A New Diet Study Confirms Your Worst Suspicions About Ultra-Processed Foods
“When people were consuming the unprocessed diet, the levels of a hormone called PYY, which is an appetite suppressant hormone secreted by the gut, actually increased. And similarly, another hormone that’s known to induce hunger, called ghrelin, deceased on the unprocessed diet,” Hall said.
At this point, though, the specific ingredients or chemicals commonly found in ultra-processed foods that could be causing this hormonal shift toward eating more are unclear.
Another potentially major difference they noticed was that people ate ultra-processed food much more quickly than unprocessed food. That speed likely would have given their body less time to throw up the stop sign and make them feel full. The ease in eating ultra-processed food might have helped, too, given how much softer and easier to chew they were, on average, than unprocessed food.
By contrast, one commonly suspected factor for why ultra-processed foods can cause weight gain that didn’t play any big role here was taste: The volunteers said that they enjoyed eating one diet as much as they did the other.