Low-fat foods could cause weight gain

Posted on News Mar 2012 - by Tandoori Editor
Low-fat foods could cause weight gain

Synthetic fat substitutes used in low-calorie crisps and other diet foods could actually do the reverse and make people put on more weight.

 
A study by researchers at Purdue University in Indiana, USA, challenges the perceived belief that foods made with fat substitutes help with weight loss.
 
 “Our research showed that fat substitutes can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate food intake, which can lead to inefficient use of calories and weight gain,” said Susan E. Swithers, PhD, the lead researcher on the study.
 
The study few rats either a high-fat or a low-fat diet. Half the rats in each group were also fed pringles crisps that were high in fat and calories. The remaining rats in each group were fed high-calorie pringles one day and low-calorie pringles light the next. Pringles light are made with olestra, a synthetic fat substitute with zero calories that passes through the body undigested.
 
The rats on the high-fat diet that also ate the pringles light crisps consumed more food, gained more weight and developed more fatty tissue than the rats that only ate the high-fat food. The reason could be that when food with a sweet or fatty taste is eaten, it usually indicates a large number of calories and the taste triggers various bodily responses such as salivation, hormonal secretions and metabolic reactions.
 
“When those calories aren’t present, we believe the systems become confused and one of the body’s mechanisms to control food intake can become ineffective,” said Dr Swithers. The body thinks it is still hungry, so it absorbs more calories.
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