I read a study the other day that I just had to share with you, because it personally made me even more committed to eating a diet based on real, whole foods.
It’s all about how ultra-processed foods make us want to eat more.
Here are the basics of what they found: people who eat a diet of “ultra-processed” food take in more calories and gain more weight than people who eat less-processed food – even when they are given meals containing the same calories and macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs).
The study was conducted by the National Institutes for Health.
Scientists had 10 men and 10 women check into a clinic for a month and fed them a controlled diet. For two weeks they were given meals consisting of ultra-processed foods, and then for another two weeks they ate a diet of minimally processed foods. They could eat as much of their meals as they wanted.
As an example, an ultra-processed breakfast was a bagel with favored cream cheese and sweetened tea, while a whole foods breakfast included oatmeal, bananas, walnuts, and almond milk.
When they were given the “ultra” processed diet, the study subjects ate their meals faster AND consumed about 500 more calories a day… not surprisingly, they also gained an average of about 2 pounds!
Meanwhile, they lost about 2 pounds on the minimally processed diet.
This is the first study to ever show a direct relationship between processed foods and weight gain when other factors are controlled. Even so, it’s something we’ve kind of known over the years, right?
But here’s the kicker: processed foods are filled with things that make us want to eat more – salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. So not only are they linked with eating more, they ALSO contribute to chronic health problems!
When we eat MORE of those foods, we’re taking in yet more things that are not good for us! (other studieshave suggested that junk foods are engineered specifically to make us want to eat more.)
Here’s another thing “shocking-not shocking” aspect of the study: the processed diet was actually much CHEAPER (by almost 50%!).
Scientists estimated the weekly cost to prepare 2,000 calories a day of the ultra-processed diet at $106, while the minimally processed diet cost $151, based on the prices at a nearby supermarket.
Here’s my personal takeaway on this one.
The food you eat is SO MUCH more than just “calories.”
It has a powerful effect on your health and well-being… and eating a healthy, whole-foods-based diet makes a strong statement to manufacturers when it comes to our food supply.
Over time, extra calories add up, and that extra weight can lead to serious health conditions. We are facing epidemics of obesity and chronic conditions like never before.
If you think healthy eating is expensive, I challenge you to do some research and find out what is the cost of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer etc.
How can you save money when it comes to eating a healthy diet?
- Buy in bulk and buy locally
- Shop sales,
- Use your freezer as much as possible
- Batch cooking
- Meal planning
If you need help coming up with healthy meal ideas that are affordable let me know. We are always here to help. Just reply to this email and I will be back to you shortly.
Quinoa Veggie Bowl
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 sweet potato, cut into chunks and cooked
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 5 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- Black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup sauerkraut
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve.
To your radiant health, with love