The fat dilemma is a constant in our lives. No matter how much we try, it always seems to catch up on us. The strict diet schedules, exercise regimes and strategies are just never ending. And just when you thought that occasional binging is acceptable, recent studies have come up with a contrasting view – following a high-fat diet for just five days can ruin all your hardwork.
"Most people think they can indulge in high-fat foods for a few days and get away with it," said Matt Hulver, an associate professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The truth is such a diet can change the way in which the body's muscle processes nutrients, which could lead to long term problems such as weight gain, obesity and other health issues. All it takes is just five days for your muscles to start protesting.
When food is eaten, the level of glucose in the blood rises. Our muscles are a major clearing house for this glucose. They may break it down for energy or store it for later use. Since muscles make up about 30 per cent of our body weight and are important for glucose metabolism, it is necessary to maintain a healthy diet. If normal metabolism is altered, it can have dire consequences for the rest of the body and can lead to health issues.
Hulver and his colleagues found that the muscles' ability to oxidise glucose after a meal is disrupted after five days of eating a high-fat diet, which leads to the body's inability to respond to insulin – a risk factor for the development of diabetes and other diseases.
To conduct the study, healthy college students were fed a fat-laden diet. A normal diet is made up of about 30 per cent fat and students in this study were given a diet that had about 55 per cent fat. The study showed that the manner in which the muscle metabolised glucose was altered after eating high-fat diets.
Moral of the story: there is no getting away from the fat dilemma. A well-thought-out diet is the only way. Even if there are occasional binges, it shouldn’t turn out to be a week-long affair.
Inputs from IANS