Why modern foods are making you fat
This morning I woke up to find this article in my google reader. It's written by Stephan Guyenet, a neurobiologist who runs the blog Whole Health Source. I highly recommend reading his blog as he offers a unique perspective which combines brain science and nutrition. His articles are extremely well cited and sound.
From the article:
To understand how this happens, let’s turn to animal research. Although rodents aren’t humans, they resemble us in many ways. Just like humans, rodents evolved to regulate body fat around an ‘optimal’ level to maximize survival and reproduction, and their systems for doing this are very similar to ours. Rodents also offer us the ability to control variables much more tightly than in human research. There are many ways to make a rat obese, but some are more effective than others. High-fat pelleted diets, composed of refined ingredients, are most common because they’re reliably fattening and their composition can be tightly controlled. But another diet, seldom used, is the most fattening of all: the ’cafeteria diet’. This diet has a lot to tell us about the expanding American waistline.
Dietary changes over the last several decades have contributed to the obesity epidemic. The solution to this problem is at once simple and challenging. Returning to a diet of simple home-cooked food, made from minimally refined ingredients, would probably stop the obesity epidemic in its tracks, although it would not be enough to return all currently obese people to a lean state. The challenge is finding the time and discipline to do this while commercial junk foods and sweetened beverages are tasty, cheap and constantly under our noses.
The short of it is our modern diet greatly increases your probability of being fat. The best long term solution is not reducing calories but fundementally changing how you eat so that your diet is based on natural and whole foods.