Thursday, August 25, 2011
Eat Meat Equals Weight Gain?
Meat and animal products are generally high in protein and saturated fats. Saturated fats were, for a time, considered unhealthy and a cause of many diseases. They were also blamed for obesity. Now, however, they are gradually being recognized by many nutritionists as necessary, if derived from high quality sources (such as organic or natural animal products). Eating a diet with a moderate amount of saturated fats will not make you fat.
A European study of almost 400,000 adults found that eating meat was linked with weight gain, even in people taking in the same number of calories.
The strongest association was found with processed meat, such as sausages and ham, the Imperial College London team reported.
It suggests that high-protein diets may not help slimmers in the long run.
Although it is not clear why meat would lead to weight gain in people eating the same number of calories, one theory is that energy-dense foods like meat alter how the body regulates appetite control.
But there could also be another lifestyle or dietary explanation for the link that was not accounted for by the study.
But researchers still believe there is a link between meat consumption and overall weight gain, especially after discovering that, among people consuming the same exact number of calories, an extra eight or nine ounces of meat consumed every day accounts for a five-pound gain in weight over five years.
"In primates, animal food consumption is inversely related to body weight," explain Michael T. Murray, N.D., and Josephy E. Pizzorno, N.D., in their book Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition. They believe eating meat affects human weight in a similar way to how it affects primates.