Norwegian biologists have come up with a dietary formula they say is the best for maintaining optimum health: one-third protein, one-third fat and one-third carbohydrate.
When that formula is skewed — particularly to be on the carbohydrate-rich side — it causes genes to work overtime, said scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Too many carbs activate genes that cause inflammation as well as those associated with the development of cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia and type 2 diabetes.
Their observations came after conducting a study in which 32 slightly overweight men and women were fed a diet made of specially powdered food. For six days, participants consumed a diet composed of 65% carbs, 15% protein and 20% fat.
After another week of no diet, they were then put on a six-day diet in which they cut the carbs in half and consumed twice as much protein and fat.
Lead author Berit Johansen said the study yielded two important findings: the positive effect of eating multiple meals throughout the day and the fact that a carb-rich diet can negatively affect the body at the molecular level.
“A healthy diet is about eating specific kinds of foods so that that we minimise the body’s need to secrete insulin. The secretion of insulin is a defense mechanism in response to too much glucose in the blood, and whether that glucose comes from sugar or from non-sweet carbohydrates such as starches (potatoes, white bread, rice, etc.), doesn't really matter,” she said in a statement.