Eating Less Fat At One Meal May Lead To Higher Fat Intake Later

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- People who lower their fat or carbohydrate intake in an attempt to lose weight might be in for a bigger battle than they expected.

A new study found that people who ate low-fat or low-carbohydrate lunches compensated by eating more fat or carbohydrates at other meals. The result was that participants consumed similar levels of fat and carbohydrates each day, regardless of how healthy their lunch was, said John Allred, leader of the study and professor of nutrition at Ohio State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology.

The findings suggest that the brain’s biochemical signals may play amajor role in people’s food choices, at least where fat, carbohydrates and total calories are concerned, Allred said. He presented the findings April 20 in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Society of Nutritional Scientists.

The study followed 25 male college students for three weeks. Each student was given a Carnation Instant Breakfast shake for lunch every day. Some shakes were made with whole milk, and contained 614 calories. Some were made with skim milk, and contained 516 calories. Some were made with skim milk with added sugar, to increase the calories to 614 calories, without the added fat from whole milk.

Each subject was given a different type of shake for each week of the study, but neither the subject nor the graduate student who administered the study were aware of which type they had.

The students kept food diaries of the food they ate for the rest of the day. The findings were clear: Students who drank the higher-fat drinks for lunch compensated during the rest of the day by increasing their carbohydrate intake and decreasing their fat intake. Students who had the lower-fat, higher-carbohydrate drinks compensated by eating more fat and fewer carbohydrates during the day. Students who had the skim-milk-based drinks without the added carbohydrates increased total ca

Contact: John Allred
(614) 292-6217
Ohio State University

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