Obesity is a major problem in modernof people. Globally, in 2016, nearly two billion adults aged 18 and over were overweight—39% of men and 40% of women. Of these, 13% of people were obese. Scientists are constantly trying to find effective treatments for this disease. For this purpose, the connection of fat with the brain is even being studied. However, the simplest and most affordable ways to combat obesity are all kinds of diets. Articles about the benefits of certain diets are regularly published in scientific journals, but researchers usually conduct experiments on animals, which does not allow to fully objectively evaluate their effectiveness. Given the lack of such studies, scientists at the University of São Paulo conducted an experiment on humans. Moreover, the diet itself, which they studied, turned out to be very unusual. But the main thing is that the result surprised the researchers themselves.
Why a protein-free diet is better than the rest
Almost all existing diets are orientedto reduce calorie intake. But scientists at the University of Sao Paulo decided to go the other way - not to change the amount of calories consumed, but to reduce the amount of protein in the diet. To evaluate the effectiveness of a protein-free diet, they recruited 20 volunteers, who were divided into two groups.
People from the first group throughoutexperiment, which lasted 27 days, consumed normal food, but the number of calories in their diet was reduced by 25%. The second group received the same amount of calories as always, however, the amount of proteins in their food decreased by 10%. The diet was calculated so that each person consumed 0.8 g of protein per 1 kg of their body weight.
It should be noted that all volunteers hadproblems associated with being overweight. They had high blood pressure, as well as improper metabolism - high levels of lipids and sugar were noted in the blood. In other words, the experiment involved people who are most often looking for different ways to lose weight in real life.
As scientists report in the journal Nutrients, everyoneparticipants in the experiment equally decreased weight. However, in people who consumed fewer calories, tissue sensitivity to insulin increased by more than 93%, resulting in a significant decrease in blood sugar levels. In people who received fewer calories, this figure was 63%. Recall that how much glucose is absorbed by cells depends on insulin sensitivity. That is, the higher the sensitivity, the lower the likelihood of developing diabetes.
How does a protein-free diet affect the body?
The results of the study showed that forlosing weight and improving health, it is not even the amount of food (calories) that a person consumes that is important, but what exactly he eats. The experiment also showed that it is not necessary to constantly experience hunger due to malnutrition. It is enough to replace one product with another.
But the question arises why people whoget the same amount of calories as always, start to lose weight without protein in the diet? Obviously, the body is trying to make up for the lack of its fat reserves. In addition, it actively consumes the available carbohydrates. True, in this study, the authors did not study molecular and physiological processes. They recorded only the result, but the reasons, in fact, were not established. Therefore, a protein-free diet needs more research. In particular, it is interesting to see if a protein-free diet will stop the growth of cancer cells in the same way as a low-calorie one.
What amino acids should be limited in the diet
Explain the effectiveness of a protein-free dietthe work of other scientists, which was published last year in the journal Cell Metabolism. It says that for a normal metabolism, it is desirable to consume less certain amino acids - leucine, isoleucine and valine. This is especially true for isoleucine. When the authors of the work reduced its amount in the diet of mice, the rodents began to consume more food, but at the same time lost weight. As it turned out, their body burned a lot of calories even when they were resting.
It is possible that in the human body worksthe same mechanism. When, together with protein, we receive less of the three amino acids listed above, the body begins to use up fat reserves. However, it is important not to overdo it. It is also impossible to completely deprive the body of proteins. In particular, leucine, isoleucine and valine are also needed, and the body receives them only from food. Therefore, any diet, including protein, must be approached competently.