Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dietary Patterns Can Predict Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

A recent study looked at young adulthood dietary patterns to determine if the patterns can predict the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and diabetes-related biomarkers prior to middle age. And the researchers determined that eating patterns can be predictive. The diabetes-related biomarkers that can be predicted  include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, prediabetes and high β-cell function.

MetS is a collection of comorbid conditions that raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include hypertension, hyperglycemia, abdominal obesity, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common illness where the blood's long-term push on your artery walls is so great that it may ultimately result in health issues including heart disease.

Insulin resistance is the inability of muscle, fat, and liver cells to use glucose from the blood for energy. Prediabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

High beta-cell (β-cell) function refers to β-cells producing more insulin than normal in order to reduce blood sugar levels.  This can make the β-cell overwork. "This overwork can lead to the loss of β-cells or to β-cells being unable to carry out their function effectively."

To do the analysis, the researchers, in the study, used data on young adults from a long running birth cohort in Australia. The researchers assessed persons in two groups who followed two diet patterns. One group followed a typical western dietary pattern which was rich in meats, refined grains, processed and fried foods. And the other group followed a dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The participants were examined at 21 years and 30 years. Among the cardiometabolic parameter the researchers looked at were blood pressure, MetS, insulin resistance, prediabetes, and  β-cell function.

The researchers concluded that following an unhealthy Western diet was associated with increased chances of MetS and insulin resistance, while following a healthy, sensible diet was associated with decreased risks. Diets must be optimized in early adulthood in order to promote later cardiometabolic health.

Healthcare providers should start advising young adults in their twenties and thirties to follow a healthy eating pattern such as a whole foods, plant-based pattern. Following this type of diet could likely improve long-term health and possibly prevent metabolic syndrome and diabetes. And this will benefit the patient and lower healthcare costs.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Intermittent Fasting with a High Quality Eating Pattern

Although the most desired strategy for weight reduction and weight management is a mix of food, exercise, and lifestyle adjustment, this approach typically fails to accomplish long-term weight loss. But other diet options, being explored, are adding to our understanding of potentially successful weight loss procedures. Intermittent fasting is one of those strategies. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a cyclical eating pattern characterized by alternating periods of eating and fasting. However, in most IF diets, the food's quality is not addressed.

So, one study compared the weight lost achieved using a one-day fasting protocol with the weight loss achieved using a two-day fasting protocol, where all participants followed a high-quality, nutrient-dense eating pattern. It was found that while two days of fasting achieved better results than one day of fasting, both the two-day method and the one-day method achieved respectable results.

The randomized, controlled study contrasted a one-day fasting regimen, consisting of 10 individuals, with a two-day fasting regimen, also consisting of 10 individuals. The researchers examined the effect of the two diet regimens on weight reduction, body composition, cardiovascular markers such as blood pressure, and cholesterol. The researchers also looked at body composition.

The researchers examined "hormone and hunger responses" in the "20 overweight men and women" over a four-week period. A licensed dietician provided weekly dietary advice and compliance monitoring to the participants. All outcome indicators were evaluated during the week before the study started and during the week after the five-week study ended.

The participants in the one-day IF protocol followed a high-quality nutrient-dense meal pattern consisting of 400 calories on the fasting day and a high-quality diet on the non-fasting days. The participants in the two-day IF protocol followed the same high-quality nutrient-dense meal pattern as the participants in the one-day protocol. However, the participants in the two-day protocol consumed an additional 100 calories on the fasting days.

Both protocols resulted in good results: The researchers concluded that each IF protocol optimized weight loss and improved body composition, cardiometabolic health, and hunger management. However, the two-day protocol provided “enhanced benefits in overweight women and men.”

As in most cases, more research is needed. However, consuming high-quality food while on an IF diet appears to be beneficial.
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