If you want to lose weight everyone knows that a low-calorie diet in addition to exercise is the way to go. However, if you snack on and drink low-calorie substitutes, you’re more likely to gain the pounds than lose the fat. Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana discovered that the taste of fat and sugar causes the body to expect a calorific buzz, but when it doesn’t get its desired high-calorie hit, the body gets confused and makes us eat more. The study was conducted by feeding two groups of lab rats crushed crisps. One group was given a mixture of high-fat and fat-substitute crisps, while the other group was fed only full-fat crisps. After 28 days, Purdue researchers found the animals that ate a diet supplement of fat-substitute crisps gained more weight and fatty tissue than those on full-fat crisps.

According to Professor Susan Swithers:

“Substituting a part of the diet with a similar tasting item that has fewer or zero calories sounds like a common-sense approach to lose weight, but there are other physiological functions at work. These substitutes are meant to mimic the taste of fat in foods that are normally high in fat while providing a lower number of calories, but they may end up confusing the body. Tastes normally alert the body to expect calories, and when those calories aren’t present we believe the systems become ineffective and one of the body’s mechanisms to control food intake can become ineffective.”

Of course rats and humans are two different species, but researchers insist that there are similarities for humans. Does this mean you should switch from diet Coke to regular? Of course not. Just try snacking on healthier options that don’t substitute sugar or fat like olives, sunflower seeds, grapes and tuna.

What healthy snacks do you enjoy?


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