TORONTO — An hour-long walk the day before a fatty meal can significantly reduce the fat’s impact on your body, according to new research.
The University of Guelph study found that overweight men who walked on a treadmill for an hour the day before drinking a high-fat cocktail had 30 per cent lower blood fat levels than they did in a similar trial that did not include the exercise.
Lindsay Robinson, a professor in the department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, says activity akin to a long walk with the dog can help prevent blood fat levels from spiking.
"We showed that with one bout of exercise you can improve factors implicated in heart disease in a population of men who are already at risk," she says.
That does not mean people should scarf down all the fat they want as long as they exercise. "But that you should be aware that there is this interaction between exercise and diet that can be beneficial for your health," says Robinson, who worked with then PhD student Mark Dekker on the study, soon to be published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The study involved nine overweight men between the ages of 40 and 70, who normally had high blood fat levels even after fasting. They had relatively sedentary lifestyles and body mass indexes greater than 27, putting them at risk for cardiovascular disease.
The researchers also found that the exercise had a positive effect on other factors in fat tissue, which may help to explain the metabolic processes at work.
Rena Mendelson, a professor in the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University, said the study reinforces the value of an hour of daily exercise. "The majority of the Canadian population is struggling to balance energy intake and physical activity," she says.
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