Real Food, Fake Foods, Calories and Major Weight Gain

This article reminded me of Stephan Guyenet’s fantastic book (The Hungry Brain), which discusses the biological brain based roots of obesity. We have been fooled into thinking that all calories affect the brain appetite regulating mechanism in the same way, although Guyenet, a world wide expert in brain body fat regulation had compiled enough scientific data to argue against that. The state of your food really matters on your weight. Real food, in the form nature offers, has a vastly different effect on your waistline than the processed food that makes up the majority of the American diet (and unfortunately of most of the so-called first world nations). This study is small in scale but to my knowledge the first of its kind in a controlled environment. The same amount of fat and carbs from a frozen pizza versus a juicy piece of meat and a plain baked potato have different effect.

What is most surprising to people is how many foods they consider “healthy” are really ultra-processed: breakfast cereal is ultra-processed while plain cooked steel cut oatmeal is not. The infamous granola bar is mostly a chemical bomb that tricks your brain into eating more, while some plain raw nuts and fruit are very satisfying to sense of being full and content. In a perfect world with endless hours I would go on, but for now try to stick with food that looks like it has just come out of the field, off the tree, the barn, or the water.