Turns out ‘diet’ products can actually make you put ON weight

Researchers have found that 'diet' foods can actually make you put on weight and contribute to an array of other health problems.

Scientists from the University of Georgia conducted a study and found that even though high-fat foods are often targeted for obesity, it's actually sugar-laden 'diet' products which cause the most harm.

In the study, rats were fed the equivalent of 'diet' foods (high in sugar but low in fat) and saw that this actually made them put on weight when compared to a balanced rodent diet.

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The study's principal investigator, Krzysztof Czaja, said: "Most so-called diet products containing low or no fat have an increased amount of sugar and are camouflaged under fancy names, giving the impression that they are healthy.

"The reality is that those foods may damage the liver and lead to obesity as well."

Krzysztof continued: "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.

"Our research shows that rats fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet, the efficiency of generating body fat is more than twice as high — in other words, rats consuming low-fat high-sugar diets need less than half the number of calories to generate the same amount of body fat."

The unbalanced diets also caused chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract and brain. which Krzysztof believes damages the vagus nerve, which controls sensory signals, including the brain's ability to determine when you're full.

"The brain changes resulting from these unbalanced diets seem to be long term, and it is still not known if they are reversible by balanced diets," she said.