By Cory Couillard
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that calories from different types of food will determine how they are burned by the body. Historically, it has been said that a calorie in equals a calorie out, and that all calories are created equal.
This theory has now been disproven.
It is true: You will gain weight if you consume too many calories. However, many people are trying to lose weight by cutting calories, but they’re not losing weight. It has been found that the closer the food is to its natural form, the better the body can utilize and burn the calories.
Fad diets are diets that have short-term goals as the top priority. They usually look to help an individual lose weight at any cost. While it’s true that body weight is a strong indicator of the risks of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, these are all conditions that cannot be solved in the short-term. Fad diets may get you a bit skinnier for a while, they will not make you healthier.
Losing weight artificially by eating heavily processed foods in cans, boxes and other convenient foods may also be putting you at risk of serious health conditions. It has now been found that a calorie from a natural source will be burned more efficiently than a calorie from an artificial source.
It is common practice for healthcare professionals to advise counting calories. This practice does not take into account the source of the calories. The study confirmed that the health of the food is not whether it’s high or low in calories but whether it’s natural or man-made.
The body is designed to burn calories—natural ones. A food that is high in quality, natural calories can be burned better than an artificial one. This is critical to understand if you desire to lose weight and prevent long-term health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Building the Metabolism
“From a metabolic perspective, all calories are not alike," said study senior author Dr. David Ludwig. "The quality of the calories going in affects the quantity of the calories going out."
Scientists know that weight gain is usually accompanied by a slowdown of the body's metabolism. The findings in the study showed that subjects burned more than 300 additional calories on average when on a natural versus artificial-based diet with no difference in total calories.
"That's roughly equal to an hour of moderate physical activity — without lifting a finger," Ludwig said.
Natural Foods to Eat
Eggs: Eggs are an inexpensive and easy source of protein. One egg contains about 5 grams of healthy fat and a good source of B vitamins that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils to use with cooking. It is a natural oil that is high in calories but stimulates weight loss. It has also been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, blood pressure and certain types of cancers.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are the best nuts. They contain healthy fats and have been found to reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
Fatty Fish: The term "fatty fish" usually carries a false, unhealthy connotation. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids—good fats.
One way or another, your health costs money. By carrying around extra weight, you increase your risk of several deadly illnesses. Splurge now for the healthy choices, and you can save yourself time, money and livelihood later in life.
This column is directed by your questions, comments and inquiries. The health advice provided is in collaboration with the World Health Organisation's and the International Diabetes Federation’s goals of prevention, maintenance and natural treatment of disease. The advice is for educational purposes and does not necessarily reflect endorsement.
Visit their websites: www.who.int www.idf.org