There are tons of interesting facts about nutrition that the general public isn’t aware of. These are the facts that you won’t hear about in a diet or training book but rather in a training or nutrition research journals. Anyways, below are 8 absolutely intriguing nutrition facts that are completely backed up by science.
Transform your fat
Fish oil provides tremendous health benefits from improving mood to battling dry skin but most of us take it for its reputed fat-burning powers. Japanese scientists from Kyoto University recently found yet another way that fish oil promotes a lean physique. Researchers discovered that fish oil exerts an affect on receptor cells in the gut. It transforms passive fat storage cells into active cells that metabolize fat. In the experiment, two groups of mice were fed a fat-rich diet, but one group was also given fish oil. The fish oil group gained five to 10 percent less weight and 15 to 25 percent less fat despite being fed the same amount of calories. This could be one reason why Asian and Mediterranean cultures, which eat plenty of fish, tend to be leaner than those who eat a more land-based diet.
Drown Your Fat
Evening Carb Idea
Just when you think you have carbs all figured out, more information comes to light.
Conventional wisdom has recommended tapering carb intake through your day (consume more in the morning and fewer as the day progresses), but a study out of Israel has shown some impressive fat-loss results from flipping the script on carbs.
In the experiment, 78 overweight police officers went on a weight-loss diet for six months. Half of the subjects ate a traditional calorie-restricted diet while the other half ate the same amount of food but ingested most of their daily carbs with their evening meal.
After six months, the second group lost more weight and experienced greater reductions in waist circumference and body fat. They also enjoyed some significant metabolic benefit as well, including lower levels of insulin and cholesterol.
Several factors influence carb consumption (such as the timing of your workout), but if your fat-loss efforts have stalled, try shifting the bulk of your carbs from breakfast to dinner.
The man in the mirror
Accountability is a powerful force, even if it’s to your own reflection. A new study performed by researchers at the University of Central Florida found that watching yourself eat something unhealthy can make that food less enjoyable. In the experiment, a group of 185 students were given fruit salad or chocolate cake and placed either in a room with mirrors or one with bare walls. The students who ate the chocolate cake in front of the mirrors reported enjoying it less than those who ate the cake without their reflection present. (There was no difference in the enjoyment of the two groups eating fruit salad.) The lead scientist hypothesized that when the students saw themselves not living up to healthy standards, it interfered with the pleasure of the indulgence. Next time you find yourself tempted to reach for some French fries instead of that kale salad, look around for a mirror or whip out your phone and take a selfie. It might actually make you eat less.
No BS about BCAA’s
There’s an old saying in fitness: Scientists eventually prove that the thing bodybuilders have been doing for 20 years actually works. This aphorism was proven true one more time when it comes to drinking peri-workout BCAAs. We already know that BCAAs (namely leucine) is a signaler for protein synthesis and that leucine and isoleucine can help stimulate fat-burning within muscle cells. However, a study published in the American Jour- nal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism found that when consumed before, during, and after a workout, BCAAs mitigated increases in two separate catabolic agents. In total, the subjects in the study consumed 85 milligrams of BCAAs per kilogram of bodyweight (a reasonable 6.8 grams for a 176-pound athlete). With almost no downside other than a very small amount of calories, a good BCAA formula can help you hold onto the gains you’ve sweated so hard for, especially during a cutting phase. Thanks, science!
Chew Yourself Shredded
Here is a fitness hack for you: If you’re dieting, chew gum during the day in order to stuff fewer calories in your mouth. It sounds too simple to actually work, but scientists have proven it out. Researchers monitored 60 subjects on a calorie restricted diet. After lunch, half of the participants chewed gum while the other half did not. Three hours after the midday meal, all the subjects were given a snack and asked to rate their hunger. The group that did not chew gum consumed 36 more calories (about eight percent of their total daily intake) than the gum group, and they described themselves as being hungrier than the gum group as well. It made no difference whether the chewers chomped on gum that contained sugar or on sugar-free varieties. Interestingly, the gum seemed to be better at blunting the desire for candy and sweet foods rather than salty snacks.
In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, scientists examined the effects of coffee, decaf coffee, and caffeinated water on perceived hunger and hormones related to satiety.
Of the three beverages, decaf coffee proved to be the most effective in blunting hunger and promoting levels of peptide YY, a hormone in the gut that signals the brain to regulate appetite. Caffeinated coffee was not as effective as decaf but performed significantly better than the caffeinated water, which had almost zero effect on hunger. Scientists concluded that substances in the coffee other than caffeine are responsible for acutely decreasing hunger.
If you like coffee while dieting, brew up a pot of decaf and save the caffeine for your pre-workout. Your central nervous system will thank you.
Put a cherry on top
Style experts like to say that black is slimming, but it turns out that purple is the most slimming color of all. Anthocyanins, the antioxidants found in purple and dark red fruits such as cherries, raspberries, acai, and blueberries, have been found to inhibit fat storage and actually increase insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that subjects on a high-fat diet who supplemented with cherry extract reduced the increase in body fat and stimulated the growth of lean muscle mass. (However, the cherry extract did not prevent weight gain.) Best of all, the group that consumed the cherry extract experienced a reduction specif- ically in abdominal fat, which not only creates a more attractive physique but is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While the scientists in this study say it is unknown if whole foods confer similar results, cherry juice is known to help reduce muscle pain, improve recovery, and fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cherry juice does deliver a decent shot of sugar, so save it for your post-workout recovery shake.
Did you know these facts? or find anything particularly interesting? Please comment and share it with your friends and Stay tuned for the Volume 2 of the Nutrition Facts.
sources: IM; image sources: google, IM