A new research performed by scientists at the University of Georgia might make you rethink your choice of foods when you are on a diet. They discovered that low-fat products, or those labeled as “diet”, might make you gain weight instead of becoming slimmer, as they usually contain high amounts of sugar.
People are often tricked by foods labeled as ‘diet’
For this research, scientists fed rats food which people usually use in diets, which is low in fat but rich in sugar. As a contrast, they fed another group of rats a regular diet. When they compared the two groups, they discovered that the diet group weighed more than the regular group. Moreover, they also experienced several medical complications, such as brain inflammation or liver damage.
The main scientist involved in the study, Krzysztof Czaja, explained what actually happened in the case of diet foods. Since they are labeled as “diet”, people are tricked into thinking that they are healthy and suitable if they want to lose weight. In fact, they contain high amounts of sugar, which could have the opposite effect, or even damage the liver or cause other health problems.
“What’s really troubling in our findings is that the rats consuming high-sugar, low-fat diets didn’t consume significantly more calories than the rats fed a balanced diet.”
Low-fat diets are rich in sugar, which can have permanent effects on the body
Researchers split the rats into three groups and then looked at the number of calories they ingest, their body weight, and analyzed their feces and body composition. They kept the rats under close observation for a period of four weeks. The first group had a diet rich in both fat and sugar, the diet of the second was low-fat but high sugar, while the last one had a regular, balanced diet.
When compared with the regular diet group, the other two experienced a significant increase in their weight and body fat. What is more worrying is the fact that their liver also accumulated fat which, over time, might cause the same damage as excessive alcohol use.
Previous studies backed up this idea that diet foods were actually not good for health, as they found that they might cause brain inflammation. Moreover, these effects might be permanent, as they did not find evidence that a normal diet would help people recover.
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