Diet Foods Can Cause Weight Gain
Just stroll down the aisles of any supermarket and you will be able to see the shelves stacked up with low fat biscuits, fat free desserts and ready meals that are calorie counted.
All these years, those who are watching their weight have been urged to go in for low fat food options. This is probably why there has been such a boom in the ‘diet’ food industry.
How Diet Foods Can Cause Weight Gain?
However, a new study claims that most of the so-called diet products are loaded with sugar and can lead to unwanted weight gain.
The researcher who headed the study says that many diet foods disguise the sugar content in them with fancy names making them seem healthy. The truth is that these foods damage the liver and cause obesity.
The scientists tested the theory by monitoring the caloric intake, body weight, body composition and faecal samples of 3 groups of rats over a period of 4 weeks.
Group one consumed a diet that was high in sugar and fat, the second group was fed with a high sugar but low fat diet that was meant to mimic popular diet foods. The third group was fed with a balanced or normal diet.
It was found that the body fat mass of the group of rats on a low fat and high sugar diet increased when compared to the group of rats that were fed with a balanced diet. The thing to worry about is that the low fat, high sugar diet had a host of other problems such as liver damage and inflammation of the brain. But the really troubling news is that the rats on a high-sugar, low fat diet did not eat more calories than the group of rats that were fed with a well-balanced diet.
The research shows that rats who were fed with a low fat and high sugar diet, had twice the efficiency of generating body fat when compared to other groups of rats.
Both low fat and high sugar / high fat and high sugar groups displayed an increase in liver fat and this has lead to a significant increase in body weight and body fat in comparison to the group who had a balanced diet.
Accumulation of fat in the liver was significant in the group consuming high sugar, low fat. And this is a very dangerous situation as accumulation of fat in the liver imitates the effect of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is due to buildup of fat in the liver and serious forms of the disease can cause liver damage similar to what is caused by heavy alcohol use.
The unbalanced diets given to the rats in the study induced chronic inflammation in the brain and intestinal tract.
The changes in the brain that result from unbalanced diets appear to be long term and it is still unknown if they can get reversed by following balanced diets.
The study got published in the journal physiology and behaviour.
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