NEW YORK: Consuming grapes combined with a diet rich in saturated fats can lower obesity risk as well as improve gut bacteria, a new study has found. According to researchers, it may also help counter the negative effects of a high fat diet, including heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
The findings showed that the unique and diverse composition of antioxidants called polyphenols present in grapes can help reduce the percentage of body fat, subcutaneous and visceral fat deposits. Further, it also increased microbial diversity and decreased abundance of several deleterious bacteria in the intestinal tract.
The research, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, is based on two laboratory studies. In the first study, intake of a diet high in fat content (33% of energy from fat) and enriched with 3% grapes for 11 weeks, showed a lower percentage of overall body fat and reduced subcutaneous fat deposits.
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In the second study, which ran for 16 weeks, the researchers used an even higher fat diet (44% of energy from fat) with multiple types of saturated fat, including lard, beef tallow, shortening, and butter similar to some Western-type diets.
“These two studies suggest that grapes and grape polyphenols may help off-set a number of the adverse effects of consuming a high fat diet and trigger improvements in intestinal or systemic health,” said lead researcher Michael McIntosh from the University of North Carolina in the US.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2016.
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