CAT | Diet and Nutrition
Results of a new study published in the journal Cell Reports may have guys rethinking those unhealthy food choices. Researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute recently looked at how the health effects of a diet high in unhealthy fats and sugar differed between male and female mice—and let’s just say the girls fared much better.
During the course of the study, the mice were fed a steady diet of what could be compared to greasy burgers and sugary soft drinks. While the female mice showed no changes in healthy heart and brain function, the males were not so lucky. Their brains showed signs of inflammation, and significant damaged was noted to their hearts. Although researchers could not say for sure why the females were protected against the negative effects, they believe it may have something to do with their body chemistry.
According to institute director Richard Bergman, PhD, these findings suggest we may need to reconsider how we treat and manage obesity from one person to the next. At this time, additional research is planned to determine whether or not human subjects will react the same way—and if brain chemistry can be manipulated to exhibit protective characteristics.
Still, the results do not mean a free pass for the ladies, and experts agree that a low-sugar (or better yet, no-sugar) diet rich in protein and healthy fats such as Omega-3s is best for optimal health and weight management.
Still skipping breakfast to lose weight? A new study published this month in Nutrition Journal makes an important point: it’s not whether or not you eat breakfast, but what you eat for breakfast that makes all the difference.
Researchers from the University of Missouri recently monitored women between the ages of 18 and 55 to determine how eating (or not eating) breakfast affected blood glucose and insulin control throughout the day. Participants ate one of three different meal options—a pancake meal with three grams of protein (high-carb, low-protein); a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 30 grams of protein (high-protein); or a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 39 grams protein (highest-protein)—or only water.
After analyzing the results, the research team found that eating a high-protein breakfast was most effective for helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and control cravings (especially for sweets) later in the day. Higher amounts of protein were directly linked to fewer post-meal spikes in blood sugar and associated with healthy weight management and a reduced risk of developing diabetes. In contrast, the high-carb and water-only groups showed frequent spikes in blood sugar a steady rise in cravings throughout the day.
Need a delicious, protein-packed breakfast idea? Try this Savory Salmon Frittata recipe!
Savory Salmon Frittata
1 tsp. coconut oil
¼ cup sweet onion, diced
¼ cup (fresh or frozen) steamed corn kernels
One 4-oz. can salmon, drained
1 ripe tomato, diced
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups fresh spinach, stems trimmed
¼ cup avocado, sliced
¼ cup salsa
1 tbsp. fresh mint or basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Directions: Preheat broiler. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook until softened (about 3 minutes). Add corn, salmon, tomato, and bell pepper; gently stir and continue to cook about 4 minutes more. Pour eggs over mixture; cook on medium heat for another 4 minutes. Place skillet in broiler; broil 1 to 2 minutes until the eggs are light golden brown on top (watch carefully). Remove from broiler, cut frittata into wedges and serve over spinach. Top with avocado and salsa (and cheese, if desired). Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.