This daily staple could be just as bad for your waistline as sugar 3



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Eating too much meat could be as bad for you as a diet rich in sugar, scientists have warned. 

Protein found in animal products can be just as damaging to the waistline and could potentially lead to type 2 diabetes, experts believe.

While previous research has found meat consumption is related to obesity, researchers often put it down to its fat content.

But a new study found eating meat is a serious issue for the modern diet and human health because the protein is directly contributing to the global obesity crisis.

They said because meat protein is digested later than fats and carbohydrates, it makes the energy received from protein a surplus, which is then converted and stored as fat in the body.

University of Adelaide PhD student Wenpeng You has examined the link between growing consumption of meat and increasing obesity rates in 170 countries. His published research was recently presented to the 18th International Conference on Nutrition and Food Sciences in Switzerland.

“Our findings are likely to be controversial because they suggest that meat contributes to obesity prevalence worldwide at the same extent as sugar,” saysProfessor Maciej Henneberg, head of the Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit.

Once different influences are balanced between nations, such as degree of urbanisation, physical activity and calorie consumption, the research found the availability of meat contributed to 13 per cent of the obesity rate. Sugar was behind a further 13 per cent.

And it’s not about meat’s fat content.

This is where his work diverges from previous studies.

“There is a dogma that fats and carbohydrates, especially fats, are the major factors contributing to obesity,” Mr You said. “We believe the protein in meat is directly contributing to obesity.”

Generally, meat represents a source of a surplus of energy.

Whether we like it or not, Mr You said the fats and carbohydrates in modern diets are already supplying more than enough energy to meet our daily needs.

“Because meat protein is digested later than fats and carbohydrates, this makes the energy we receive from protein a surplus. (This) is then converted and stored as fat in the human body,” he said.

Which is not to say we should relax about how much sugar and fats are in our diet.

“It would be irresponsible to interpret these findings as meaning that it’s okay to keep eating a diet high in fats and carbohydrates,” Professor Henneberg said.

“Clearly, that is not okay, and this is a serious issue for our modern diet and human health.”

Would you be able to rethink your meat consumption?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Another example of ‘scientifically proven’ is not really proven at all, because scientists don’t have all the info, and let’s face it they never will. They keep changing their thinking, at one time it was eggs we shouldn’t indulge in now it is OK. All food while balanced is good for us, it is only man’s ‘fiddling’ with it that has jemmied it. If wheat was left in its original state perhaps then as a coeliac I could eat it.

  2. meat is bad for us , fruit vegies and sugar due to pesticides etc seafood was said to contain mercury so what do we eat ??

  3. What a load of crap!! “meat protein is digested later than fats and carbohydrates, it makes the energy received from protein a surplus, which is then converted and stored as fat in the body” Really?? Yes protein digests slower but the idea is not to eat much (if any) sugar and a small amount of fat, not eat a lot of that and then add protein. Protein provides muscle, muscle and exercise burn fat. Cut out the starches and sugars and you’ll do well. And let’s not forget why we are ‘humans’. It’s BECAUSE we started increasing protein, not from eating more vegetables…

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