Why just say no to the donut: new research suggests that cutting the calories of a dessert from your diet may reduce disease risk - even if you have a healthy weight

Cutting 300 calories – the equivalent of a six-Oreo after eating a snack – from your daily diet can reduce your risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, new research suggests.


And it also applies if you already have a healthy weight.

Researchers at Duke University had 218 dedicated study participants who reduced their daily calories by a quarter – although for some it turned out not to be sustainable – for two years.

At the end of their extensive diet, participants not only lost weight and kept it up, but their risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes decreased, as well as their general level of inflammation.

Although they can't say why, the study authors think there's something about even a small calorie restriction – such as skipping a dessert – that's good for us, even if we're not overweight.

Why just say no to the donut: new research suggests that cutting the calories of a dessert from your diet may reduce disease risk - even if you have a healthy weight

Why just say no to the donut: new research suggests that cutting the calories of a dessert from your diet may reduce disease risk – even if you have a healthy weight


Obesity, obesity and metabolic diseases have proved to be some of the most harmful health indicators for Americans.

Even before weight problems reach the level of obesity, eating more than we need, especially from highly processed foods, sugars, excessive carbohydrates, fats, and red meat, can cause inflammation.

Systemic inflammation is often linked to the Western diet and is an important risk factor in the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, as well as heart diseases, Alzheimer's, cancer and speed aging in general.

One of the diet strategies that are being investigated to counteract these effects is calorie-restricted eating.

A calorie restriction diet brings people – or laboratory animals, many of which we get from our current long-term calorie restriction diet – people should all receive the same nutrients they would get from their typical meals.

Animal data suggest that reducing daily calorie intake by 10 to 40 percent can reduce the risk of diseases and cancers.

Calorie restriction benefits are obvious to people who tend to eat too much or have a BMI of 25 or higher.


But according to the new research, shaving a few calories from your meal can be beneficial even if you fall within the healthy weight range.

The 218 recruits from the Duke research team were eased into their diet with three daily meals containing a total of around 75 percent of their typical daily calorie intake on one of the four meal plans.


The western diet is loosely described as a full of fatty and sweet foods such as hamburgers, fries and soft drinks.

People often eat foods that are widely consumed

  • Saturated fats
  • Red meat
  • & # 39; Empty & # 39; carbohydrates
  • Junk food

And low in

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Whole grain
  • seafood
  • Poultry

Health effects have been associated with issues such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, colon cancer and dementia.

During the first six months of the trial, they also attended regular counseling sessions.

After that initial training period, the researchers asked their test subjects to do their best to cut out a quarter of their calories.

Most were unable to fully adhere to a diet that was strict for two years.

However, the average participant was able to eat around 12 percent less.


Even this milder diet enabled them to lose 10 percent of their weight on average and 71 percent of that was pure fat.

Over the course of those two years, the scientists regularly collected blood, fat, and samples from the study participants.

They checked for metabolic syndrome biomarkers such as insulin resistance, glucose tolerance, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high cholesterol.

Remarkably, after two years of calorie restriction, these biomarkers suggested reductions in inflammation, and therefore claim risk for heart disease, cancer, and cognitive decline, the authors of the study, published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

"There is something about calorie restriction, a mechanism that we do not yet understand that results in these improvements," said the lead author of the study. William E Kraus, a cardiologist with Duke.


& # 39; This shows that even a change that is not as serious as what we used in this study can reduce the burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease that we have in this country.

& # 39; People can do this quite easily simply by viewing their small indiscretions here and there, or perhaps reducing their amount, such as not snacking after eating. & # 39;

Dr. Kraus said that he and his team are not sure what it is that with calorie restriction it has beneficial effects, but they keep the samples from the study participants on deck for further study.

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