Professor Oren Froy of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment department, Hebrew University, says that a high-fat diet may help weight loss. The trick is to include fats in regularly scheduled meals. We’ve written about different food theories here on Green Prophet, including a debate on if organic food is really healthier. Eating according to schedule, wrote Froy in an article published in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, helps the body metabolize food better and burn it up instead of packing it away in the tissues.
Prof. Froy and his research team probed the current theory that obesity results when mammal’s metabolisms are disrupted by irregular eating, or when lots of fats are eaten. It seems that they proved the first to be true, and the second questionable. Their conclusions are based on an 18-week study conducted on mice.
The researchers observed four groups of mice. The test group was given a high-fat diet and allowed to eat only at the same times and for the same lengths of time, every day. Of the control groups, one was allotted low-fat (presumably high-carb) foods, also on schedule. The second group received the same low-fat diet but was allowed to eat as much and as often as desired. The third control group ate a high-fat diet at will.
The mice eating plenty of fats on a schedule gained less weight than any of those in the control groups. Although allotted the same amount of daily calories, the mice eating a high-fat diet at will gained the most weight. The scheduled high-fat eaters also metabolized their food more efficiently than any of the others; that is, they burned off fat in the intervals between feedings rather than storing it in their bodies.
Losing weight is less about cutting out fats, concludes Froy, than scheduling when to eat them.
This brings to mind the famous French Paradox of the 1990s, when many theories floated regarding the relatively low incidence of heart disease among the French, who traditionally enjoy conspicuous amounts of butter, cheese, and pork. Among the reasons found for this comfortable state of existence were the moderate amounts of red wine the French drink daily, consuming natural vegetable and animal fats while avoiding trans fats, smaller portions, low sugar consumption, taking time to savor food – and significantly, no noshing between meals. Apparently, like mice, humans burn up their food if they stick to breakfast, lunch and dinner and no snacks.
In the light of Prof. Froy’s theory, it seems that science is proving folk wisdom correct.
It’s exactly 7:00 a.m.
Breakfast! Pass the croissant and butter, please, and don’t forget the cream for my coffee.
More hopeful food ideas from Green Prophet:
- Israeli Food Chemist Answers Nutrition Questions
- (Book Review) Food Politics: What Everybody Needs To Know
- Keeping Up With the Food Blogs
Image of croissant with butter via Shutterstock.
Miriam also blogs at Israeli Kitchen.