DIET&FITNESS Published September11, 2014 By Staff Writer

Taking a Walk Reduces Soda's Negative Effects, Says Study

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(Photo : Bill Branson)

A series of studies have found that regular movement, particularly walking, significantly lessesns the risks posed by drinking soda and sweet treats.

Health care experts have long warned us that high-fructose corn syrup, which is responsible for the sweet and inviting taste of various processed foods and almost all soft drinks, transforms into fatty acids in the liver and marbles the organ. This can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Unlike sucrose or table sugar, fructose is metabolized in the liver where it transforms into fatty acids.

As these fatty acids migrate into the bloodstream, metabolism is disrupted. Past studies have found that regular fructose intake is linked to high insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, poor cholesterol, mid-section fat, and other metabolic problems.

Meanwhile, Amy Bidwell of Syracuse University saw that there are few studies tackling the relationship between fructose intake and physical activity. For Bidwell, this was crucial since movement and exercise alters how the body maximizes fuel, even fructose.

Due to this observation, Dr. Bidwell was compelled to gather 22 healthy individuals of college age. Baseline tests were conducted, recording the participants' bodies' response to a high fructose meal, blood sugar and insulin levels, and measures of general and metabolic health. Questionnaires tackling normal diets and activity levels were also completed. The participants were also given an activity monitor to wear for a week, which measured their level of physical activity.

Upon gathering baseline data, the participants were grouped into two. One group would move half as much as they would normally do, and the other group would move twice as much. This spanned for two weeks, and after a week of rest, the groups switched. The entire time, they were also given two servings of lemon lime soda, which gave 75 grams of fructose per day.

Following the entire process were series of tests. The results revealed that after two weeks of high-fructose intake and low activity level, health profiles deteriorated in all aspects. Meanwhile, it showed that at least 12,000 steps a day eliminated the metabolic disruptions caused by fructose. More movement meant normalized cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Dr. Bidwell concludes that movement is vital in maintaining sound health, especially if a person tends to consume high-fructose products.

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