How to Lose Weight; Are You Eating the "Sumo Wrestler" Diet?

high fat diets and magnesium

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Not everyone is on a constant struggle to lose weight. Even fewer have deliberately goals to achieve a weight worthy of donning a Mawashi.

But you may be unwittingly doing just that.  There are many things that we do in our daily lives that you may think are healthy, but actually contribute to weight gain.  The quick list can include doing things such as drinking out of plastic water bottles and drinking orange juice with your breakfast.  Many of the items on this list, however, you could probably nod your head in understanding when things like BPA in plastics and excess calories from drinks are pointed out.

Sometimes, however, the things you do that contribute to weight gain aren’t so obvious.  Or rather, it’s the wrong combination of things that send the dial of your scale to the right.

This concept is outlined quite nicely in this particular study.  In it researchers looked at what happened when a high fat diet was combined with a magnesium deficiency in rats.  A high fat diet is not inherently bad for you, despite what the USDA food guide pyramid led you to believe in the 90’s.  The right choices of fats makes all the difference.  When was the last time you ran into someone who became morbidly obese eating avocados?  It just doesn’t happen.

These good fats come in things like nuts and seeds, wild caught fish, avocados and olive oil.  These food items are not entirely guilt-free, but you shouldn’t lose any sleep when you indulge in foods with healthy fats.  Many of these food items (most notably the nuts, seeds and avocados) are a very good source of magnesium.  Maybe Mother Nature knew what she was doing.

Other good sources of magnesium are dark chocolate, green leafies, beans and whole grains.  Keep in mind that magnesium is an incredibly important mineral that is used in hundreds of ways in the human body.  Unfortunately, it is also a very commonly deficient mineral.

Back to the study.  Researchers put rats into 4 separate diet groups and compared:

  1. A normal, control diet to;
  2. A high-fat diet to;
  3. A magnesium-deficient high-fat diet group

When the dust settled, it was clear that both high fat groups had the most prediabetic profiles (as measured by protein phosphorylation in the insulin-signaling pathway).  Between the two high fat diets, the group that was magnesium deficient had the worst profile and greatest risk of developing diabetes.

The take-home message is that there is not a single aspect of your lifestyle that is going to make or break your health and long-term weight goals.  In this instance, make sure that your higher fat choices include foods that are also higher in magnesium such as nuts, seeds and avocados.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.