Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fake Fat Makes Fat Humans

The study that follows is very interesting for a geek like me, and holds the standard caveat about rat studies: rat feeding studies don't always translate to humans, even though we have similar biological responses to food.

The BLUF:  rats who ate fake fat got fatter, and had more trouble losing the extra fat, even though the fake fat was zero calorie, undigestible matter which passes through the body, never leaving the digestive tract.  Even if you think to yourself "hmm, perhaps it might not be smart to ingest large quantities of an absurdly non-food substance", the low fat fad has led many to think otherwise.  Those are the kinds of results one might expect from the low fat fad and its necessary cognitive dissonance. 

If you know that fat is not the boogeyman, you can eat and enjoy quite a lot of fat - assuming you also restrict carb intake.  This formula - adequate protein, <100g/day of carbs, and high intake of saturated and monounsaturated fats - yeilds satiety, healthy body composition, a well regulated appetite and energy level, and improved health markers.  From this model, there's no reason to even consider fake fat.  Perhaps the poor rats subjected to this experiment will help some people from suffering a like fate.

The results showed that the rats on the high-fat diet that ate both the high-fat and the fake-fat Pringles ate more food, put on more weight, and gained more body fat than their counterparts on the high-fat diet that were given only the high-fat Pringles.

In fact, even when the researchers stopped feeding them the Pringles, the heavier rats did not shed the extra weight.

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