BLE and Ultra-Processed Foods

BLE and Ultra-Processed Foods

September 23, 2019 10 By William Morgan


hey there it’s Susan Peirce Thompson and
welcome to the weekly vlog so there’s
this thing that happens in Bright Line
Eating which is that we gallop ahead and
then science catches up to us it happens
all the time so you’ll experience this
as you follow along with Bright Line
Eating you’ll see studies come out and
you’ll go like oh like I already knew
that because I do Bright Line Eating and
that’s now obvious to me but while
Bright Line Eating is founded on science
as you know because that’s my background
and I’m lucky to have a really
interdisciplinary scientific background
and psychology and neuroscience and all
kinds of other random stuff like
computational linguistics and weird
stuff that usually doesn’t come into
play but my interdisciplinary background
has allowed me to sort of piece together
a narrative that helps to explain my
ridiculous food addiction combined with
weight loss and weight gain and weight
loss and weight gain and finally
ultimately weight loss and what I see in
other people as well it explains it but
also it fills in the gaps where science
hasn’t yet caught up to what we know to
be true based on what we observe in
ourselves like me looking at my
experiences like for example I know that
dried fruits and nut butters and things like
that are addictive why because yeah I
found myself standing in the kitchen
eating a jar of peanut butter and a box
of raisins at 2:00 in the morning and I
don’t do that with broccoli right so I
see science catching up with certain
things that I know to be true because I
observe them in myself and I see them
in the thousands of people that now do
Bright Line Eating and the thousands of
people that I’ve observed back through
the years I first got into some form of
food recovery back in 1995 it’s a long
time observing a lot of people do stuff
that works or doesn’t work clinically
speaking and observing the patterns and
so this week I want to inform you of a
big advancement actually in science and in
the way scientists are now starting to
think about food and to talk a little
bit about how Bright Line Eating fits in
with this new understanding and how this
new understanding kind of reflects
something that we’re already hip to so I
want to tell you about a study that was
published in the journal Cell Metabolism
in May of 2019 it was a randomized
clinical trial and it was a metabolic
ward study which makes it super
expensive and super high-quality and
rare there aren’t that many of these
studies because they’re so expensive to
do so what I mean by a metabolic ward
study is they took people and locked
them in a hospital ward for 28 days like
literally these people could not leave
they could not eat anything that wasn’t
provided for them and they were there
for 28 days this was 10 men and 10 women
and they were randomly assigned to two
groups and in this study the groups
actually switched so the protocol lasted
for 14 days and then all the people that
had been assigned to the first group
switched with the other people and
everybody swapped over so everybody got
this treatment for 14 days and then that
treatment for 14 days so everybody got
both treatments which is a very robust
way of canceling out effects due to
people’s underlying physiology or
metabolism or brain health or whatever
right because everybody got both groups
both conditions so the conditions were
unprocessed diet or highly processed
diet but
the diets were matched for overall
calories for grams of sugars for grams
of fat for grams of fiber and for
percentage of macronutrient contribution
to the overall diet so like the same
percentage of protein carbohydrate and
fat in both groups but here’s how it
worked for breakfast lunch and dinner
both conditions of people were allowed
to eat for an hour and they were offered
a meal that was roughly twice as big as
they needed given their size as a human
being and they were allowed to eat as
much as they wanted so when I say the
two groups were matched for calories I
mean the number of calories in the meals
that were presented to them but these
were both very high levels of calories
people did not need to eat everything
that they were provided with and people
did not eat everything that they were
provided with but they were able to eat
three times a day for up to an hour then
the food was removed it was all weighed
so we know exactly how much people ate
and then they also were provided with
snacks and bottled water throughout the
day they were an average of 31 years old
and they were an average BMI of 27 which
means they were a little light for our
population but still in the overweight
category so a BMI of up to 25 as normal
weight 18 1/2 to 25 is
normal weight 25 to 30 is overweight and
over 30 is obese so these people had an
average BMI of 27 so they were a little
bit overweight but that’s you know
typical in this day and age and
importantly they were stable weight so
they had not had fluctuations in their
weight for the years prior to this study
okay basically people who ate processed
foods ate more and gained weight and
people who ate unprocessed foods ate
less and their weight stayed stable and
then kind of also just dropped a little
bit they lost a little bit of
weight meaning there was something in the
processed ultra processed food diet that
woke people’s brains up to making them
want to eat more food okay
not shocking now I do want to say that
although the diets were matched for a
gram for sugar for fat for fiber for
macros and so forth they couldn’t match
for everything so for example the highly
processed food diet had way more grams
of sugar from added sugars than from
naturally occurring sugars right and the
processed food diet had way more
saturated fat and way more omega-6 fatty
acids than the unprocessed food diet and
the processed food diet had way more
insoluble fiber insoluble fiber than
soluble fiber fruit and whole foods tend
to have a balance of soluble and
insoluble they weren’t able to maintain
that in the processed foods group so
what we’ve been talking about for years
here at Bright Line Eating is that the
processing of food really matters right
eating rice is not the same as eating
rice syrup is not the same as eating
rice flour eating orange juice is not
the same eating oranges is not the same
as eating orange juice is not the same
as eating orange Starburst it’s not the
same as eating you know whatever fill in
the blank orange flavored you know
packaged something something right like
there are differences and the refining
process matters right so what’s
interesting is that scientists have now
developed the Nova Diet Classification
System you can Google this the Nova N-
O-V-A Diet Classification System it’s not
an acronym it’s a name it doesn’t stand
for anything and the Nova Diet
Classification System is a system that
classifies foods according to their
levels of processing we’ve gone beyond
the
point where we can just say is this food
processed or unprocessed no no how
processed is it because there’s a big
difference between taking flax seeds and
grinding them which is necessary for
your body to absorb the nutrients from
those flax seeds and opening a bag of
snack foods that’s got 42 ingredients
and eating that right so one is
minimally processed and one is ultra
processed so the Nova Classification
System the first level is unprocessed or
minimally processed foods the second
group is processed culinary ingredients
so like olive oil would fall into that
category
the third is processed foods and the
fourth and final category is ultra
processed foods
you now need four levels to really
describe how processed is processed
right you might not be surprised to hear
that in the United States 58 percent of
calories now consumed are ultra
processed foods and what I want to say
is that Bright Line Eating will have
completely lost its soul if we start
trying to sell you ultra-processed foods
and claim that they’re low calorie that
they’re you know zero points or 1 point
or whatever if we try to tell you that
you can get happy thin and free eating
our packaged foods like that’s not how
it works there are no foods that I could
package up and sell to you I mean maybe
like you know oatmeal and a thing but
like you see what I’m saying right like
in general don’t eat foods that are in a
package buy carrots go to the grocery
store and walk around the perimeter of
the store and buy actual food like at
Bright Line Eating we talk about
eating real food and alas a lot of the
dietary approaches in this world
become marketing gimmicks that then try to
sell you packaged foods as if there’s
some sort of way to game the system and
eat foods with tons and tons and tons of
ingredients that are you know what’s the
word industrially manipulated to taste
better and you know be easier to swallow
with fewer chews they measure this stuff
like how few chews does it take to like
go down the gullet ya no chew your
food eat vegetables buy your food at the
grocery store food that is not in a
package that has no ingredients right
there’s one last thing I want to say
about this which is that unfortunately
science is not yet being done that takes
into account where people are on the
Susceptibility Scale we need to move
there we don’t know underlyingly what
type of brain response these people had
who are in this metabolic ward eating ad
libitum which means as much as you want
and here’s what I predict what we will
find when we start to take into account
how susceptible to food addiction
different brains are is that once a
brain has been altered by eating heavily
processed foods for year upon year
upon year that brain changes to the
point where even certain real foods or
minimally processed foods like orange
juice like raisins that might have been
fine a hundred years ago in the context
of a whole food natural diet that brain
now changes to the point where even some
real foods like orange juice and raisins
because of their minimal processing
become untenable and addictive for that
type of brain it’s what we’ve talked
about before here in the vlog of being a
cucumber and then being turned into a
pickle right like if you start off with
a brain that’s like a cucumber
and then over time expose it to these
ultra processed foods
it’s like taking that pickle and
submerging it in a vat of vinegar
solution and over enough time you turn
that cucumber into a pickle and it never
goes back and pickled brains have
certain reactions to certain foods even
real foods one could say like orange
juice and raisins that unfortunately
ignite the
addictive process and it just never
returns back to its normal state so
those are some studies that I predict
could be done or I would love to see
them done we’re doing studies here at
Bright Line Eating we have our first
paper published three wonderful
conference presentations you can click
below for a list of our scientific
presentations over the last couple years
we’re gonna do more and more and more of
that but for now I think the Nova
Classification System is an amazing
advancement and it was pioneered by
scientists in Brazil it’s you know being
used now around the world and it is
going to change people’s thinking about
what fundamentally it is that changed in
our food system that has correlated with
the obesity pandemic it has everything
to do with the processing of foods of
course because you follow along with
Bright Line Eating you knew that already
but this is yet one more example of how
science is catching up that’s the weekly
vlog and I’ll see you next week