Finally a LEGIT Nutrition Study! | Wednesday Checkup

Finally a LEGIT Nutrition Study! | Wednesday Checkup

– Yeah, yeah, yeah, processed
foods are bad for us. But do you know why? A new study seems to answer that question and that’s what we’re
talking about on this week’s Wednesday Checkup. (beeping) (mellow music) Researchers and doctors like
myself really do advocate to limit the amount of processed foods that we eat in our diets. The reason we do this is because the research has shown that those who eat a diet
rich in processed foods generally have more diseases, more likely to be obese, and live shorter lives. What we haven’t had up until this point is a study proving a causal relationship. A randomized controlled study. In fact, the entire field
of nutrition is a mess because we lack these types of studies. But now, the NIH has conducted a randomized, controlled study and has proved with a causal relationship that eating a diet rich
in highly processed foods causes weight gain. And it’s for a reason
you may not even suspect. Let’s jump right in and
talk about this study. It was a rather small one. But it was done with
very, very high quality. There were ten male
participants and ten female. They were randomized to participate in either two weeks of
a high processed diet or a low processed diet, and then they flipped the two groups. This is really powerful. Because not only do you have a randomized, controlled sample, but the actually live in the
facility for the entire month. This doesn’t happen with
nutritional research. It’s really, really important to note that both the processed
and unprocessed meals were controlled for protein, carbs, fats, calories, fiber content and participants could eat as little or as much as they wanted. Let me give you an example to make this a little bit more digestible. (bell tinkle) For breakfast, an ultra processed meal would be a bagel with cream
cheese and turkey bacon. A minimally processed meal would be oatmeal with bananas,
walnuts, and skim milk. If you’re wondering what ingredients make a food highly processed: hydrogenated oils, high
fructose corn syrup, flavorings, emulsifiers. These things generally
don’t exist in nature. That’s why they’re not
labeled whole foods. So what did this study actually find out? Those who ate a high processed diet actually gained a pound
of weight per week. And then when they were
eating the unprocessed diet they lost a pound per week. That’s a big difference. The reason why those who were eating a high processed food diet gained weight is because they overate. On average, 500 extra calories a day. Does eating a diet high
in ultra processed foods cause weight gain? The answer is yes. What this study wasn’t designed
for was to find out why. But I do have some theories for you. One. Ultra processed foods taste better and are more palatable. I mean, there’s industries where millions of dollars are spent to hack food to taste better,
feel better on your tongue. It’s crazy. Two. Ultra processed food
can be more addicting. Maybe the idea of the gut-brain connection comes into play here. The bacteria that live inside your gut that love processed foods start sending signals to your brain. It’s not that crazy of an idea and there are initial theories on it. Three. With proteins being the
most satiating macronutrient and ultra processed foods
generally having less of it it causes you to overeat. This is called the protein
leverage hypothesis, where if you don’t get enough protein, you’re going to overeat carbs
and fats to make up for it. In fact, that’s what
happened in the study. Those in the ultra high processed foods overate fats and carbs
but not really proteins. What’s crazy to me is
how we in America overeat these highly processed foods all the time. And I began to wonder, how did we get here? And I came up with four
pretty good reasons. See if you agree with them. One. They store well. I mean we’ve all seen those
videos of the fast food burger sitting on the counter for
days, weeks, even months and it doesn’t go bad. Two. They’re absolutely delicious. Like I said earlier, there’s
people making millions on how to make that hamburger, that candy taste that much better. Three. They’re generally cheaper which is unfair to those of
low socioeconomic status. If you’re poor, you’re forced
to eat low quality foods? That’s horrible. Four. They’re widely available. In areas where malnutrition
used to be a problem because of undereating, now that we have these
highly processed foods, we still have malnutrition
just because of obesity. (exhale) Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of nutritional research but when it’s this level of quality, you best bet I’m gonna talk about it. Hehe. And if you wanna see my nutrition playlist and learn everything you need
to know about eating healthy, click here and stay happy and healthy. (musical fanfare)


  1. You are getting a downvote. You started the video saying a new study shows why processed foods are bad for us. But all the study showed was that processed foods led to weight gain and you state yourself at 2:30 that it wasn't designed to show why. So that's kind of a false promise.

  2. Processed food can stay for weeks because the bacteria doesnt find any nutritional value in it so it just doesnt go bad

  3. So the "study" is eating too many calories make you fat. It's not necessarily the processed foods that are bad, just you eating too much of it. How can this even be considered a study? We've known this for YEARS.

  4. Me and my family are going homeless and sometimes we have to eat stuff like mcdonalds for dinner because there isn't any food to make and buying healthy food out or to make is like 2 to 5 times more expensive than the super fatty food 🙁

  5. Ironic, since in chef school nutrition is a compulsory class.
    As far as hospitals go, I don't understand why they serve crappy, unhealthy food that any 14 year old fast food worker could make while half asleep.
    Why don't they just hire a chef to consult on the menu? I know they run on tight margins, but spending 20-30k a year so you can feed patients healthy, tasty meals is definitely a worthwhile expense.

  6. I've argued with my mother for years about how most nutrition studies aren't done scientificly. Thanks for covering this!

  7. I eat processed health foods. The macros and vitamins are high quality but it's not natural. I wonder if that's bad too??

  8. Yep, it's cheaper to buy a package of ramen that's a whole meal than it is to buy one apple that's just a snack. The US is messed up.

  9. The study was conducted on a small sample. Also when people in the study were presented with processed food they felt like they were expected to gain weight. This led to the people over eating due to this phenomenon. The study is good, but not perfect. It does deserve a bit of criticism. Thank you for reading.

  10. Doctor doctor please help me with this. Is milk and milk products bad for us when we have a cough, especially not the dry one (read phlegm)?? I really need to know, because i frequently suffer from cough and cold and everybody seems divided on the effects of dairy on cough.

  11. Ill be honest I am not satisfied when I eat a diet of "non-processed" food. I just feel like a bird or bunny rabbit.

  12. I saw a thing that said that white processed sugar is more addictive than cocaine. And I don’t doubt it. That’s probably a good part of why we overeat bad foods.

  13. Hey Dr. Mike! I am a dietitian and I showed this video in my nutrition seminar today. Everyone really enjoyed it! Thank you for always publishing quality information!

  14. Do you not worry the study is bias based on the subjects themselves? Those people most likely are already so conditioned to eating processed food they enjoy it more and eat more.

  15. I was on that diet for years can confirm. I think the major cause is low protein. I would feel hungry an hour after I ate

  16. The "fast food doesn't decompose" thing is a myth. Basically, if you take almost any food and put it in really dry conditions, it'll take a long time to decompose. This is what you usually see in those videos.

  17. That's a pretty lame study. Weight gain as the study parameter? Who designed this? The janitor?

    I got a slightly better one, same criteria, 10 male, 10 female, and switch diets midway, only this time, match whole foods calories to processed food calories, so they are equal. Then test cytokine levels twice, mid and at the end.

  18. Some limitations to this study:
    1. Sample size still seems small
    2. Did not control for calorie intake (which as we know generally, eating more or consuming more vs expending more energy will contribute to weight gain)

  19. I thought you said they controlled for protein, carbs, fat, and fibre. How do they control for this but still overeat/undereat?…

  20. Doc, I love your show. But the burger that doesn't mold has very little to do with processing. It's due to simple physics and moisture control:

  21. I thought you didnt like anecdotal evidence, which means you cant intuitively give your opinion on something there has to be scientific studies to backup yr claim, and not just any scientific study lol

  22. Your general advice is good, but for specific and intuitive advice on medicine i would refer to more experience youtube doctor like dr berg who i bet you already know about.

  23. sugar is basically the main reason people are fat. People think fat is what makes you fat but it isnt, fat is perfectly fine to eat but sugar is more addictive than meth, makes stuff taste amazing, and is dumped into everything

  24. Props to having some substance in your videos for nerds like me! But a 20 people study? I'm not sure that's quality research

  25. Great video. Now lets continue these types of studies on other areas of nutrition like how there IS NO causal study that meat shortens your life or that keto is dangerous for you or that saturated fat causes heart disease!

  26. Dr. Mike, love your vidoes. Can you please talk about magnesium. Everyone keeps tell me to take it for helping me sleep, for my back, for cramps..

  27. You should make a video discussing ethical policies pertaining to nutritional research and if or how that limits the amount a research that is able to conducted.

  28. THAT IS EXACTLY TRUE I dont have money so Im forced to eat cheaper foods which are all processed. the healthy whole foods are so expensive Im not able to afford them.

  29. Or you know processed foods tend to have more calories in them per same size serving. No need to get complicated here. 100g of bacon have more calories than a 100g of lettuce. 10 pounds of cookies have more calories in them than 10 pounds of apples. There… problem solved! 😀

  30. Dr. Mike, what are your thoughts on the volume of the food? It seems like in general the healthier foods have more volume but are less calorically dense (ex. 500 cal of kale vs 500 cal of avocado are two vastly different volumes of food). So, as you eat them it may take slightly longer which can give your stomach time to tell your brain you are full. With the unhealthy foods, they are often eaten so fast and are so dense that your brain wouldn't have time to tell you that you are full and adding to how much is overeaten. I could be totally off! Thoughts??

  31. How do you adjust for the psychosomatic factors of being forced to live in the facility for an extended period of time? High levels of stress can cause remarkable metabolic shifts. Also, I’d be more interested in a study that included a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet regimen and compare it to a healthy animal based diet

  32. As for why people choose processed foods over the healthy alternative, your points are very valid but I’d also add the notion of lacking education for nutrition. It’s not a mandatory curriculum for students in high school or college. Studies have shown that students that have taken nutrition courses in college tend to make healthier food choices.

  33. Tossing processed foods is a really good idea, however, it is also known that too much protein at a time can spike blood sugar, which is one of the things you're trying to avoid when you abandon processed foods. Also, reducing or increasing calories per se isn't the major contributing factor to weight gain or loss, it's the TYPE of calories you're eating. If you go from a 2500 calorie diet including lots of processed foods to a 2500 calorie diet with no processed foods, you'll lose weight without lifting a finger otherwise. Why? Most processed foods are high in carbs. Your body will gallop up on glucose preferentially as an energy source, and if you keep piling on the carbs, then your body starts storing it wherever it can, which means it will start creating fat cells to store the extra glucose (once it's filled up your liver). In the absence of an overabundance of glucose, your body will start to use (more) ketones as an energy source. This is called ketosis. It is NOT the same as ketoacidosis (which is extremely very bad, and also very hard to do unless you're already very ill–which you may not realize, so CHECK WITH YOUR DOC FIRST!). One of the major reasons we have an obesity issue in this country (USA) is that people think calorie restriction–that is, the reduction of daily calorie intake–is the right answer to losing weight. Turns out that doesn't work. Folks end up in that infamous yo-yo scenario, where they gain all the weight back & then some–because your body thinks there's a famine on, and then when you start upping your calories again, your metabolism starts banking like mad! And not only that, this (that is, calorie restriction fail) has been known since practically the turn of the 20th century (back in the early 1900's). Yet we keep getting told by the medical establishment, and even the federal government, that cutting calories and getting more exercise is the way to go, AND eat MORE carbs (remember the good ol' food pyramid of 1994? Yikes!), and culturally we BLAME people for failing at this, when it isn't possible to help failing at it–again, it doesn't WORK! Instead, you need to understand WHAT to eat and what to avoid eating. Fat does not make you fat. Carbs make you fat. So you can eat a satiating diet (i.e., no calorie restrictions, thus no starving, and in fact, your body will vary from day to day on the number of calories it needs depending on what you're doing and it will TELL you that) and lose weight just by cutting your carbs way down, increasing your good fats, upping your good protein, and getting modest exercise. There is more to it, but the general idea here is that cutting calories doesn't work, (good) fats are NOT bad for you rather they're GOOD for you, don't overdo it on proteins, and calm down because you CAN do this. Your body is not your enemy, it's your friend. It'll tell you, if you listen. And with all due respect to Dr. Mike here, the medical establishment is also often a lobbying body (that means using politics to get your way instead of going about it honestly), so its interests and what's best for you are not always in line. Something to bear in mind. Cultivate a healthy skepticism. If something isn't working for you, maybe the info you have isn't right, eh?

  34. I don't think processed foods are tastier but they are more addictive partly because they are not satisfying. They are also more convenient but expensive if you look at nutritional value per dollar spent. I am switching to more home cooked food and it tastes way better but we know how to make yummy food. I use salt and sugars ect but in reasonable amounts so I don't crave junk food. I also reach for veggies and fruits throughout the day and the simplicity really helps.

  35. Skim milk being part of low processed diet threw me off quite a bit. That study showed processed diet causes eating more, but showed nothing about health benefits of low processed diet. If I consume a lot of calories from oatmeal, sunflower seeds and other nuts I gain weight as well, but overall I lose visceral fat tissue, gain muscle mass and gain subcutaneous fat (especially before winter) Does it say I am more prone to diseases and shorter life span? I don't think so.

  36. I kind of like the research itself. I'm not obese (not that I'm saying anything bad about obese people) these days i really wanted to gain some weight via maintained consumption of food. This is great for me thanks doc 💜

  37. 5. Process foods contain A LOT of sugar which is highly addictive , and actualy makes you more hungry as you eat…. and with no fiber you will also eat more to be full.

    And I don't belive the good bacteria in you body like process foods, it can acutally harm them.

  38. Love your videos. But poor people don't get an out on this. Bananas and Oatmeal aren't expensive. Neither are dried beans. Poor people have options to eat healthy.

  39. How about fiber content? You should read “The Pleasure Trap” by Lisle and Goldhammer. As process foods are easy and calorie dense, we gravitate to them.

  40. How is skim milk not a processed food? There is no such thing as low fat milk in nature and it tastes disgusting.

  41. I like the crossover method. However, the authors should have considered a larger sample size to improve the reliability of the study. I'm sure more studied will validate these results and conclusions. Overall, not bad as a proof of concept.

  42. While I think that the results are correct just because it makes sense, the sample size is low & case-cross overs are designed for short term exposures. Maybe the quality is better than general nutritional studies, but every piece of research is biased and has its flaws. I'd say be careful with determining whether it's causal or 'proven'. 🙂

  43. I wonder why highly processed foods are cheaper though. It's as if they WANTED us to eat badly. After all, it takes a lot more work, energy and manteinance for machines. And if we eat badly, it means going to the doc more often. Wich results in more money.
    Yeah I'm starting to get why it's cheaper tbh.

  44. Had you give you a like from your cute "hehe" cheeky laugh at the end. Keep those research coming! 😘

  45. From my own personal experience, I weighed more when I ate more processed foods. Not only that, my IBS was out of control (it’s managed now with diet and therapy and anxiety meds.) and I constantly had different health issues. I still find myself eating processed foods, but not nearly as much as I used to and it freaking shows man.

  46. If this isn’t an eye opener idk what is 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ Dr. Mike I was wondering where did you get your bracelet? 🤔🤔

  47. Are there any studies like this where they control for macronutrients and the amount consumed to see if the causal effect is really from the fact that the food is processed? It seems like overeating due to lack of protein could happen with or without unprocessed foods, so you'd need to control for these things to see the true adverse effects of the processed factor in the foods.

  48. I have never been able to get a straight answer on this: What the f**k does "processed food" even mean? Technically, every food is processed in some way, unless you're buying plants (vegetables/fruits) directly from a farmer.

  49. fun detail in denmark junkfood such as mcdonalds and burger king are actually generally kind of expensive. buying a burger from mcdonalds or burger king is. if you compare them weight wise and with everything in them. a lot more expensive then making your own burger. and that was just the easy example there….. that and we don't have that corn syrup weirdness here in denmark. so yay

  50. When it comes to junk food I feel like a drug addict. I will go to great lengths to get my hands on junk food and I feel extremely stressed if I try to resist.

  51. I encourage you to read Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery

  52. Really glad that this study was done, especially with as many variables controlled. I do worry a little about whether a sample size this small is generalizable. Also, as a scientist, I always get a twitch when someone refers to "proving" an effect. Technically, you either find evidence that Disproves or Supports a theory, not evidence "proving" one. Thanks for passing this along!

  53. Can you do a video on the DASH diet, which is recommended by the Heart and Stroke Foundation?

  54. Ayo misconception alert: people on a serious budget (referencing myself here) can eat a whole food diet at a low cost. I eat the same breakfast of overnight oats w frozen blueberries, lunch of carrots, canned black beans, ground beef, and a hard boiled egg snack, and dinner of tuna melt w/mayo (arguably the worst thing I eat every day) on Ezekiel bread w/roasted frozen Brussels sprouts. And I drink an iced turmeric drink erryday (almond milk turmeric powder black pepper and cinnamon.) Probably spend $35 a week, and I can stretch it bc my oats last a couple of weeks. It’s only hard to do if you give your tongue the taste of the sugary granola bars at work, the ice cream you walk past every day, and the McDonalds you consume when you’re stressed. You are SO right that eating whole foods keeps you full and promotes weight loss. Doing this I’ve lost about 1.5-2 pounds a week (im a 21 year old fairly active, 175 pound girl) and i haven’t been able to lose weight for two years until now. Whole foods (not Whole Foods ahaha) are bringing me freedom and I’m not breaking the bank! But this takes discipline until it becomes easy and habitual. It’s crazy to me that I refused before now to overcome those few weeks of difficulty to find freedom and take back my health. It’s discomfort for two weeks or an early grave and a damn awful time on your way there. Love your videos!

  55. Up until this study came out, I could have argued that already-unhealthy people tend to choose processed foods more. Anyone who tells you that you have to change your behavior when the direction of causality hasn't yet been established is as likely as not full of crap.

  56. can you find any studies where food was at a calorie specific amount? yeah if i can eat what ever i want, a chicken biscuit is 1 dollar and 500 calories. eat 4 and im at 2000 but still hungry. did that at lunch every day before any health came in.
    my question with these "eat as much as you want" studies are that i am just a simple man on a good weight loss program that i made formyself(2.5lb chicken, 144g pop yourself kernels, a little rice, and as much broccoli as i can shove down my throat)
    my question is NOT will processed foods/zero calorie drinks make me eat more, it is will it make me gain weight as a direct cause?
    i like me some soda, but i dont drink it anymore, and yeah fake sugars cancer shit oh no, but i am wondering if it will hinder my progress if i am still eating the exact same ammount(or even less to count them all as 5-10 calories)

  57. yes it makes you eat more. we figured that out a long time ago, but on a calorie by calorie basis, does it make you gain/stall to drink a couple 0 calorie drinks a day? i have a "strong will power" over food(healthy relationship with it) and sometimes dont even hit my calories goals.

  58. Dietitian in training here (bachelors in nutrition and in process of getting masters in nutrition/dietetics) – I know a lot of doctors don't get in depth nutrition training in med school, so while I value your input, it might be helpful to have a dietitian come on and discuss other topics to a greater extent 🙂

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