We all have moments when our healthy eating routines take a hiatus—like when a cruise buffet (comprising food you’d never consider eating day after day) quickly becomes justified as the diet du jour. It might be time to reconsider such rationalizations.
A new study shows that falling off the bandwagon, if even only for a few days, can have detrimental effects when it comes to Type 2 diabetes. Researchers discovered that participants began to develop signs of Type 2 diabetes after just a few days of a high-carb, 6,000-calorie diet—namely, an increase in insulin production in the pancreas.
The researchers also found that mitochondria (the cells’ ‘powerhouses’) released chemicals that cause stress and inflammation later on. “Mitochondria are energy engines and when they’re flooded with calories they become leaky and release [chemicals] and cause oxidative stress,” said Dr. Kevin Niswender, associated professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee.
If you’re tempted by a high-calorie binge, especially on vacation, pick and choose your meals strategically. For example, if you know you’re having deep-dish pizza for dinner, order a salad for lunch. What are some ways you balance your eating splurges?