Sugary drinks with meals reduce fat metabolism

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 25, 2017

You think to yourself, "as long as the meal is healthy, I'm allowed this little cheat of a sugary drink" but that is sadly not the case.

Researchers from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center have found that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks with high-protein foods negatively affects the body's energy balance and can lead to it to store more fat.

Over the course of a day, the body created about a 40-kcal surplus from the sugar-sweetened drink and only burned 80 of the 120 calories contained in it, independent of how much protein was in the meal. Casperson added, "This decreased metabolic efficiency may "prime" the body to store more fat". They came back a week later and ate a second meal that was opposite level of protein than they had the first time. On each visit, one sugar-sweetened beverage was consumed during one meal and one non-sugar-sweetened beverage was consumed during the other.

If a sugar-sweetened drink was consumed with a 15 per cent protein meal, fat oxidation decreased by 7.2g on average, while with an intake of 30 per cent protein meal fat oxidation reduced by 12.6g on average.

All meals were composed of the same foods and provided 17g of fat and 500 non-beverage related calories, but they had varying ratios of protein, either standard (15%) or high (30%).

The results, she said, showed that adding a sugar drink didn't make the participants feel fuller either, meaning that they were more likely to crave more sugary or salty snacks in the four hours after eating protein and drinking the sweet drink.

"Our findings suggest that having a sugar-sweetened drink with a meal impacts both sides of the energy balance equation".

The combination will also increase the desire to eat more unhealthy junk food for hours after finishing breakfast. "On the expenditure side, the additional calories were not expended and fat oxidation was reduced", said Casperson.

"The results provide further insight into the potential role of sugar-sweetened drinks - the largest single source of sugar in the American diet - in weight gain and obesity", said Dr. Casperson.

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