For the most part, carbs get the cold shoulder treatment during diet season. But all carbohydrates are not created equal. In fact, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that consumption of slow-burning low glycemic load carbs can actually help dieters.

Researchers recruited 80 healthy men and women, half normal weight and half overweight, and assigned them to a diet of either fast high glycemic load carbs such as refined flour, sugar and syrups or slow-burning carbs like whole grain bread, pinto beans and lentils. The low glycemic load carbs reduced markers of inflammation by as much as 22% and increased the release of hormones that help regulate sugar and fat metabolism.

True Strength Moment: Low glycemic load carbohydrates typically have higher fiber content which is part of the reason they digest much more slowly. This reduces the potential for blood sugar spikes that can lead to a ‘crash’ of physical energy and mental focus. Keep yourself fueled up for an active day with a breakfast of whole grains, grapefruit or apple and a low-sugarprotein shake. It might help you reach ambitious diet goals before swim suit season.

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