The world of food processing is fascinating and complicated, tainted by the demand for quick inventory turnover rate, cheap ingredients and taste overriding any focus on the healthiness of a food product. Tack along some cool ads and that one model who probably never got to look that way eating the same food he or she may be promoting and you have the perfect storm of overconsumption and consumerism. This slight digression aside, as a food company, we notice some interesting dynamics when we play with singular ingredients and reverse engineer 'food' with various macro and micronutrients.
A RODENT STUDY!
Rodent studies have their ups and downs but in this case, the study we are talking about gives us some interesting insight into potential human behavior towards food as we do have many behaviorial similarities with mice. To the very least, we should hit a pause. In this study(1), they took a bunch of mice and were offered a control diet, a high fat and western-style diet, either as a pellet or powder. What they found was that when powderized, ALL diets induced obesity in mice with similar weight gain pattern! Among the pellet diets, only those mice with high fat and western style diet became obese. Additionally, leptin and adiponectin levels were not affected by the dietary compositions. In a nutshell, a diet that is both high in fat and sugar is the worst when it comes to obesity, disregarding the food texture BUT food texture DID have the potential to override the macronutrients of the diet.
WHAT ABOUT HUMANS?
The rodent study does have limitations but it's not uncommon to see foods that are both high in sugar and fats in our dietary routines, ranging all the way from donuts, cakes, burgers and many other foods which in combination with each other can lead to an obesogenic environment. It takes all the right ingredients and methods to create the perfect storm. Sugar may be part of the problem. Fats may also be part of the problem. What seems definite is that a combination of sugar and fat, especially combined in the right texture and combination, is the ultimate obesogenic food. It may be time to start looking at food beyond just macronutrients and start including the synergy of nutrients, textural integrity and various other properties that could interact with both the reward and gastrointestinal system.
Our Energy Pods have been an excellent vessel in conducting self experiments along with acquiring anecdotes from our customers regarding how food processing can lead to hunger suppression vs overconsumption. For now, we are maintaining most of the textural integrity of our products and receiving positive anecdotes on how the Energy Pods seem to stamp out hunger in the context of a low carb or Ketogenic Diet though we DO get anecdotes of people who are on standard American diet claiming the same effect. Whether this has more to do with Ketones, the structure of constituent ingredients or other reasonings, we can't say for sure. For now, we know we're on the right track. The Keto diet is working for many but what are ways it could be broken? This may be one of those ways. Focusing on taste, smoothness and various pleasing textures in isolation could be underlying systematic mechanisms that undermine a dietary protocol. The questions continue!
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