It can be disheartening when you take steps to improve your health, but then don’t see the noticeable results you were hoping for. Many people who change their diet, start exercising more, and change other habits get frustrated when they don’t lose weight or don’t see changes in their cholesterol scores, blood pressure levels, or blood sugar. So what is going wrong?
A new study has two important findings that may provide some answers.
Start by correcting nutrient deficiencies
When we think of dieting, most of us think of eating less and cutting back on certain foods. And while reducing your carbohydrate intake, eating less sugar, removing processed foods from your diet, and cutting back on other unhealthy foods certainly is important in a healthy diet, being healthy is as much what you do eat as it is what you don’t.
In August 2015, The FASEB Journal published a study that looked at what happened when 43 adults supplemented with a nutrient bar. The research was based on a hypothesis that “metabolic dysregulation common in the obese . . . is due in large part to what is missing or inadequate in Western diets, and might be improved by increasing intake of these food components.” In other words, many people are missing out on a lot of important nutrients that may be holding them back from experiencing improvements in their health.
In the study, the participants ate a nutrient bar packed with important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (like fiber, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and much more) twice daily. Both lean and obese participants experienced improvements in markers of metabolic health, like improvements in total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol levels.
Overweight and obese participants saw improvements in blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin resistance, cholesterol, blood pressure, waist circumferences, and weight. These positive changes occurred without any changes in lifestyle or diet, only with the supplementation of two low-calorie, nutrient dense bars per day. However, the improvements were mostly seen in people with lower levels of inflammation; high chronic inflammation prevented people from experiencing these improvements.
Chronic inflammation can get in the way of improvements in health and weight
Almost all of the improvements seen after supplementing with the nutrient bar were larger and more consistent in people who already had low levels of inflammation. On the other hand, people with high levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) at baseline saw smaller improvements. For example, people with low inflammation at baseline saw an average reduction in weight of 2.42 pounds over the eight-week study, while those with higher inflammation lost only 0.88 pounds.
This study highlights two important findings. For one, it shows that lowering inflammation in the body may help weight loss efforts and get you healthier. Try eating more anti-inflammatory foods like polyphenol rich-berries, cruciferous vegetables, turmeric, and more.
The study also shows that for those who already have lower inflammation, filling gaps in the diet with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals vital may help you to see marked improvements in weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and more. Remember, it isn’t just avoiding unhealthy foods that will help you, but also boosting your intake of healthy ones.
Share your experience
How do you be sure to get enough of healthy foods, packed full of beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, into your diet? What anti-inflammatory tips do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.