- One study found that eating propionate, a preservative that is often added to foods, can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.
- Propionate is often found in bread, baked goods, canned fruit and chocolates because it inhibits mold growth.
- Current research serves as a good reminder to be vigilant about our eating habits.
An additive you need to know
As part of a healthy lifestyle, you are undoubtedly trying to be careful about what you eat. You are likely to choose a lot of fresh foods and carefully read the labels of all the packaged foods you buy, check the calories, and make sure the item doesn't contain too much sodium, fat, and sugar. However, you may not be reading the ingredient list as carefully, and even if you do, many people do not know the names of the individual additives. And, according to new research, one of these common additives could contribute to health and weight problems.
And if you just cut it out of your diet, you can lose weight and avoid diabetes. Read on to find out how.
Study on propionate preservatives and weight gain
A study conducted at Harvard T.H. The Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts found that consuming propionate, a preservative that is often added to foods, can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. These results are based on an interesting two-pronged study that involved both animal and human subjects to determine the effects of propionate, which is a common ingredient in bread, baked goods, canned fruit, and chocolates (yes, chocolates too) because it helps inhibit the growth of mold.
The first segment of research involved the addition of propionate to the water supplied to mice. Immediately after the mice absorbed the water laced with propionate, the researchers noticed a significant increase in the hormones glucagon and FABP4, which triggered an increase in glucose production in the liver and a corresponding increase in blood insulin levels. Finally, the mice that were exposed to propionate for longer periods of time gained more weight than those who were not given propionate, and they also developed insulin resistance, which may have made them ready for diabetes.
As convincing as these results are, we all know that animal studies in humans often do not lead directly to the same results. For this reason, it is very positive that the researchers also included a human component in this study. For this research segment, 14 adults in overall good health were given a meal, either with a propionate supplement at a dose equal to the amount obtained from eating a processed food meal or a placebo. After they finished eating, blood was drawn and the same hormonal response that occurred in the mice occurred in humans, as did the increase in their blood insulin levels.
Weight Gain & Diabetes Results
While the human side of the study was apparently limited by the extremely small size of the population sample, combined with the animal version of the experiment, it provides some solid evidence of the harmful effects of propionate. Obviously, there are a variety of factors that affect weight gain and the development of diabetes, but these results suggest that regular propionate use could be one of them – and an important one.
This is hardly the first time that a food preservative has been linked to health problems. The nitrate preservatives used in processed meats such as bacon and sausage have long been known to be harmful. In fact, a 2010 study at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that people who eat this type of processed meat have a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
How do I avoid preservatives?
Ultimately, current research serves as a good reminder to be vigilant about our eating habits. While it's probably not realistic to completely remove every preservative from our diet, we can certainly limit their consumption. It starts with focusing your purchases on the size of the supermarket. In general, fruit and vegetables can be found along these distant walls. Organic poultry with grass feed; Fish; and other fresh products that ideally make up most of your diet.
If you dare to venture inside the aisles, try your best to avoid the electrical current to resist the impulse to buy junk food such as cookies and chips, as well as sugared drinks, and the amount of prepackaged food that you add to your shopping cart , to limit. With today's study, be sure to check the labels of everything you buy for propionate. It can be listed on food labels as calcium propionate and is also known as propanoic acid sodium propionate, calcium salt and calcium propanoate. Deleting it from your diet can be a simple trick to lose weight and avoid diabetes.