Thursday, August 18

Why obesity is a disease: what food trends help fight it

Obesity is considered a global health epidemic. It is one of the most recurrent diseases in modern Western society and is the direct cause of numerous other chronic conditions that are related to physical and mental health. The Latino community that resides in the United States is striking in a peculiar way, especially considering that near the 55% of the US population is obese.

The truth is that the information does not stop surprising and alarming us, it is no secret to say that obesity is the origin of many chronic diseases that shorten life expectancy very significantly. Obesity occurs when there is a abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat, especially in adipose tissue and for obvious reasons this occurs with increased body weight. It is diagnosed through the body mass index (MI), a mathematical ratio that is based on the body weight and height of each individual. Through simple, easily measurable parameters, the degree of overweight can be determined and is considered an important health measure: when it is greater than 25 it is considered overweight and more than 30 it is obesity.

Why is obesity a disease?

The first thing we have to understand is that obesity is not only an aesthetic problem, it is a complex disease characterized by excessive levels of body fat that increase the risk of having health problems. Obese people are incredibly more susceptible to other chronic diseases and health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, digestive and intestinal conditions, heart and mental health conditions. The main treatment involves making lifestyle changes, through a healthier diet and exercise. Based on this, all kinds of recommendations have come to light on the best dietary trends to prevent and control obesity.

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What are the best trends to combat obesity?

Current data estimate that almost half of American adults try to lose weight each year. And of course one of the best ways to lose weight and fight obesity is by changing your diet. The truth is that today there are so many modal diets that it can be difficult to start with a weight loss plan. Remember that some diets aim to curb your appetite to reduce food intake, while others suggest restricting your intake of calories and carbohydrates or fats. Discover what are some of the most recommended trends today.

1. Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is one dietary strategy that alternates between periods of fasting and feeding. There are different ways to practice fasting, the most popular being the 16/8 fast, which involves limiting calorie intake to 8 hours per day, and the 5: 2 method, which restricts daily calorie intake to 500-600 calories twice a week. Although fasting is not for everyone, under proper medical supervision it can be a great alternative to lose weight and the main reason is because it is a Simple way to reduce calorie intake. According to a recent study, intermittent fasting causes 3 to 8% weight loss over 3 to 24 weeks, which is a significantly higher percentage than other methods. Also the same review showed that fasting is a great ally for reduce waist circumference by 4-7%, which is a marker of harmful abdominal fat. In addition to increasing fat burning, while preserving muscle mass. Best of all, it is a method that is related to other positive effects such as anti-aging, increased insulin sensitivity, improved brain health and reduced inflammation.

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Ayuno./Foto: Shuttrstock

2. Plant-based diets

Without a doubt, following a plant-based diet is the most recommended trend today. It is not only a very healthy eating scheme, key in the prevention of diseases and also friendly to the environment. Among the great benefits of following a plant-based diet are its weight loss benefits. Vegetarianism and veganism are the most popular versions, restricting animal products for health, ethical, and environmental reasons. However, there are also more flexible plant-based diets, such as the flexitarian diet, which is a plant-based diet that allows you to eat animal products in moderation, such as fish and dairy products. There is various research, in which the benefits of plant-based diets are proven as an effective strategy to lose weight. According to a review of 12 studies that included 1,151 participants found that people on a plant-based diet they lost an average of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) more than those that included animal products. The reason is simple, most animal products are rich in fat, often saturated. Also following a plant-based diet increases your intake of products such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and legumes. They are products rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Plant-based diet. / Photo: Shutterstock

3. Low carbohydrate diets

Low carbohydrate diets are among the most popular diets for weight loss. The most fashionable alternative is the ketogenic diet (Keto), although there is also the Atkins diet and the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The difference between each one is the reduction of carbohydrates, which in some is usually more drastic than in others. In general, low-carbohydrate diets restrict carbohydrate intake in favor of protein and fat. They are generally higher in protein than low-fat diets, which is important as protein can help control appetite, increase metabolism and preserve muscle mass. In ketogenic diets, the body begins to use fatty acids instead of carbohydrates for energy by converting them to ketones. This process is called ketosis. Additionally, low-carbohydrate diets appear to be quite effective in burning harmful abdominal fat and are a good ally for reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. They can also improve blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

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Fish steak

Low carbohydrate diet. / Photo: Pexels

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