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Being Undernourished Can Pack on Pounds

Being Undernourished Can Pack on Pounds

Actor Jack O’Connell went on a 700-calorie-a-day diet to portray the emaciated prisoner of war, Olympian Louis Zamperini, in Angelina Jolie’s movie Unbroken. In the short term he could get away with it, but it’s no surprise that in the long-term, robbing the body of essential nutrients can trigger metabolic problems, hormone disruptions, and immune system challenges.

What may surprise you is that even if you eat a lot more calories than that, you can still be undernourished or malnourished and that may be what’s causing you to pack on pounds and raise your levels of lousy LDL cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.

That’s the conclusion of researchers who looked at how eating two fruit-based micronutrient- and fiber-dense supplement bars (the researchers’ own recipe) every day, affected normal weight, overweight, and obese folks. Their findings: Eating essential (and previously missing) nutrients, triggered weight loss in overweight and obese folks. And in everyone it improved important health indicators such as inflammation, insulin resistance, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels.

So for your personal best, fill up on nine servings of produce daily (37 percent of U.S. adults eat vegetables less than once a day), along with lean protein and 100% whole grains. Dodge added sugars and syrups, trans and most sat fats.

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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