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  • Rita Date

Don’t Stress Eat


Fatty foods and stress are partners in crime when it comes to your wreaking havoc with your metabolism. Stress does not speed up metabolism but reduces it. So when there are bumps in the road in your life it is even more important to stick to a healthy diet that’s low in fat. Although plenty of research has associated stress with becoming overweight or obese, the authors say their study points to an actual pathway.

Researchers at Ohio State University served a 930-calorie meal containing over 60 grams of fat to an all-female group of participants. They then measured their metabolic rate and took measures of insulin, blood sugar, triglycerides, and the cortisol, a stress hormone.

The 58 women, whose average age was 53, were also questioned about the previous day’s pressures and anxiety. Those who had experienced at least one stressful event burned 104 fewer calories than their stress-free counterparts.

According to researchers, such a difference in metabolic rate could contribute to a weight gain of up to 11 pounds per year. There were higher insulin levels in the stressed women which is another indicator of weight gain as insulin contributes to the storage of fat.

“This means that, over time, stressors could lead to weight gain,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study. “We know from other data that we’re more likely to eat the wrong foods when we’re stressed, and our data say that when we eat the wrong foods, weight gain becomes more likely because we are burning fewer calories.”

The type of fat, whether saturated or unsaturated made no difference in the findings. For more details of the study click here.

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