Charlyn Fargo, Contributor
According to the experts, some of the long-held beliefs about weight loss may not be true. The theory that 3,500 fewer calories eaten equals one pound of weight loss may take longer than you think. And when you hit that inevitable plateau, it may really be because you just aren't being true to your diet. Experts say that weight loss is a complicated process. So what should a dieter do?
Here's the bottom line from a study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The researchers looked at what worked and what didn't for weight loss. They concluded, "Obese adults were more likely to achieve meaningful weight loss if they ate less fat, exercised more, used prescription weight-loss medications or participated in commercial weight-loss programmes."
Researchers also found that liquid diets, non-prescription diet pills and popular diets had no association with successful weight loss. Those who lost at least 10 per cent body weight were less likely to report eating diet foods or diet products.
If you're looking for success in losing weight, go back to the basics - make dietary changes and exercise. Those were found to be more successful than any fad diet or diet pills.
Information courtesy of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, July 2012.
Risk of eating sausages
Q: I know sausage and other processed meats are linked with colon cancer risk. Is it true that they're linked with risk of diabetes, too?
A: Yes, several large population studies now link greater consumption of processed meats with increased risk of Type Two diabetes. Processed meats are those that are salted, cured or smoked or contain preservatives (such as n itrite- or nitrate-based products).
Common examples of processed meat in the United States are bacon, sausage, hot dogs, processed canned meats, ham and packaged lunchmeats. Scientists have identified several potential mechanisms that could explain the convincing link between processed meats and greater risk of colorectal cancer. Risk of Type Two diabetes increases with overweight, so processed meats' high content of fat (and, therefore, calories) could explain part of the link to diabetes risk.
However, even after adjusting for weight and some other aspects of eating habits, people who consume the most processed meat show at least 45 to 60 per cent greater risk of developing Type Two diabetes. Researchers hypothesise that nitrite-based preservatives form nitrosamine compounds within our gut that increase cancer risk, and these nitrosamines also damage the cells of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Another potential explanation for the diabetes link involves formation during meat processing of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which seem to increase low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress. Both of these conditions promote a metabolic environment that can lead to Type Two diabetes.
(Information courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research.)
Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists at www.creators.com.