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Filling your plate with ultraprocessed foods really does appear to lead people to eat more and gain weight, according to a new study.
Ultraprocessed foods refers to products that tend to go through a number of manufacturing steps to be produced, and contain ingredients that result from industrial-food manufacturing, such as hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, flavoring agents and emulsifiers, according to the study.
Example - Breakfast - Meal - Bagel - Cream
For example, an ultraprocessed breakfast meal could consist of a bagel with cream cheese and turkey bacon, while an unprocessed breakfast could contain oatmeal with bananas, walnuts and skim milk.
The study, published May 16 in the journal Cell Metabolism, involved 20 healthy volunteers who spent about a month in a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where all of their meals were prepared for them. Participants were randomly assigned to a diet of either ultraprocessed or minimally processed foods for two weeks, after which they were switched to the opposite diet for another two weeks. Importantly, meals for both groups had about the same amount of calories, sugars, fiber, fat and carbohydrates; participants could eat as much as they wanted.
Studies - Groups - People - Diets - Foods
Previous studies that involved large groups of people have linked diets high in ultraprocessed foods with health problems, and even a higher risk of early death. But these studies observed people over time, rather than assigning them specific diets, and so could not prove that ultraprocessed foods actually cause people to eat more or gain weight. For example, it might be the case that people who eat ultraprocessed foods develop health problems for other reasons, such as a lack of access to fresh foods.
Although the new study was small, "results from this tightly controlled experiment showed a...
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