The nutritional way to lose weight and prevent diabetes
By Barbara Minton | Natural Society
While you’re chowing down on all those healthful fresh fruits and vegetables (hopefully), don’t forget to eat plenty of protein, too. A growing pile of research is finding that people who eat higher levels of protein stay slim and trim compared to those who don’t.
How can eating more make a person slimmer? Protein is so integral to the formation and maintenance of every part of the body, that the signal to put down your knife and fork doesn’t get sent until you’ve eaten enough protein.
Probably in an effort to keep recruits trim and fit, the US military has been doing quite a bit of research on how eating more protein affects the cardiovascular and metabolic systems. One of their recently published studies assessed data from the nationally-recognized NHANES study, which involved 23,876 people age 19 and older.
After cardio-metabolic risk factors such as weight, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglycerides were factored in, the researchers concluded that higher protein diets are associated with lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, as well as higher HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ kind), compared to protein intakes that were at the recommended daily level (RDA).
Their data suggested that Americans who consume dietary protein between 1.0 and 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight are likely to have a lower risk of developing cardio-metabolic disease.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen recently studied the role of higher protein diets in weight control and other disorders that come along with diabetes. They focused on increasing protein, reducing carbohydrates, and choosing carbohydrates from the low end of the glycemic index, rather than from the higher end. The glycemic index is a numerical index given to a carbohydrate-rich food that is based on the average increase in blood glucose levels occurring after that food is eaten.
Participants ate one of six diets for a period of 6 months, with each diet differing in protein content and glycemic index. The higher protein and lower glycemic diet group showed weight loss and the ability to prevent regaining that weight for a year or more. This diet also reduced body fat and obesity, and was beneficial for blood pressure, lipids, and inflammation.
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