Why Sugary Drinks and Burgers Don’t Mix and 5 Healthy Snacks to Replace Them With

Next time your order takeout, think again before you choose the Coke and burger combo. According to a recent study, that’s a fast recipe for expanding your waist. Burgers – or fried chicken – and sugary drinks may sound delicious, but they’re just priming your metabolism to gain weight. You’re much better off trying out some healthy snacks instead!

Lab results revealed participants who ate a high-protein meal with a sweetened beverage accumulated more fat in their bodies. Their tests were compared with those of participants who had the same meal but combined with a sugar-free drink. Researchers discovered the test group failed to burn 1/3 of the extra calories found in the sugary beverage. In addition, they also burned less food calories and consumed less energy during the meal digestion.

You can read more information about the study by accessing the link to BMC Nutrition, the journal which published at the end of last week. And the results are indeed concerning, given that the number of adults who eat fast food combos each week has grown considerably over the past decade.

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Storing Extra Fat

Shanon Casperson, the leader of the study, is a research biologist working with the U.S. DOA (Department of Agriculture). According to her, adding more carbs on top of a meal will evidently take its toll on the metabolism. Because the body can no longer turn fat into energy, it simply turns the additional carbohydrates into energy conservation. And that, kids, is how we get a little rounder in the middle.

Iced tea drinks, sweetened coffee, sugary sodas, and energy beverages represent the No. 1 source of extra sugar in the diet of the average American. The latest CDC reports report that 6 in 10 kids and 50 percent of adults consume more than one sugary drink every day. Therefore, the study led by Casperson sought to determine if the added carbs in sugary drinks influence the way the body stores proteins and fats.

Weight-threatening Combo

The study occurred in a highly controlled environment. The 27 adults – all of healthy weight – spent two days in an airtight “metabolic room”. It’s how researchers were able to monitor the oxygen and carbon dioxide amounts inhaled and exhaled, respectively. Participants also provided urine samples. Thanks to these 3 variables, the team could determine the amounts of nutrients used by each adult, including the calorie burning rate.

On Day 1 of the study, the participants consumed two meals totaling of 15 percent protein. Day 2 consisted of two other meals, this time containing 30 percent protein. The meals included potatoes, ham, bread, butter, and cheese. Each day, researchers paired one meal with a sweetened drink and the second meal with a sugar-free beverage.

After eating the sugar-inclusive meal, the participants experienced reduced fat oxidation (the name of the process which breaks down fat molecules). According to the researchers, the problem was the added load of soda carbs, which helped decrease the body’s demand to process fat in exchange for energy. This replacement occurred due to the fact that sugar burns easier and faster than dietary fat.

In other words, the body prefers using carbohydrates as its main source of energy, instead of the fat resulted from the meal. Inevitably, the unburned fat has to go somewhere. Usually, it winds up in an unwelcomed deposit around the waist or on the hips.

While further research is required, Erika Renick, a bariatric dietitian who did not participate in conducting the study, thinks that dietary regulations should steer people away from this unfavorable combination. Renick believes such study results could become additional tools for nutrition counselors who help people manage their weight better.

5 Healthy Snacks to Try Instead

1. Sweet Potato Baked Fries

A kid favorite, this snack rich in vitamin A also makes an excellent healthy treat for your summer parties. It’s as easy as swapping the bad carbohydrates for the equally-delicious good ones! All you need is four average-sized sweet potatoes, olive oil, and chili powder. Cook the seasoned potatoes in the oven for 25 min at 425 degrees F, and enjoy your new guilt-free snack. We guarantee it will become a family favorite all year round!

ALSO READ: [8 Foods You Can Successfully Use as a Substitute for Honey]

2. Apple & Skim Milk

Fruit are great, healthy snacks in themselves, but you’re probably craving something more satisfying. Adding a bit of protein will prolong the full-stomach sensation. Unlike carbs, protein won’t get used up too fast. Our favorite fruit-protein combo to keep you hunger levels low for more than 15 minutes is apples and skim milk. Next time you’re dealing with an In-n-Out craving, grab a large apple and pour yourself a cup of skim milk. This pairing provides you with 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein and about 200 calories.

3. Energy Berry Smoothie

All you need for this power smoothie is honey, frozen berries, low-fat plain yogurt and soy protein powder. If you want more than 9 gr of protein, we recommend you use Greek yogurt instead. You’ll get 4 gr of fiber from the frozen berries and the necessary sweetness from the honey. All in all, this mouth-watering treat comes with just 139 calories! Note: You can use any kind of berries, including blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or a mix of everything.

4. Warm Pear & Cinnamon Ricotta

Pears are a great source of sweet fiber, and you can use them as a delicious summer treat. In addition, ricotta cheese will keep you full with its protein content. Pair everything with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and enjoy these healthy snacks any time of the day. Each serving gives you 5 gr fiber, 8 gr protein, and a total of 170 calories. Use part-skim ricotta cheese for a diet-friendly delicacy.

5. Banana Cookies with Oatmeal & Walnuts

You wouldn’t expect cookies to be considered healthy snacks. In fact, it’s a good source of good fats, heart-strengthening whole grains, and potassium. Start by mashing two ripe bananas with 1 cup of uncooked quick oats. Gently add ¼ cup of small pieces of walnuts and set scoops of cookie dough on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F and bake this amazing treat for 15 minutes.

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Green and Growing Team

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