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Could Fat Substitutes Cause Weight Gain?

Could Fat Substitutes Cause Weight Gain?

Sounds like a miracle -- fatty potato chips made with a fat substitute that doesn't go directly to your hips.

But a new study suggests fat substitutes could have an unforeseen downside: They might make the numbers on your bathroom scale climb higher, not lower.

Mind-Bending Meal
In a laboratory experiment involving animals on high-fat diets, researchers noticed that the group given potato chips made with a fat substitute actually gained the most weight and developed the most fatty tissue over a 28-day period. The reason? Scientists think that when something fatty is tasted, it triggers the brain to prepare the body for a large amount of calories. When the body doesn't get those calories, the systems that regulate food intake become confused, which can result in overeating and weight gain. The study used an animal model and more research is needed to see whether the same result occurs in people, but the scientists note that there are some similarities between humans and certain animals when it comes to appetite control. (Do you eat fatty foods when you're stressed? Find out how to get control over emotional eating.)

Go Natural
Watching your fat intake is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, but your best bet may be integrating reasonable amounts of healthy fats into your diet rather than kicking fat out altogether or using fat substitutes. Instead, win the battle of the bulge with foods that fill you up, keep you satisfied, taste great, and provide loads of nutrition.

Are sugar substitutes okay? Find out whether they have any place in a healthy diet.

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