(MindBodyScience.news) xThere is a wealth of new scientific research to suggest that all calories are not the same when metabolized through digestion, and more importantly the timing of meals as well as the time between each meal may hold the key to obesity and the incidence of diabetes. Calorie-restricted mammals and humans show a food-energy dependent extension in lifespan, and new evidence demonstrates that regular eating times and extending the daily fasting period may override the adverse health effects of a high-fat diet and prevent obesity.
Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have published the result of a study with mice in the journal Cell Metabolism. The scientists examined the effect of limiting food intake to eight hours each day and compared disease progression with a similar group of mice that were allowed to eat as they desired throughout the day (ad libitum or ad lib). All mice consumed the same number of calories and high fat content. The study was designed to determine whether obesity and metabolic diseases result from a high-fat diet or from disruption of metabolic cycles.
Senior study author, Dr. Satchidananda Panda commented “It’s a dogma that a high-fat diet leads to obesity and that we should eat frequently when we are awake… our findings suggest that regular eating times and fasting for a significant number of hours a day might be beneficial to our health.” Prior studies have implicated regular grazing throughout the day with increased incidence of metabolic syndrome and related diseases including diabetes, as blood sugar levels remain elevated for long periods of time and never fully return to fasting levels.
To conduct this study, researchers fed two groups of mice that shared the same genes, gender, and age, an unhealthy diet comprised of 60 percent of its calories from fat. One group could eat whenever they chose and consumed more than half their calories at night, while nibbling throughout the day. The second group was restricted to eating for only eight hours per day with a required sixteen hour mini-fast each day.
After a period of 100 days, the mice that ate a fatty, ad libitum diet throughout the day gained weight and developed high cholesterol, high blood glucose, liver damage and diminished motor control. The mice subjected to a 16-hour fast each day weighed 28 percent less than the ad lib group and showed no adverse health effects despite consuming the same amount of calories from the same fatty food. The study team concluded “that fasting time is important. By eating in a time-restricted fashion, you can still resist the damaging effects of a high-fat diet, and we did not find any adverse effects of time-restricted eating when eating healthy food.”
Nutrition scientists are rapidly coming to the conclusion that there are many more intricate components to overweight, obesity, and chronic disease than calories consumed and macronutrient content. Try limiting meals to an eight hour period each day to improve digestive hormone balance (leptin and ghrelin) and dramatically improve biometrics associated with obesity and metabolic disease.
Reporting by John Phillip, NaturalNews.com.
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