Diet Foods Can Make You Fat and May Cause Liver Damage
If you are looking to lose weight it is only natural to look for foods that are marketed as being ‘diet foods’, in the hope that these are healthier and make you lose weight. Diet foods are often low in fat and it was once thought that too much fat in the diet was the problem with weight gain. But recent research suggests that it not the high fat that is the problem,
Recent research indicates that some healthy high-fat foods such as avocado’s and nuts being high in fat, are beneficial in the body and form an important part of a healthy diet. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/
Diet foods, that are low in fat and high in sugar could actually make you put on more weight and damage your liver.
“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, but the reality is that those foods may damage the liver and lead to obesity as well,” said the study’s principal investigator, Krzysztof Czaja, an associate professor of veterinary biosciences and diagnostic imaging in UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
In the study, the rats that were fed high sugar low-fat foods did not consume any more calories than the rats that were fed the balanced diet but were able to generate more than twice the amount of fat than the rats on the balanced diet. This also proves that counting calories will not help you lose weight if you are eating the wrong foods, that are high in sugar.
The rats in the high-sugar, low-fat group also accumulated more liver fat which is particularly bad, as fat in the liver mimics non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Serious cases of fatty liver disease can lead to damage to the liver, the same as if you were a heavy drinker.
These unbalanced high sugar diets, as shown in previous studies led to gut and brain inflammation, which interfered with the communication from the gut to the brain telling you when you are full, which could potentially lead to overeating.
This recent study also showed that the high sugar low-fat diet led to increased bacteria in the gut caused by liver damage.
If you are looking to lose weight, you should follow a healthy balanced diet which incorporates plenty of vegetables, nuts, fruit and high-quality protein and some slow releasing carbohydrates. Cutting down on sugar is imperative not just for weight-loss but for your overall health and wellbeing.
Too much sugar in the diet has been implicated in many diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
You can start to reduce sugar in your diet by cutting out the known sugary foods, such as the added sugar in your tea and coffee, and start reading labels, checking the sugar content in foods. Fizzy drinks, squash and sugary juices are one of the most common things that can be easily reduced and eventually cut out from your diet. By making these small changes you will not only lose weight, and protect your liver, you will also have more energy and improve your overall health.
- Men:150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
- Women:100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).
A 12oz can of coke is about 140 calories from sugar, and a regular sized Snickers bar is about 120 calories from sugar.
High Sugar Foods To Watch Out For
Sugar is in almost everything, and avoiding it is hard. As a general rule you will find more sugar in processed low-fat foods than natural simple foods, so where possible avoid processed foods, and obvious sugar-rich foods such as cakes, ice –creams, sweets and pastries which are high in sugar or opt for ones that don’t have sugar added.
- Fizzy drinks and fruit juices, sports drinks, squash. It is easy to fill up on sweet drinks quickly, try to cut these completely out of your diet, and have water or milk/ herbal and fruit infused waters instead. If you have sports drinks, try unsweetened coconut water instead to benefit from its natural electrolytes.
- Avoid dried fruits. Dried fruits a high in sugar since all the sugar in the fruit is concentrated, opt for fresh fruit instead.
- Avoid low-fat yoghurts. A lot of yoghurts particular fruit low-fat yoghurts are high in sugar, but even vanilla flavours can have a high amount of sugar. Instead, opt for a plain greek yoghurt or a plain yoghurt with live cultures which help to build healthy gut bacteria.
- Avoid sugary cereals. With so many sugary cereals on the market, it can be hard to find ones that don’t contain sugar. Some of the higher sugar cereals include Kelloggs Frosties, Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, and Kellogs Coco Pops. But also ‘healty’ granola type cereals can also be high in sugar. Instead, opt for porridge and add some berries for sweetness, Weetabix with is low sugar or shredded wheat or make you own overnight oats.
- Avoid Canned fruits in syrup. Instead opt for fresh fruit, or canned fruit in its own natural juice.
- Energy Snack bars, these quick fix energy bars are often packed with sugar but are marketing as healthy convenient foods. Remember to read the label on the sugar content and opt for a piece of whole fruit instead or a savoury snack such as hummus/nut butter on crackers.
- Breakfast Biscuits, quite often these breakfast type biscuits and bars that are designed to replace breakfast are no different from a normal biscuit. If you are in a rush to get to work, take some breakfast with you, or grab a plain greek yoghurt with a banana and sprinkle with some oats on top to maintain your blood sugar levels.