Study Finds that Ultra-processed Foods Might Lead to Gain Weight

A new study carried out by the National Institute of Health finds that people who consume plenty of ultra-processed foods might absorb more calories and gain more pounds than those who have a diet with minimally processed foods. The results are published in the Cell Metabolism journal.

The project was conducted with a group of 20 people, 10 women, and 10 men, at a Clinical Center in Maryland. During 28 days, all foods of the participants are provided by the investigators.

In the first 2 weeks, 10 people consumed an “ultra-processed diet”, which included chicken salad from canned chicken, turkey bacon, baked potato chips, cream cheese bagels, and sweetened yogurt. The other 10 people were provided with a minimally processed diet with oatmeal, nuts, eggs, whole veggies and fruits, and fish and meats.

“On the ultra-processed diet, we found that people ate more than 500 calories per day,” said Kevin Hall – the author of the study. “This made them gained more body fat and weight.”

While both diets had the same amount of fiber, fat, sugar, calories, and macronutrients like protein and carbs, participants consuming processed foods gained around 2 pounds on average. It might be that those people tended to digest more quickly and eat more carbs and fat on the ultra-processed diet.

Testing from blood samples was revealing. People with a minimally processed diet generated more PYY, a hormone which results in fullness, and less ghrelin, a hormone which triggers appetite.

But what are exactly “ultra-processed foods”? Many scientists claim these are foods that go through some procedures before we consume. This study defined ultra-processed foods as those that contain ingredients from industrial manufacturing, including artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils, and other components to increase the shelf lives and stabilize products.

Many people have proved that it is completely possible to stay away from excessively processed foods. A mother of three from California named Anne Lange changed the diet of her family in 2011, removing all ultra-processed foods.

She said that “She and her husband lost 5 pounds in a few days without trying”. The level of healthy cholesterol increased by up to 50% after 1 year, and they felt more energetic. The key is to read ingredients labels and select those products which contain no more than 5 ingredients. Also, make sure to plan meals in advance.

Source:

https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(19)30248-7

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