NEW YORK (CNN) – Less expensive, easier to prepare ultra-processed foods can make you fat, says a new study.
People restricted to a diet of primarily processed foods ate more calories and gained more weight than when their diet consisted mainly of minimally processed foods, the study published Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism finds.
This little study is the first randomized controlled sample – considered the gold standard in science – examines the effects of ultra-processed foods. They are defined as containing industrial ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, flavoring and emulsifying agents.
In one month's study, 20 healthy adult volunteers were staying at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, where all their meals were delivered to them. For 1
The two versions of the meals had the same amounts of calories, sugars, fiber, fat and carbohydrates. For example, the unprocessed breakfast may be oatmeal with bananas, walnuts and skimmed milk, while the other consisted of a bagel with cream cheese and turkey bacon.
Participants spent approximately the same amount each day throughout the study.
On The ultralight diet, people ate faster while they ate approx. 500 calories a day (by taking extra aids) than they did at the same time as the unprocessed diet; This increase in calories was due to higher amounts of carbohydrates and fat, but not protein. As a result, they gained weight – on average approx. 0.9 kg or 2 pounds. On the diet of unprocessed foods, they lost an equal weight.
The participants' gender, their diet plan and their body mass index did not affect the different calories each participant ate on each diet, according to the authors.
The ultra-prepared foods made people eat too many calories and gained weight. They concluded.
Produced and heavily processed foods may be difficult to limit due to unpleasant reasons, the researchers noted. For example, the weekly price of a 2000 calorie processed meal meal is estimated at $ 106 against 151 for the more natural meals.
It also takes longer to prepare less processed foods, they said.
Ultra-processed foods are mostly consumed as ready meals, as well as snacks and desserts. People have eaten more of them over the last few decades. In the United States, 61 percent of adult total diets are derived from ultra-processed foods; in Canada it is 62 percent; And in the UK it is 63 percent, a recent independent survey found.
Research also shows that industrial-designed foods can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and cancer.
"We live in a fast-paced world and people are looking for practical solutions," says Nurgul Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of the Department of Nutrition at Rutgers University, on a previous study of processed foods.
Fitzgerald recommends reviewing the back of a package of ready meals. "Look at the ingredients list. Do you understand all the ingredients that go into your food?" she asked. Buy only these products "with the least number of ingredients and with ingredients you understand."
The authors suggested that consumer confusion is another aspect of this problem.
"The persistent cost wars between fractions that promote low carbohydrate, keto, paleo, high protein, low fat, plant-based, vegan and an apparently endless list of other dietary habits have led to great public confusion and mistrust in nutritional science," they wrote. . "Limiting consumption of ultra-processed foods can be an effective strategy for preventing and treating obesity."
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