Sometimes it's good to binge on chocolate

By COLIN FERNANDEZ SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT Time of article published May 5, 2019

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It’s often tempting to binge on crisps and chocolate to mark a special occasion like Easter or Christmas.

Now scientists have found it may not be as bad for our health as once thought.

A five-day period of over-indulgence does not trigger harmful long-term body changes that could lead to diabetes, research suggests.

Scientists said although too much high-calorie food can cause obesity ‘it does not mean having to be careful for 365 days a year.’ They studied how the body dealt with changes in blood sugar during feasting. Researchers tested a group of healthy lean men with an average age of 22 by letting them eat an extra 1,000 calories a day for five days.

Afrikoa 55 percent semi-sweet dark chocolate. Picture from Afrikoa Twitter.

They then compared the results with men who did so for 28 days in a row. This included tucking into crisps, chocolate and high-calorie ‘meal replacement drinks’. The five-day period was chosen because it was ‘indicative of over-eating during festivals and holidays’. The 28-day period was meant to provide a long-term model of chronic overeating.

The effects of the longer term over-eating saw ‘impaired blood sugar control and insulin levels’. But the five-day bingers’ trial revealed the body adapted to compensate for the extra calories.

Body mass and fat mass did not increase by a ‘significant’ amount, said researchers at Deakin University in Australia.

However, after 28 days body mass was up by an average 1.6kg and fat mass by 1.3kg. The scientists said the changes found in five-day bingers suggested the body was ‘increasing glucose disposal’ rather than making it less sensitive to insulin, which can lead to diabetes.

They reported: ‘Glucose and insulin responses were unaltered by five days of overfeeding but were modestly increased after 28 days.’ However, the team added: ‘Long-term over-indulgence in fatty foods may be an important factor that causes rapid changes in blood sugar control.’

© Daily Mail

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