The fast good group restricted their levels of physical activity to not more than 5000 daily steps and ate at least two fast food meals, preferably in well known outlets, every day.
The aim was to double calorific intake and increase total body weight by between 10% and 15% to see if these had any impact on their liver health.
Blood samples were taken before the challenge began and then at regular intervals throughout the study period, to check on their liver enzyme and fat levels.
At the end of the four weeks, those in the fast food group had put on an average of 6.5 kg. Five increased their weight by 15%, and one person put on an extra 12 kg in just two weeks.
The increases were linked to weight gain and especially higher sugar and carbohydrate intake.
Only one participant developed “fatty liver,” but test results from the other participants showed a steep rise in fat content in their liver cells, which is associated with insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is associated with the metabolic syndrome, a collection of biochemical abnormalities which are linked to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
No such changes were seen among those who continued to eat their normal diet.
Journal reference: Fast-food based hyper-alimentation can induce rapid and profound elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase in healthy subjects Online First Gut 2008; doi: 10.11.36/gt131797
Adapted from materials provided by British Medical Journal, via Newswise.
- There are multiple take home points of this study.
- 1) Processed foods are toxic. Your body (especially your liver) has to work terribly hard to metabolize processed foods.
- 2) The primary villain in our problem with obesity in this country is carbohydrates from sugars and refined grains, NOT fats as we are led to believe.
- 3) Weight gain is simply calories in verses calories out. This group restricted their calorie output and increase their calorie intake. Guess what happened... they gained significant weight. Your body is designed to be very active AND consume moderate amounts of food. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or eat the average American diet you will be overweight, and both of those activities (inactivity and overeating) are risk factors for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Health however is not about calories in vs. calories out. You can be at an ideal body weight and be very unhealthy. You can be mildly overweight and be quite healthy. Health is by definition a state of physical, social, and mental well being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity (form the World Health Organization), therefore in order to attain health, you must strive for excellence in all three categories by incorporating activities in your life that address these issues AND avoid lifestyle activities that would deter from any of the categories.
- How do you become truly healthy. 1)Eat raw, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables, free range or wild meats and whole grains (sparingly). Avoid processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. 2) Be active: exercise regularly and maintain your body structure through chiropractic care, massage, yoga, pilates, etc. 3) Find spiritual peace. 4)Continue to learn. 5) Maintain friendships and social interactions. These are just a few of the activities you can do to truly attain health.