This Is How Your Body Adapts To Occasional Overeating

A latest study claims that even occasional overeating and excess calorie intake may prove to be detrimental to your post-meal glucose control.

NDTV Food Desk (with inputs from ANI)  |  Updated: April 26, 2019 13:09 IST

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This Is How Your Body Adapts To Occasional Overeating

It is well-known that overeating impairs blood sugar (glucose) control and insulin levels. A latest study claims that even occasional overeating and excess calorie intake may prove to be detrimental to your post-meal glucose control.

Overindulging in high calorie foods can trigger a host of metabolic conditions like obesity and diabetes. As per the researchers, a better understanding of the role of overeating in affecting blood sugar control and insulin processing may help scientists learn more about the metabolic diseases.

For the study, the team of researchers studied a small group of healthy, lean men with an average age of 22. The participants had to go through a short-term trial consisting of five days "indicative of humans overeating during festivals and holidays" and a long-term model of chronic overeating lasting 28 days.

The diet and its nutritional composition was representative of a typical Australian diet (55 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent fat and 15 percent protein). The "overfeeding" portion of the diet comprised high-calorie snacks such as chocolate, meal replacement drinks and potato chips. All of these high calorie foods together added about 1,000 more calories to the men's normal food consumption each day.

The team measured the volunteers' weight, fat mass, blood sugar, and insulin levels before the trial began and again after five and 28 days.

Although the amount of visceral fat that surrounds internal organs increased substantially, short-term overeating did not have a significant effect on the men's weight or fat mass. In addition, fasting levels of blood sugar and C-peptide--an amino acid the body releases in response to increased production of insulin--did not change.

These findings, published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, were surprising because fasting levels of endogenous glucose--new glucose the body produces in addition to what it has already stored for future use--increased during the short-term trial.

The findings revealed that the chronic overeating increased the amount of total body fat and visceral fat as well as post-meal blood sugar and C-peptide levels. But overeating did not alter fasting blood sugar levels, endogenous glucose production or the rate of glucose removal from the body (glucose disposal). Scientists said that this could be because nutrient profile in the long-term trial was consistent with a typical diet and dietary fat percentages did not increase.

People who have been consuming high-fat diet over a long period of time, instead of more nutritionally balanced foods, could be at higher risk of rapid changes in blood sugar control.

According to the researchers, these findings suggest that early adaptations in response to carbohydrate overfeeding are directed at increasing glucose disposal in order to maintain whole-body insulin sensitivity.

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