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Olestra fake fat actually increases body fat, says study

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by: Sally Oaken
Tags: Olestra, body fat, health news

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(NaturalNews) Popular wisdom suggests that substituting high fat foods with equal amounts of reduced fat and reduced calorie foods will lead to weight loss. It's long been assumed that weight fluctuations influenced by nutrition alone occur in accordance with a simple equation: the consumption of excess fat and calories make us fat.

But a new study by Purdue is turning this common assumption on its head. As a result of studies conducted on rats, researchers are suggesting that the relationship between fatty food consumption and the body's tendency to accumulate fat tissue may more be more complex than previously believed. The study also suggests that Olestra, a fat substitute developed by Proctor and Gamble in 1968, may actually cause consumers to gain, rather than lose, excess body weight.

Researchers conducting the study placed groups of rats on either a high fat or low fat diet and gave the rats freedom to eat as much or as little as they wanted. The diets for all of the rats were supplemented with a few grams of potato chips each day, but half were fed ordinary chips and half were fed a mixture of ordinary chips and chips containing fat-free Olestra.

Eventually, all of the rats were denied access to potato chips. Then they were provided with free access to high fat feed. The rats that had previously been fed Olestra chips ate more of the high fat food and gained more weight than the rats that had previously received regular chips. The finding suggests that consumption of Olestra made the rats eat more high fats foods when these foods became available.

It's possible that our bodies don't respond predictably to foods that have been chemically manipulated to contain fewer calories and reduced amounts of fat. Many of our body's responses to fatty foods may depend on hormones and chemical signals that we don't yet fully understand.

Everything from the smell and taste of food to the feel of certain foods in our mouths may contribute to our complex biological response to that particular food. The taste of sweet sugary treats, for example, may activate the release of extra hormones and chemical signals that prepare us to burn through higher amounts of energy and glucose.

Simply removing presumed fat triggers from our diets may not prevent the accumulation of extra weight. In fact, the release of confusing signals may have the opposite effect.
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