In less than a century, human diets have transformed in ways that our distant ancestors could not have imagined. Although it is doubtful that humankind had an identifiable “ancestral” diet, the transition of our diets from whole and minimally processed foods to energy abundance and highly refined foods represents a dramatic shift in eating patterns. …
Highly processed foods have been shown to lead to weight gain and are thought to drive intake through several mechanisms. Recent research suggests that the effect of combining fats and carbs on appetite might be more than the sum of their individual effects. Highly processed foods, accordingly, might simulate increased intake via the ratio of macronutrients.
Growing scientific evidence suggests that highly processed foods are associated with increased risk of disease. Until recently, scientists were unable to study directly the effects of highly processed foods on humans. In this episode, we review one of the first highly controlled scientific trials demonstrating that ultra-processed foods lead to weight gain.