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Which Is Best: Grazing Or 3 Meals A Day?

Does the theory behind the practice of “grazing” actually stand up to scientific study? Find out:

Can grazing help you lose weight and stay healthy?

Can smaller but more frequent meals really be good for you? Proponents of grazing contend that this way of eating is much closer to the way our foraging ancestors ate and that it’s much easier on your metabolism. Here’s a quick summary of the advantages that grazing supposedly provides:

  • People who graze supposedly have lower rates of cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
  • Grazing lowers the kind of “metabolic mischief” undermines health.
  • Eating smaller portions throughout the day helps keep insulin levels stable.
  • Limiting portions means less indigestion, less stress on the pancreas and ultimately less “sticky cholesterol” in the bloodstream.

An expert weighs in

There’s a lot that seems sensible here. But there are also a lot of dietary fads out there that sound good at first, but don’t hold up under closer inspection. So, I thought I’d ask a highly-respected authority on health and nutrition what he thought about grazing.

Dr. Joshua Levitt is a naturopathic physician whose educational background and clinical practice draws on a “best of both worlds” approach, as evidenced by his doctorate from Bastyr University, his clinical preceptorship role at the Yale School of Medicine and his nearly 20 years of direct clinical experience.

I asked Dr. Josh, an informality he encourages, what he thought about grazing as a dietary approach to weight loss and better health. He offered an unexpectedly nuanced view by explaining how it’s an approach that tends to benefit two groups of people while posing hidden pitfalls for most everyone else. Here’s a quick summary of his advice on grazing:

  • It works well for patients with reactive hypoglycemia. This is a blood sugar control disorder in which a person’s blood glucose levels initially spike, but then plummet shortly after eating. As Dr. Josh explains, people with reactive hypoglycemia can often avoid the blood sugar “rollercoaster” by eating small, frequent, high-protein meals throughout the day.
  • Athletes and people accustomed to high levels of physical activity. Strenuous exercise places tremendous metabolic demands on the body. Eating mini-meals throughout the day can help provide a steady stream of energy, but without blood-glucose spikes/plummets that can affect performance.

Apart from these two scenarios, however, Dr. Josh cautions that there are several downsides of grazing that people need to be more aware of. For instance, he explains that “a person’s overall daily calorie intake is the fundamental determinant of losing or gaining weight.” All things being equal, spreading your calories out over the course of a day will not help you lose weight… Read More

Read the full article at The Alternative Daily

Images: The Alternative Daily

Have you tried grazing? If so then has it made a noticeable difference in your life? I’ve tried it, but to be honest I found it almost impossible to fit into my life and work schedule.


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