe just occasional apples oranges. Olive oil was bought from the chemists in very small bottles for medicinal purposes only. The vegetables they did eat had the life boiled out of them.

      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 8:29AM

    • My nanny eats big mac with tumeric powder and onion garlic paste. Is that still bad? She sometimes has fillet o fish with ginger tomato milk shake. Should I copy her diet also? My papa tells me my nanny’s diet is rubbish. He cooks his own meals. He likes to cook rabbit meat with bit of butter and lots of anchovies and goat cheese. He then eats it with tomato ketchup goat milk shake. Should I listen to him instead?

      skool kid
      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 9:23AM

    • Huh? Looks like a fairly standard diet, along with the need for general weight loss, that any Aussie GP would prescribe for someone with mild Type II diabetes or at risk of developing Type II diabetes. I doubt that you would have to resort to a PNG witch doctor for this advice.

      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 9:53AM

  • The biggest concern about the high protein diets that I see are not necessarily even the personal cost to an individual’s system, but the cost to the surviving stocks of tuna. Anywhere you look, this weight loss obsession has is pointing us in some sorry directions for a very long-lived and slow-breeding fish.

    Do some investigating, good people.


    Date and time
    August 25, 2014, 7:31AM

    • Is that you Rimmer?
      Ever heard of aquaculture?

      The World
      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 9:49AM

  • This is exactly the same as the CSIRO diet that has been published quite a few years back.

    Nothing new under the sun, just the sensationalist media headlines …


    Date and time
    August 25, 2014, 7:32AM

    • Yes, just a way to get you to buy another book.


      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 8:19AM

    • Completely agree – increasing protein and having complex carbs is not exactly rocket science. I was doing that 15 years ago.

      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 9:16AM

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