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Low Fat 'Diet' Products Might Actually Making You Fat, Here's Why

Apr 26, 2017 01:37 PM EDT

A new study from the University of Georgia revealed that consuming diet products that have low or no fat but high in sugar will not help you lose weight or get slim.

The study, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, showed that eating low in fat but high in sugar diet products will make you more likely to gain body fat mass, compared to eating a balanced diet.

"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," said Krzysztof Czaja, an associate professor of veterinary biosciences and diagnostic imaging in UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator of the study, in a press release. "But the reality is that those foods may damage the liver and lead to obesity as well."

For the study, the researchers fed rats with three different kinds of diet for four weeks. The first group of rats consumed foods high in fat and sugar, the second group were given a low-fat, high-sugar diet, while the last group was fed a balanced or normal rodent diet. Over the course of the study period, the researchers monitored the rats' body weight, caloric intake, body composition and fecal samples.

The researchers found that the rats belonging to the groups with unbalanced diet experience a significant increase in their body weight and body mass compared to the rats in the balanced diet group. The researchers also observed an increase in liver fat of rats in the low-fat, high-sugar diet and high-fat, high-sugar diet.

Furthermore, they observed unbalanced diet-induced chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract and brain of the rats. The researchers noted that inflammation in the brain can damage the vagus nerve, altering brain-gut communication. The vagus nerve controls the sensory signals, including the brain's ability to determine when one is full.

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