Get Expert Analysis on the Top Health and Wellness News from May 2019
The Factor Wellness Report is your go-to resource to learn about the latest developments in the world of health and fitness. Explore the topics below to learn about the most newsworthy wellness stories from May 2019! Also, for additional context, read “our take” after each story for an expert breakdown of each topic!
The GAPS Diet Promises to Health-ify Your Gut and Your Brain
This article explores the purpose of the GAPS diet and challenges its validity. The goal of the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet is to improve your digestive and psychological health. It’s based on the idea that many psychological issues are caused by leaky gut syndrome, an intestinal issue also known as intestinal permeability. The diet consists of a six-stage introduction phase that is meant to “heal and seal” the intestine. It’s recommended that you follow the GAPS diet for at least two years.
Like the article notes, the GAPS diet isn’t based on evidence; rather, it’s based on the success achieved by the creator of the diet. It’s difficult to say whether this diet would be helpful to an individual with digestive issues, as there presently isn’t any peer-reviewed research to validate those claims. If you need help with your gastrointestinal (GI) problems, consult a registered dietitian on the prospect of starting an elimination diet, or another diet and lifestyle intervention.
The FDA Will Exempt Allulose from ‘Added Sugar’ Labeling Rules
The FDA has decided to exclude allulose from being labeled as an “added sugar” or from being included in “total sugars” on nutrition and supplement facts labels. Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that does not have a significant impact on blood glucose or insulin levels. It can be found in small amounts in wheat and sweet foods, such as raisins and molasses. The current data suggests that allulose does not metabolize in the same way that table sugar does. However, the calories from allulose will still be accounted for in the total caloric value. The article notes that eating large amounts of allulose could cause bloating, pain and gas. Since people aren’t as familiar with allulose, there will likely need to be more education on the ingredient.
The FDA determined that allulose is different from other sugars, and their decision and insights into the matter should be duly noted. Allulose will still be included on the label and in the calorie count, which is important for consumers. As the article indicates, education on the ingredient would help consumers make more informed decisions on the matter.
Heavily Processed Foods Cause Overeating and Weight Gain, Study Finds
According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, subjects who ate a heavily processed diet gained more weight than when they ate a minimally processed diet. The study took 20 healthy individuals and had them spend two weeks on each diet. All of the meals had the same amount of calories, sugars, fiber, fat and carbohydrates. The subjects were told to eat as little or as much of the meals as they desired. They found that when subjects were on the heavily-processed diet, they consumed more calories (500 more per day), gained weight and ate at a faster pace.
Even though this was a small study, it was a tightly controlled experiment. It’s still difficult to say exactly what caused the weight gain, whether it was the slight difference in protein or the extra palatability that lead to increased intake. Overall, focusing on whole, real foods is a great place to start, especially if your goal is weight loss or maintenance.
Factor Monthly Wellness Tip:
Take note from the study done by the NIH comparing heavily processed diets and minimally processed diets. Choose minimally processed food whenever possible. Try to always have a healthy snack containing protein and produce on hand (e.g., an apple with almond butter), so you’re prepared when hunger strikes!
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