Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fructose Intake is Linked to Visceral Fat


The health effects of fructose consumption, largely from high-fructose corn syrup, have been the subject of considerable controversy among scientists and consumers alike. Now a study in the February issue of The Journal of Nutrition reports that fructose consumption may increase cardiovascular risk factors because it increases visceral fat--the kind that accumulates around internal organs.

Researchers examined 559 teens in Georgia, recording body mass index, exercise habits and fat mass. They also asked what the students had consumed in the past 24 hours and measured their body fat.

After controlling for other factors, the researchers found that higher fructose consumption was associated with increased systolic blood pressure, C-reactive protein (a sign of systemic inflammation) and visceral fat, and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol — all known risks for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

But when they controlled for visceral fat, the effect of fructose alone was weakened. It was apparently not fructose itself, but its tendency to increase visceral fat that led to a rise in risk factors.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Following a Low-Protein Diet? Beware.

People consuming excess calories on a low-protein diet may gain less weight than others, a new study reports, but they do so at a cost: the loss of lean body mass.


In a controlled experiment that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers hospitalized 25 volunteers and put them on a weight-stabilizing diet for two to three weeks. Then they randomly assigned them to a diet composed of 5 percent, 15 percent or 25 percent protein, stuffing them for two months with 40 percent more calories than the weight-stabilizing diet had required.

Unsurprisingly, everyone put on weight. Those on the normal and high-protein diets gained an average of more than 13.5 pounds, and those in the low-protein group about seven pounds.

Everyone gained about 7.5 pounds of fat mass, but the results for lean body mass were different. The medium-protein group gained 6.3 pounds of lean body mass, and the high-protein consumers gained seven pounds. The low-protein eaters, on the other hand, lost 1.5 pounds of lean body mass.

On a low-protein diet, the body needs to get protein from somewhere, so it gets it from lean body mass. And that will inevitably hamper your health/weight loss goals. So make sure your diet includes adequate protein, which is possible even if you are a vegetarian :)

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