Fake fat is a synthetic fat, which acts as a substitute for natural fat. It tastes like the natural fat but is low on calories. In a study, due to appear on the internet in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, rats were fed with high fat diet and with potato chips made of fake fats. It was observed that the rats gained more weight by consuming the synthetic fats. It is a common notion among everybody that fat substitutes in the diet cause lesser weight gain. The study has proved this notion wrong, and shows that consumption of fake fats leads to more weight gain than high fat diets. Researchers say that people should instead take low fat and low calorie diets when they intend to lose weight. Dr. Susan E. Swithers, who is a psychology professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, in a statement, said that according to researches the synthetic fats interfere with the ability of the body to regulate the intake of food, this leads to inefficient use of calories and thus leads to weight gain.
In the research, Dr. Swithers and her colleagues fed a group of rats with high fat diet and another group with low fat diet. In addition to this diet, half of the members in each group were also given potato chips which have high fat and high calorie content. The other half in each group was fed potato chips which contained synthetic fat or fake fats. After a few days it was observed that rats which consumed the chips with fake fats along with high fat diet gained much more weight than their counterparts. What was even more worth noting was that when these rats were not given the potato chips, they did not shed the weight they had already gained. The observations of these researches led to Swithers concluding that to lose weight one should stick to a diet which is low in fat and calories. However she warned, that the results might not exactly appear in humans as in the rats although, the biological responses to food are very similar in both the cases.
Speculating on the results of the research, the researchers said that when humans (or animals) taste a food that is high on fat, a signal is sent to the brain that the food is rich in fat and this prepares the body to increase the metabolism rate and digest the food. If the food comes out to be low in calories then it interferes with the functioning of the body.