Health

Light products for the diet: do they really work?

Go on a diet to lose a few pounds and find more: it happens often, especially when you make bad choices at the supermarket. In recent years, the shopping cart has become increasingly “fit”, with an increase in sales of cheeses and cured meats packaged in their light versions.

But choose light weight loss products o Maintaining a healthy body weight is not necessary, sufficient or better to stay fit and can prove to be a double-edged sword. The so-called foods light or low fatoften advertised for theirs low calorie and sometimes accentuating their presumed role in weight control, they could actually make you fat as well as favor other problems such as brain inflammation and metabolic problems.

This is confirmed by one research carried out by the University of Georgiawhich highlights how even light products can aggravate situations of obesity and overweight.

Definition of light foods

As we read about the most recent Guidelines for healthy eating prepared by the experts of the Ministry of Health, “according to the European Union regulations, those foods that have a nutritional or energetic content can be marked with the English expression light decreased by at least 30% compared to that of the category average. The “lightenings” that are commonly carried out in Italy include a reduction in the sugar content, commonly replaced with low calorie or low calorie sweeteners, and a reduction in the content of fat“.

Are light products bad for your health?

“No – explains the doctor Chiara Manzi, nutritionistlight products do not hurt to health and are safe from a nutritional point of view “. These reductions are therefore certainly positive for the consumer as they imply lower amounts of energy and fat and / or cholesterol and / or sugar, as long as they are not one sorry to consume moresince they are light.

The problem, in fact, arises when you fill your pantry with light products thinking you can eat large quantities compared to other products. “To exceed with the doses – continues the nutritionist – it can be harmful. Let’s think, for example, of foods without sugar and sweetened with artificial sweeteners. These, in excess, can cause intestinal problems “.

Moreover, light foods – we read in the Guidelines for healthy eating – could induce a minor sense of satietywhich together with the false perception of lightness could entail the risk of indulging in greater quantities of light products, without gaining any advantage even from the point of view of weight reduction.

Light products and diet

But what does the scientific data say? “The scientific data – explains Dr. Manzi – say that consuming light products makes you fat. The more light products there are on the market, the worse the situation is obesity and overweight in society “.

To confirm it is really research carried out by the University of Georgia published online in the journal Physiology and Behavior. The researchers investigated the effects of a high-fat, high-sugar (HF / HSD) and low-fat, high-sugar (LF / HSD) diet on mice composition. microbiota, intestinal inflammation, vagal gut-brain communication and the accumulation of body fat. The results revealed that the consumption of an LF / HSD induces dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, increases intestinal inflammation and impairs vagal gut-brain communication. These changes are associated with an increase accumulation of body fat.

“Another mistake made – continues Chiara Manzi – is that of downgrade traditional products and balanced in favor of foods that carry the word light, without actually consulting the nutritional values. A light mozzarella, for example, contains more fat than two egg, often considered high in fat. We nutritionists should help the industry to create balanced products at 360 degrees ”.

So what choices to make at the supermarket? “Balancing your diet requires knowing the right quantities. A little advice is to think that in each course there should not be more than 10 g of fat. The real secret lies in choosing the right quantities, varying as much as possible and without exaggerating with the quantities ”, concludes the nutritionist.

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