People who want to slim are often under an illusion that there is a miraculous way to shed weight by simply finding some magical formulae, whilst devouring the same quantity of food that made them fat in the first place. Now we are told that drinking the cooking water from sweet potatoes could help you to shed the pounds. Quaffing the starchy liquid has been found to significantly lower body weight after just a month, scientists have discovered. Not only that, drinking the water can also cut cholesterol by more than 7 percent.
The liquid contains a key protein left over from cooking the vegetable, which may play a role in digesting fat. The suggestion the sweet potato waste water could be a slimming aid comes from the National Agricultural and Food Research Organization in Japan.
As yet, the benefits have only been seen in mice but more research may show its effectiveness in humans. The jury is out on how good sweet potatoes are for us when eaten regularly. They contain beta-carotine, which boosts the immune system and keeps the skin healthy. But while this makes them more nutritious than regular potatoes, the sweet variety has a high glycaemic load, meaning large portions cause a spike in blood sugar.
However, the study, published in the journal Heliyon, suggests we may have been pouring the main health benefits down the sink. The researchers fed three groups of mice high-fat diets, giving one group the protein called ‘sweet potatoes peptide’ (SPP), at a high concentration and one group at a lower concentration. The peptide was made by enzyme digestion of the sweet potato protein from waste cooking water. These mice ate the ingredient as 5 percent of their diet over 28 days.
After that they were weighed and their liver mass and fatty tissues were measured, as well as levels of fats and hormones. The mice on high-fat diets, given the highest level of sweet potato peptide, saw their cholesterol drop 7.2 percent compared with those who were denied it. Triglycerides, which come from fat in the diet and put people at risk of diabetes, fell more than 40 percent. The results also showed they lost fat around their middle and were less likely to get fatty liver disease.
Researcher Dr Koji Ishiguro said: ‘We were surprised that SPP reduced the levels of fat molecules in the mice and that it appears to be involved in controlling appetites suppression molecules. These results are very promising providing new options for using the waste water instead of discarding it.’
As I believe the Japanese, when they do research of this kind, are to be taken very seriously, I still reckon that humans are unlikely to appreciate being fed like mice, for the culinary thrills enjoyed by humans are hard to discard even when it comes to shedding the extra pounds.
As I said at the outset, the best way to tackle this problem is to control greed by eating less and leading a healthy life. Mice, I am sure, would opt to do the same if given the options that humans have.