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8500 Daily steps reduce a high-fat meal risk to cardiovascular disease

8500 Daily steps reduce a high-fat meal risk to cardiovascular disease

An individual, who is overweight or obese, with a dysfunctional lipid pattern, especially triglycerides, a blood fat elevated from excessive daily consumption of simple carbohydrates and saturated fats (fast food), may be at greater risk to postprandial (after a meal) hypertriglyceridemia (elevated triglycerides).

According to “Clinical Relevance of Non-Fasting and Postprandial Hypertriglyceridemia and Remnant Cholesterol,” which appeared in 2011 on, “non-fasting triglycerides are measured at any time within up to 8 hours, after any normal meal, while postprandial triglycerides are measured at a fixed time point within up to 8 hours of a standardized fat tolerance test.”

“In the general population, 38% of men have non-fasting/postprandial triglycerides > 2mmol/L (>176 mg/dL), while 45% of men have non-fasting/postprandial triglyceride levels of 1-2 mmol/L (89-176 mg/dL); corresponding fractions in women are 20% and 47%,” notes the study authors from the Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin.

The implications are, “non-fasting triglycerides ≥5 mmol/L vs. <1 mmol/L marked a 17 and 5-old increased risk of myocardial infarction, a 5 and 3-fold increased risk of ischemic stroke, and a 4 and 2-fold increased risk of early death in women and men in the general population.”

The good news is that research has demonstrated that a single exercise bout that involves taking 7,000 to 8,000 steps the day prior to postprandial triglyceride evaluation resulted in reduced and improved postprandial hyperlipidemia.

New research, Daily Step Count and Postprandial Fat Metabolism, which appeared in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, in February of 2021, commented that, “in participants, who were sitting for >14 hours a day and taking only 1650 steps per day, a 1-hour bout of running at 67% maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) failed to improve postprandial hypertriglyceridemia the next morning.”

It seems, notes the research, “that physical inactivity (i.e., high sitting and severely reduced step count) rendered the participants resistant to the normal acute improvements in indices of cardiometabolic health that are normally derived from a 1-hour bout of running” – a phenomenon labeled “exercise resistance” -becoming, “resistant to the normal acute improvements in indices of cardiometabolic health that are normally derived from a 1-h bout of running.”

The takeaway message is that despite one hour of running at what would be considered a moderate pace – something many people would not tolerate – the prolonged running bout failed to kick start the metabolism, when sitting too long and taking few, total daily steps.

It could be concluded that the extended running bout may have fatigued the runner, such that they sat longer and took fewer steps the rest of the day. That begs the question of what is the minimum step count to assist dietary restrictions to lower the post-meal elevated blood fat levels – understanding that a high saturated fat meal may keep the triglycerides elevated for up to 10 hours?

Many heart attacks come in the early morning hours (2 to 3AM), following an evening high fat meal.

The journal researchers sought to, “systematically investigate the effect of reductions in daily step number and a single 1-hour bout of moderate-intensity (65% of maximum endurance) exercise to improve the next day’s postprandial responses of plasma triglyceride and glucose, as well as, fat oxidation.”

To facilitate their investigation, the Texas researchers recruited ten participants, who completed three, 5-day trials in a randomized, crossover design – using various levels of step reduction.

After 2 days of controlled activity, participants completed 2 days of either, “LOW, LIMITED, or NORMAL steps (2675 ± 314, 4759 ± 276, and 8481 ± 581 steps per day, respectively).” The participants then completed a one hour running session the evening of the second day. High-fat tolerance tests, to determine triglyceride status, were performed on the next morning, and the post-meal responses were compared.

The primary finding was that when individuals took only 2675 or 4759 daily steps (LOW and LIMITED), their postprandial plasma triglyceride responses and whole- body fat oxidation were significantly impaired compared with when taking 8431 daily steps (NORMAL), although it should be noted that their freely chosen steps in the control phase were approximately 10,000 steps per day,” concluded the research.

More importantly, the data supported the recommendation that, “for optimal fat metabolism, people do not reduce their step count below approximately 8500 steps per day, even if they are additionally exercising at a moderate intensity.”

Prior research supports that between 10,000 to 12,000 daily steps are effective at supporting a consistent weight (fat) loss, with appropriate caloric intake

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