Based on these findings, the authors observed several synergistic relationships between protein-rich foods and changes in the glycemic load of the diet:

  • Increasing consumption of protein-rich foods linked to weight gain (ie, red meat) at the same time as increasing glycemic load (ie, white bread) was strongly associated with weight gain
  • Reducing glycemic load (ie, substituting vegetables for white bread) while consuming protein-rich foods like red meat mitigated some of the weight gain
  • Decreasing glycemic load enhanced the weight loss effects of fish, nuts, and other foods associated with weight loss
  • While eggs and cheese were not linked to weight gain, increasing the servings of these foods in combination with foods linked to increased glycemic load promoted weight gain. However, when combined with reduced glycemic load, increasing servings of eggs and cheese actually helped with weight loss.

The authors conclude that while certain foods may help prevent weight gain, while others may promote it, it is the combination of foods that has the greatest impact on long-term weight management. Protein-rich foods such as fish, nuts, and yogurt can help promote weight loss, however in order to maximize the benefits of these foods and create new benefits with foods such as eggs and cheese, patients should avoid refined grains, starches, and sugars. 

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