Fizzy Drinks With High-Protein Foods Lead to More Fat Storage

Sugary or fizzy drinks have been under the scanner of health scientists for quite some time now. Sugary beverage intake is receiving a lot of attention lately as a major cause of several serious diseases like weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Fizzy Drinks With High-Protein Foods Lead to More Fat StorageNow a new study suggests that consuming a sugar-sweetened drink along with a high-protein meal could stimulate your body to store more fat.

Pairing sugar-sweetened beverages with protein-packed foods like beef, chicken, yogurt, nuts and fish can impact appetite, energy balance as well as alter your food preferences and affect fat metabolism.

In their study, researchers from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center found that participants who had a sugary soda with their high-protein meal stored more unused fat, as opposed to their peers who drank sugar-free beverage with the same protein-enriched food.

“We were surprised by the impact that the sugar-sweetened drinks had on metabolism when they were paired with higher-protein meals. This combination also increased study subjects’ desire to eat savoury and salty foods for four hours after eating,” said lead author Shanon Casperson, from USDA-Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Centre in the US.

To reach their findings, Casperson and colleagues recruited 27 healthy-weight adults-13 males and 14 females, who had two laboratory visits. In the first visit, the participants were given two 500-calorie meals – breakfast and lunch – made up of 15 percent protein- one with a sugary drink and the other without it. In the second visit, two 30 percent protein meals were given to them, again with and without sugary drinks.

The researchers found that when a 15 percent protein meal was eaten with a sugary drink, fat oxidation decreased by 7.2g on average, compared to 12.6g for those ate 30 percent protein meal with a sugar-sweetened drink.

The researchers observed that people who had sugar-sweetened drinks with their protein-rich diet did not burn nearly 1/3 of the extra calories in the body, their metabolism of fat was reduced, and their body needed less energy to metabolize the meals.

“This decreased metabolic efficiency may ‘prime’ the body to store more fat,” said Dr. Casperson.

“On the intake side, the additional energy from the drink did not make people feel more sated. On the expenditure side, the additional calories were not expended and fat oxidation was reduced,” he said.

The findings were published last week in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

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