Holiday meals: spices keep you in shape

Limiting weight gain with spices is possible. With Halloween, Halloween, and soon to be Christmas coming, typical holiday overeating is well known to drastically increase blood fat levels. An exciting study shows that this increase in lipids could however be counteracted simply by adding certain spices to the dishes consumed. Good news for weight control during the holidays.

The diversity and abundance of dishes that make up holiday meals often encourage us to eat more than usual. After all, it’s party every day!

These table excesses, however, represent quite a challenge for our metabolism, normally programmed to function optimally when the caloric intake is just sufficient to cover our energy needs. A meal rich in fats and carbohydrates, as is often the case during the holiday season, therefore obviously causes an overload of this metabolism and weight gain.

On the one hand, fats are assimilated in the intestine and transported into the blood in the form of triglycerides which will eventually be stored in the liver and adipose tissue. On the other hand, the carbohydrates present in several commonly consumed foods, in particular products made from refined flours, cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and an increase in the production of triglycerides in the liver.

Collectively, these mechanisms therefore ensure that a large meal considerably increases the quantity of blood lipids present in the form of triglycerides, an increase which is even greater when the meal is accompanied by alcohol. When such excesses are committed repeatedly, these high levels of triglycerides damage the walls of blood vessels, greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular events and accentuate weight gain.

No weight gain with spices

However, some studies indicate that the rise in blood lipids associated with calorie overload can be reduced by the presence of antioxidant phytochemicals, for example those present in green tea.

American researchers wanted to determine if a similar effect could be observed during the simultaneous ingestion of spices that also possess antioxidant activity. For two days, 6 men aged 30 to 65 were fed an “antioxidant” meal consisting of several spices: chicken curry (turmeric, black pepper, cloves, ginger, paprika, oregano), herb bread Italian (rosemary, oregano) and a cinnamon and ginger biscuit. The control meal was identical except that it did not contain spices.

Participants’ blood samples were taken every 30 minutes for three hours after meals were ingested, and the amount of triglycerides, insulin, and antioxidant activity in the blood were measured by standard assays.

The researchers observed that adding spices to the meal caused several interesting effects:

– a marked reduction (30%) in blood triglyceride levels

– a reduction in insulin secretion (20%)

– a significant increase (13%) in the antioxidant activity of the blood

These observations are interesting because these three parameters (lower triglycerides and insulin and increased antioxidant activity) have been repeatedly associated with a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. type 2 and indicate that fat accumulates less in the body, limiting weight gain.

Spices: good to taste and good for health

Spices are therefore not only essential ingredients to enhance the taste of our dishes, but can also greatly contribute to the proper functioning of our metabolism, the maintenance of good health and the limitation of weight gain. In addition to these measurable metabolic effects, spices increase the flavor density of foods and lead to satiety more quickly, thereby reducing caloric intake. Long live the spices…

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Source :

Wang S et al. Green tea catechins inhibit pancreatic phospholipase A2 and intestinal absorption of lipids in ovariectomized rats. J. Nutr. Biochem.; 17:492-498.

Skulas-Ray AC et al. A high antioxidant spice blend attenuates postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses and increases some plasma measures of antioxidant activity in healthy, overweight men. J. Nutr. 141: 1451-1457.

Read also:

Saffron and turmeric: protective effects against certain cancers

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. []

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