Haven't you heard of thousand studies and papers dissecting obesity and weight gain? But here is one that talks about why some people do not gain weight no matter how much they eat. Being an anmoly in a world of overweight people, it will be interesting to know what exactly helps them stay in shape while others around them struggle to put off weight.
In BBC's Horizon documentary, they found 10 skinny people and put them on extremely high calorie diets with restriction on activity to observe how their bodies reacted to excess calories. The results were shocking while some participants put on weight, there were some, whose bodies increased their metabolism and they hardly put on any considerable weight, one participant whose body had rather than increased fat levels, had increased muscle mass. After the experiment, all the participants lost the excess weight without much efforts.
This convinced reasearchers that weight loss is not as simple as consumption of fats versus activty. There are lot of factors involved like- genetics, metabolism and psycological conditioning. They also found out that there is a biologically determined 'normal weight' that our bodies recognize and try to maintain by altering the metabolism and other functions.
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The recent IPL finals saw a group of friends yelling their lungs out supporting their team and at the same time gorging on fried, oily and greasy junk food. But all that yelling and gorging on junk food could not save their team from losing! However these youngsters also lost something that day – a small percentage of their health.
Well, according to a recent report, French fries or a couple of samosas are enough to increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases by a whopping 23% And all this because of the mere 2% of Trans- fatty acids present in them, added mainly during the cooking process by means of the cooking oil.
Trans-fat raise low density lipoprotein or to put it simply your “bad cholesterol” levels and reduce your “good cholesterol” levels. Not only this but trans- fat also causes an imbalance in your omega-6 and omega-3 ratios, while raising levels of C- reactive protein which puts you in danger of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Despite trans-fat being so harmful they are found to be a part of most commonly used cooking oils in India. A survey conducted in Delhi revealed shocking results in terms of awareness regarding trans-fat where only 72% of women had ‘heard’ of it, while only 28% knew what they were and only 17% knew their sources.
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Find yourself regularly drooling over junk food, yummy chicken, that heavenly Butter Chicken, Baingan Ka Bharta, Hyderabadi zaffrani Pulao, Chicken Tandoori, Pav Bhaji,….the list is quite endless and so is the drool factor!
But as we all daydream about eating the above mentioned delicious dishes that make our palate go into overdrive, do we ever give a thought as to WHY? Why is that we love Indians love our butter chickens, Tandoori Chickens, Pav Bhaji’s so much. Never right! So, a group of scientists from the Deakin University, Sydney conducted a research on why we as humans are so fond of fatty foods and found out that apart from the normal five tastes that our tongue can detect - sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami – a unique protein rich taste which is found in soya sauce and chicken stalk, our tongues can also detect the taste of fat!
To prove this, the researchers conducted a test on a group of 50 people and found their ability to detect fat was linked directly to their weight! The study found that people who were sensitive to this taste of fat were inclined to consume less of it and thereby had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) while those who were insensitive to this taste were found to consume more fatty foods and had larger waists with a higher BMI as compared to their ‘fat’ sensitive counterparts!
According to Russell Keast from Deakin University, we have so many fatty foods easily available now-a-days, that we have become de-sensitized to the taste of fat! Due to which he adds that, “We all like eating fatty foods. What we speculate is (that) the mechanism is to do with stopping eating. Your body is able to tell you you’ve had enough and stop,” he explained. “And if you are insensitive to it i.e.fat, you’re not getting that feedback.”, this simply means that with our taste buds being de-sensitized we are not getting the required feedback of when to stop and are this is leading to over-eating and ultimately poor health!
Now this should explain why we end up gorging on the Pav Bhaji’s and Hyderabadi Zaffrani Pulao’s every time they are placed in front of us!