We all know that a lifestyle of eating too much carbs and not exercising can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, but how fast can it make you really sick? According to a new research, it can be as quick as only three days.
Researchers from Temple University wanted to find out the magnitude of the relationship between overeating and type 2 diabetes, a metabolic condition usually caused by obesity. A person with this disease develops insulin resistance, which increases the presence of glucose in the bloodstream. Over time, when it becomes uncontrolled, it can lead to significant damage to the liver, eyes, and kidneys, as well as other serious complications.
For the study, the team worked with six men who had to eat 50% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 35% fat. This is a "regular American diet" consisting of burgers, fries, and pizzas every day for at least a week. Overall, they consumed 6,000 calories per day, which is the same amount of calories eaten by active people, like athletes. Further, they are told not to exercise but had to stay in bed while their health is closely monitored in the hospital setting.
In less than a week, the men gained an average of 7 pounds. But one of the biggest concerns is the insulin resistance, which they developed within 2 days, although the effects were more obvious on the third day.
In order to understand why the participants developed insulin resistance, they tested different theories until they discovered the answer in their urine tests, which suggested they had a high level of oxidative stress. This type of stress is defined as the imbalance between the free radicals and the antioxidants that are responsible for fighting them.
Although the researchers have already expected to see huge changes in the body's metabolic process due to the diet and lack of exercise, they didn't think the effects could be that quick. Nevertheless, they are positive that as fast as it develops, it can also be managed and even reversed quickly.