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Nutrition

Could beetroot reduce absorption of fat?

We're always looking for quick ways to make our diet more healthy so that we can reap the benefits of healthy living but can still indulge in sweet or salty treats every now and again.

And now new research may have found a way to enjoy that juicy burger without worrying about the fat content - simply by adding beetroot.

University of Aberdeen researchers designed their own turkey burger, which included extracts of the root vegetable, and believe the presence of the healthy foodstuff can actually stop the body absorbing the saturated fat in the burger.

Professor Garry Duthie, leader of the research, pointed out that processed food forms a major and increasing part of our diet, with consumption of high-fat convenience foods rising year on year.

He explained that the study aims to establish whether adding a vegetable extract to such food can protect the body from absorbing too much fat.

"When we eat a fatty food, a process called oxidation occurs in our stomachs, where fats are transformed into potentially toxic compounds and absorbed into the body. These compounds are linked to cancer and heart disease," he said.

"We believe that adding a vegetable extract such as beetroot, which contains antioxidant compounds, will stop this oxidation of fat in the gut, and prohibit the body from absorbing the bad fat."

Professor Duthie noted that the oxidisation process that occurs in the stomach is essentially the same one that causes food to go off over time, so not only could the vegetable extract have benefits for our health, it could also lengthen the shelf life of edible products.

Beetroot tends to come into season in the summer, which means there are only a few more weeks to wait until we can have it in our salads again.

According to registered nutritionist Dr Carina Norris, eating seasonal foods is usually better for us because they are fresher, "which means they'll have higher levels of the vitamins that deteriorate over time, such as vitamin C".

Posted by Matilda Jones

 
 
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