High Sugar Drinks Combined with Protein Triggers Fat Storage

Sodas and burgers are great takeout favorites but didn’t you know that too much consumption of this fast food duo is making you fat? A study conducted by the USDA suggests that people who drink sugary drinks and eat high-protein foods at the same time have more stored fat compared to those who ate proteins with sugar-free beverages.

According to Shanon Casperson, a research biologist with the USDA, consuming more carbohydrates than what is already in your meals can hurt the body as it will more likely store the excess energy as fat. In the United States, the leading sources of added sugar come from sweetened beverages like sodas, iced tea, fruit juices, and energy drinks. The Center for Disease Control noted that sweetened beverages had found their way into the American diet such that 60% of kids and 50% of adults drink at least one sweetened drink each day.

How was the Study Conducted?

The study involved 27 healthy adults who were placed in a sealed metabolic room where researchers tracked how much oxygen they inhaled as well as the carbon dioxide that they exhaled. The participants were asked to stay in the sealed room for two days.

During the first day, they ate two meals that contained 15% protein while their protein intake increased to 30% the following day. The participants were also asked to consume a sweetened drink in one day and sugar-free drink on the other.

Results showed that those who drank sugary drinks with 15% protein had decreased fat oxidation (fat burning) by 7.2 grams. Those who consumed sugary drinks with 30% protein intake have an even lower fat oxidation of 12.6 grams.

What Does the Study Imply About Sugar?

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The researchers believe that the extra load of sugar from the sweetened drinks reduces the need for the body to process fat for energy. So, the body turns to carbohydrates as an easier source to burn for energy. The thing is that when you eat carbs, your body is going to use it up first. The unused fat is deposited in the liver and other parts of the body.

The results of the study provide us with a better understanding of fast food nutrition. According to Erika Renick, a bariatric dietitian from the Staten Island University Hospital in New York, the study indicates that adding protein in meals can help users feel full. And pairing it with sugary drinks can lead to weight gain while controling our food cravings. With this study, fast food restaurants all over the world can revamp their food items so that they don’t contribute to the worsening obesity rates that is not only plaguing developed nations but even those in developing and underdeveloped nations.

Inspired by consumer.healthday.com