This is a cool new study that, in a rigorous way, shows that without changing macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat, protein) proportions of a diet, ie. even if keeping carbohydrate intake high, there’s still benefit from eating un-processed (“real / whole”) food.
Ultra-processed foods have been described as “formulations mostly of cheap industrial sources of dietary energy and nutrients plus additives, using a series of processes” and containing minimal whole foods (Monteiro et al., 2018)” and have never been studied in a randomized control trial compared to unprocessed (“real”) food. 20 non-diabetic adults were hospitalized for 4 weeks and fed ultra-processed and un-processed diets for 2 weeks each, and told to eat as much or as little as they wanted, over a 60 minute period.Hall KD. Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: A one-month inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake. NutriXiv; [cited 2019 Mar 4]; Available from: osf.io/preprints/nutrixiv/w3zh2
I really like that the pre-print paper includes photographs of the meals – I chose to highlight meals in this slide in each category that look somewhat similar, to demonstrate that a change is not as complicated as some people think it is (I made the change in my own life, like many physicians, I am recovering from a low-fat, processed diet that I was told was healthy, very incorrectly). Unfortunately, this is still what we’re presented with on a regular basis. I of course did not partake, except for a cup of coffee with cream:
Never doubt the enjoyable bonding that happens while photographing the latest diabetogenic spread served at a meeting for health professionals. Awareness is increasing, action is next 🌟😀🔥 #MetabolicUnhealth #DiabetesPrevention #DataOverDogma #ThisCenturyBestCentury pic.twitter.com/yDCDJ5DcrA
Kevin Hall, PhD (twitter:KevinH_PhD), explains the significance in a tweetstorm, and he knows much more than I about double-labeled water and respiratory chambers:
This study is the first randomized controlled trial of ultra-processed versus unprocessed diets and suggests that limiting consumption of ultra-processed foods may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment. 6/7
Speaking of not knowing of these things, if there’s anything inaccurate in my slide above, feel free to check my work, accuracy is better than speed, and my next point….
Is it a war, or really a desire to know how to help the people we serve achieve their life goals 🙂
The paper’s first sentence starts with the phrase “diet-wars” which I feel is inaccurate and contributes to a lack of curiosity about science. We are not at war with our patients; we are at peace with them. This is an approach/mindset physicians should not be using, especially given well-publicized incidents of academic bullying.
Hall KD. Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: A one-month inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake. NutriXiv; [cited 2019 Mar 4]; Available from: osf.io/preprints/nutrixiv/w3zh2
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