BioQuakes

AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: dieting

The Ketogenic Diet: Potentially Life Threatening?

 

What is the keto diet?

The ketogenic, widely known as ‘keto’, diet has become a popular diet for weight loss among adults in the US. Although it was originally curated to reduce seizures in children, many use low-carb, high fat diet to slim down. The keto diet requires that you eat 75% of daily calories from fat, 5% from carbohydrates, and 15% from protein. The average person gets about 20-35% of their daily calories from fat, and dieticians recommend you get about 50% carbs from your meals, so is this diet safe?

 

Triggering Ketosis

The keto diet causes the body to switch from burning glucose (produced by carbs) to burning ketones (produced by fat), triggering ketosis. During ketosis, when the body doesn’t have enough stored glucose to create energy, ketones are released. Ketones are results of the body breaking down fat for energy. Throughout ketosis (the release of ketones), the body breaks down dietary fact and then body fat, resulting in the sought after fat loss of the keto diet. Ketosis is normal, but can pose a threat to those with Type 1 or 2 Diabetes as lack of insulin can cause a build up of ketones and glucose in the blood. The pros of ketosis include increased brain performance as ketones cross the blood-brain barrier and physical energy. Adverse effects include fatigue, irritability, and feeling “foggy,” so is this ketogenic diet all that safe? 

 

What happens when glucose is reintroduced? 

Led by associate professor Jonathan Little  in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBCO, researchers at the UBC Okanagan campus conducted a study to test how the body would react when reintroduced to glucose. As test subjects, they used nine healthy males and put them on a high fat, low-carb diet (ketogenic)  consisting of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs, for seven days. They were each given a 75 gram glucose drink before and after the week long trial and the results were astounding! Biomarkers (indicate the beginning or ending of a process within the body) in the test subject’s blood signaled damage to vessel walls caused by a sudden surge in glucose levels.Professor Little attributes these biomarkers to the body’s metabolic response when exposed to excess sugars. This process may cause blood cells to shed and possibly die,posing a potential threat for ketogenic dieters!

 

The verdict?

The researchers at UBC don’t recommend the keto diet as it may be undoing “some of the positive impacts on their blood vessels.” In short, the healthiest option for losing weight is a sustainable, colorful diet and good ‘ol exercise. It’s important to listen to, and act according to what your body needs/is telling you; not just the new fad. 

 

Have you/would you ever try the ketogenic diet? Comment down below!

 

 

 

 

Click below for Keto recipes!:

https://www.purewow.com/food/ketogenic-dinner-recipes

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a23104428/keto-chocolate-mug-cake-recipe/

 

 

Dieting: Weight Loss Tool or Social Trend?

In today’s society, it is easy for us to assume that “going on a diet” is the cure for weight gain and can make you look and feel better. However, this is not necessarily the case.

Researchers have begun to counteract the common conception of diets, and how these beliefs are most likely misconceptions. Dr. David Katz, director of Yale Griffin Preventative Research Center is certain of the failure of diets, stating “Frankly, everyone falls off the wagon at 12 months, to say nothing of 24 months, and are gaining the weight back.”

In order to further evaluate this generalization, Dr. Mark Eisenberg of Jewish General Hospital/McGill University in Montreal, Canada conducted a study with his colleagues. He did this by studying the results of the four most advertised and popular diets, Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and the Zone.

Image by Pixabay

Image by Pixabay

This study involved the interpretation of data collected from populations that successfully initiated the diet. Those on the Weight Watchers diet lost an average of 6.6 pounds, those on the Atkins diet lost an average of 4.6 to 10.3 pounds, and those on the Zone diet lost an average of 3.5 to 7 pounds. Similarly, people with nutritional guidance or counseling lost about 4.85 pounds. However, in all four situations, the population gained back much of the weight between one and 5 years after beginning the diet.

In addition, these types of ways of life didn’t necessarily improve ones health, showing constant rates of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels across the board. Inventors of diets such as the Zone and Weight Watchers defend their products as a “way of life” that people must stick with. However, additional opinions, including that of Linda Van Horn, an American Heart Association spokesperson, believe in the power of advertisements and social popularity that promotes the diets, not the promised results.

This article is interesting because is defies the commonly accepted myth of dieting, and how it can regress ones progress. Instead, it teaches us that moderation and healthy choices are key, rather than limiting oneself.

 

Article: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/overcooked-baloney-diets-dont-work-long-review-shows-n246331

Image: http://pixabay.com/p-2354/?no_redirect

Additional Sources:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/weight-loss/why-do-diets-stop-working

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/weight-loss_b_1594441.html

http://www.readersdigest.ca/health/weight-loss/4-reasons-why-fad-diets-are-bad-you/

The New Way to Diet

The New Way to Diet 

Today, obesity is a global epidemic effecting millions if not billions of people world wide. Whether it be a few pounds or even a couple hundred pounds, there are countless people out there looking for a way to drop excess weight. Some they try dieting and altering what they eat and others revert to more serious methods, such as surgery. Recently a new procedure has been created that can help those suffering from obesity. Called  GECA or (gastric artery chemical embolization), this surgery can change the lives of millions of individuals.

* Click on image for link to flickr page

GECA is a surgery much safer than a liposuction that can literally make you less hungry  This relatively simple surgery is carried out by blocking off an artery that leads to the stomach. Doing this cuts off the blood supply to a certain section of the stomach that can produce the hormone called gherlin. This hormone controls our cravings to eat food and the sensation we call ‘hunger.’ Removing this hormone from our bloodstream would take away the desire to constantly eat. We would still be hungry, but just for less. With the desire to eat dissipating  one’s intake would go down and, with some exercise, the pounds would drop easily.

What do you think of this new procedure?

Source Article: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=168362

 

 

 

Virtual eating: Can it really work?

Credit: vernhart flickr

Have you ever had a strong craving for a food that you know is bad for you?  For many of us, we experience strong cravings for some type of food on a daily basis.  Sometimes these cravings are so strong that the particular food we are craving becomes all we can think about or focus on until that food is consumed.  These cravings are usually triggered by something in our environment that reminds us of the specific food and they can lead to overeating.

A recent study, conducted by Carey Morewedge, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University, concluded that by imagining yourself eating a specific food, you can reduce your interest in that food and therefore eat less of it. This is known as habituation and is thought to occur naturally when we eat.  Habituation was previously thought to only occur while you are actually eating but Morewedge’s study has found that this can occur through the power of your own mind.

The answer to stopping a food craving does not come by thinking just about how the food tastes, smells and looks, but rather forcing yourself to actually imagine eating the food repeatedly.

Morewedge conducted five different studies and they all ended with the same result.  The people who imagined eating more of a specific food would want to physically eat less of that food.  In one of the experiments, 51 people were divided into three different groups. One group had to imagine inserting 30 quarters into a washing machine (this is simulating the motions of eating an M&M) and then thinking about eating three M&M’s.  The second group had to imagine putting three quarters into a washing machine and then think about eating 30 M&M’s.  The third group acted as the control and they had to imagine putting 33 quarters into a washing machine and eating no M&M’s.

The people were then given a bowl containing 1.5 ounces of M&M’s and were told to eat as many as they wanted.  When all of the participants said that they were finished the bowls were taken and weighed.  The results showed that the members of the group who virtually ate 30 M&M’s ate less actual M&M’s then the members of either of the two groups.  This proves Morewedge’s theory that thinking about eating a food has the same effects on your body as physically eating the food with none of the consequences.

If more people become aware of this study, dietary problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes could be greatly reduced.  This study may also be the key to helping people quit smoking.

The next time you have a craving something sweet or unhealthy try imaging yourself eating it first.  You may be surprised with the results.

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