No Matter What Diet You Follow, Processed Foods Cause Weight Gain

Processed Foods Cause Weight Gain Even When Calories MatchIt shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone anymore that processed foods cause weight gain. That’s why there’s such a stigma associated to vending machines full of chips and candy bars. Yes, they taste great, but they’re hurting our health and our waistlines. That said, recent research has now found that highly processed foods are actually worse for us than we originally suspected.

What Does the Research Say?

A new study published in Cell Metabolism has shown that highly processed foods cause weight gain even when their nutrition labels appear sound. So even if you check the sugar, fat, and carbohydrate content of the ultra-processed foods you love and they appear even better than their whole food counterparts, they will still hold you back.

Something in the processing of those foods makes people have to eat more food before they will feel full from what they’ve eaten. What that “something” is has not yet been identified. The research simply showed that between healthier foods and processed equivalents, people eat more of the food that has undergone processing regardless of what the nutrition label says.

Processed Foods Cause Weight Gain Regardless of Nutrition Labels

Interestingly, the researchers discovered that reversing the impact is fast and easy. Yes, processed foods cause weight gain, but it doesn’t last beyond the consumption of those foods. That is, by switching to a whole food diet, weight loss can occur extremely quickly.

This also helped to show how much processed foods cause weight gain. After all, the researchers observed that once people switch to a whole food diet, they would begin to see measurable weight loss as quickly as two weeks from having started. Moreover, that would occur even if the individuals did not restrict their calorie intake.

The findings related to this study into how processed foods cause weight gain were published in the Cell Metabolism journal.

Other Findings

Other discoveries made by the research into how processed foods cause weight gain found that there are many factors roped into this issue. For instance, socioeconomic factors. Processed foods are frequently less expensive than their equivalents in whole foods. The cheapest foods are frequently those that contain higher levels of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fat and that contain less fiber and less protein.

That said, in this study, the researchers factored in those additional contributors such as socioeconomic status and regular exercise. They examined the impact of the processed foods alone, which made this research rare and extensive. It also underscored the substantial problem of processed foods and the role they play in the obesity epidemic.

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