Felicity Curtain


The “World’s Best Diet” – but this one’s no fad.


Each week seems to be marked by a new and improved diet plan, bringing with it promises of renewed health and weight loss, but most are forgotten once the novelty wears off and the weight starts creeping back on.

But after conducting a year-long dietary study on nearly 800 adults, scientists from Denmark are confident that their proposed diet is the real deal.

So confident, in fact, that they’ve dubbed it the “World’s Best Diet” – and believe it or not, the principles are simple to incorporate into your usual eating patterns.

The Danish study, called Diogenes (Diabetes, obesity and genes), sought to determine the most effective combination of protein and Glycaemic Index (GI) for weight loss maintenance. Results pointed towards moderate increases in protein consumption, paired with low GI carbohydrates, as the most effective blend for weight loss and maintenance.

An example of "High protein, low GI" foods.

An example of “High protein, low GI” foods.

Jennie Brand Miller, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney, says this magic combination works because of the ‘satiating’ effects of protein and low GI foods.

But it’s not simply the classic stability of blood sugars that low GI appears to provide: as Brand-Miller explains, smart carbs like the rye bread, pumpernickel and barley touted by Diogenes also “stimulate cells in the gut that produce one of the satiety hormones we need to feel full.”

Rapidly digested – high GI – carbs like white bread and rice don’t reach these cells, as they’re digested in a higher section of the gut, explaining why we’re more satisfied after consuming a bowl of porridge than a bowl of rice bubbles.

Curiously, all this comes in the wake of recent studies damming high protein diets – with one academic even going so far as to deem high protein diets derived from animals as dangerous as cigarette smoking! However, Brand-Miller is quick to point out Diogenes’ recommended increase in protein is modest, and emphasises non-animal sources like legumes, nuts and low-fat dairy.

Not to mention, results indicated that those following the ‘high protein, low GI’ diet plan displayed improved inflammatory markers in the blood a year on from the study, indicating a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

So, how should you eat according to the “World’s Best Diet?”

By basing your food choices around plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as lean protein sources like chicken, fish, legumes, nuts and dairy foods, and dense, low GI carbohydrates like brown rice, rye bread and oats.

More high protein, low GI... the world's best diet?

More high protein, low GI… the world’s best diet?

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