Research: Ultra-processed diet can cause weight gain

Health News

(CLEVELAND CLINIC) – ‘Ultra-processed’ is a term used to describe foods that have been plugged full of additives and contain very little whole-food ingredients.

Now, a recent study says that eating a diet high in ultra-processed foods can lead to weight gain.

The study looked at a group of adults in their thirties.

“One diet was ultra-processed, and the other one wasn’t processed at all, and they looked at these people for two weeks; changing the diet halfway through, so all of the individuals were on both of the diets,” said Cleveland Clinic’s W. Scott Butsch, M.D., who did not take part in the study. “In the end, they found that those who ate the ultra-processed foods gained weight.”

Dr. Butsch said people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet – an extra 500 calories each day they were on the diet. However, he said it is not clear why this happened – whether the food caused changes in the brain making them eat more calories, or if the food was higher in energy density or other factors.  

To know if a food is ultra-processed, Dr. Butsch recommends looking at the list of ingredients – if it’s a long list – it’s probably very processed.

He also said weight gain is caused by more than just food and nutrients (or lack of nutrients), but also the biological reaction that happens when we eat certain foods.

The fiber found in vegetables and whole grains is not easily digested, so when it gets to the colon, the bacteria in the gut is improved. Whereas when we eat ultra-processed foods that are low in fiber, the breakdown of the foods in our digestive tract is different.

Dr. Butsch said a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to go for our health and waistlines, but some worry about the cost.

He recommends taking advantage of summer farmer’s markets to get our eating habits off to a fresh start.

“Certainly in the summer months, there are a lot of crops, and a lot of farmers are selling their product, and it’s a great idea to try to see where your local farmer’s markets are,” said Dr. Butsch. “This is food that usually is cheaper than you would get in a grocery store, so, obviously from a cost perspective, it’s a great idea to check these out and try different foods.”

Complete results of the study can be found in Cell Metabolism.

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Videos

Twinkies flavored breakfast cereal

Thumbnail for the video titled "Twinkies flavored breakfast cereal"

Slow down and move over for troopers, it's the law

Thumbnail for the video titled "Slow down and move over for troopers, it's the law"

Get paid to watch 24 Hallmark Christmas movies by Christmas Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Get paid to watch 24 Hallmark Christmas movies by Christmas Day"

Does Huntsman entering change the race for governor?

Thumbnail for the video titled "Does Huntsman entering change the race for governor?"

CMA Award Winners: Garth Brooks

Thumbnail for the video titled "CMA Award Winners: Garth Brooks"

What you need to know about how the impeachment process works

Thumbnail for the video titled "What you need to know about how the impeachment process works"
More Video News

Don't Miss

Trending Stories