Take a look at most households, restaurants or fast food joints and you’ll see a common combination in peoples’ food choices. Most people choose a high protein food with a sugary beverage or dessert to accompany or follow the meal. There are the burgers and sodas, steak dinners with cakes or pastries afterward, and many other similar combinations. But research found that combining a high protein meal with sugary drinks or desserts creates a perfect storm for destroying our metabolic health and increasing our risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Dr. Shanon Casperson, lead author of the study published in BMC Nutrition, found that this common food combination causes us to pack on the pounds while damaging our metabolism, so it may be harder to lose the weight. While most people consider protein-packed meals to be healthy way to lose weight and boost metabolism, that reality is far from the truth as soon as you add sugar.
Study participants stayed in controlled rooms where all of their food and nutritional intake was monitored on multiple occasions. Researchers also monitored oxygen intake, carbon dioxide exhaled and the amount of nitrogen excreted in the urine (nitrogen is a primary component of high protein foods like meat and poultry). Then the researchers calculated the amount of carbohydrate and fat utilized by the participants’ bodies. The study participants were given the same meals and the amount of protein was varied between 15 and 30 percent of the meals’ total caloric intake. At each meal they were given either a sugary beverage or an alternate beverage to determine the effects the sugary beverages had on metabolism. The study concluded that sugar had detrimental effects on fat storage and metabolism.
Sweetened beverages like soft drinks and sweetened fruit punches and sweetened juices are the largest contributor of added sugars (not those naturally found in foods) to our daily diet. And, while the sugar industry has been claiming for years that sugar has a role in a healthy diet, the research simply doesn’t substantiate this claim, particularly when sugar is added to protein-based meals.
Fortunately it’s not as difficult as you might think to boost your metabolism and prevent your body from storing fat:
Cut out protein and sugar combinations. Stop piling on sugary beverages or desserts on top of your protein-based meal.
Better yet, cut out soft drinks and sugary beverages altogether. Opt for unsweetened beverages or those sweetened only with the herb stevia, which doesn’t have an effect on blood sugar levels.
Eat fruit when you have a sweet tooth, although it is best not to eat it with your protein meal either as the fruit sugars may cause the putrefaction of meat in the stomach and intestines, which could cause harmful microbes like candida yeast or others to overgrow.
Eat fruit on an empty stomach as a more natural source of sweets in your diet.
Eat beans at each meal since their high fiber content helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which not only prevents cravings but also prevents the fat storage effects of rapidly increasing blood sugar levels.
Skip the burger and soda or steak and pie. Opt instead for healthier food choices and better food combinations.
- Which Fruits Have the Most and Least Sugar?
- A Guide to Cutting Sugar Out of Your Diet
- What’s Causing Your Inflammation?
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight Extend Your Life.