Study says binge eating junk food is just as harmful as unhealthy diet
You may think that eating healthy for most of the week is enough to make up for binge eating junk food on your cheat days but a study conducted by researchers from the University of New South Wales says otherwise.
Based on the research led by Professor Margaret Morris, the study monitored the health of two groups of rats – one group which was exposed to a mix of healthy and junk foods, and one which was only given healthy diet.
The study sought to determine the behavior of gut microbiota, which are tiny cells found in the stomach, in these scenarios. These cells factor in the human metabolism of food, nutrition and function and are linked to gastrointestinal conditions like obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
The study found that consuming food that are high in fats and sugar such as junk foods, even for three days despite four days devoted to eating healthy food actually counteract the gains of eating healthy.
As a matter of fact, binge eating on unhealthy food was enough to shift the gut bacteria in rats so that it became the same as the rats who were steadily on unhealthy diet.
“The findings indicate that intermittent exposure to junk food three days a week is sufficient to extensively shift the gut microbiota towards the pattern seen in obese rats consuming the diet continuously,” Morris explained.
Lucinda Hancock, chief executive of Nutrition Australia Vic, said that the study should prompt the public, especially those who want to lead a healthy lifestyle to stick to a healthy diet and only indulge on these junk food occasionally.
“The most immediate changes we should all make for better health are to eat more vegetables, eat more high-fiber whole grains, and cut back on foods and drinks that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.
You don’t have to cut them (junk food) out entirely, but we definitely recommend having them only occasionally and in small amounts,” she said. (By: Angel Ong)