Cutting down on calories by eating healthy food can be a battle, because there’s just so many delicious snacks that tempt our tastebuds on a regular basis: like pizza! And bagels! But, according to an awesome new study, a high-calorie diet can actually help you lose weight—as long as there’s not a ton of sugar in it.
The study, conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, followed the diets of 43 obese children between the ages of 9 and 18, all with chronic metabolic conditions. For nine days, the researchers swapped out the kids’ usual snacks like sugary cereal, soda, and pastries for other high-calorie foods that have less sugar content. You know, things like hot dogs, pizza, and potato chips.
The goal was simple: to restrict their weight based on a consistent calorie intake.
But the results were quite surprising. The researchers concluded that a high-calorie diet with lower sugar actually improved the children’s cholesterol, insulin levels, liver function, blood pressure, and blood sugar. More than that, the sugar-restricted diet actually caused the children to lose weight. Wait, what?!
“This internally controlled intervention study is a solid indication that sugar contributes to metabolic syndrome, and is the strongest evidence to date that the negative effects of sugar are not because of calories or obesity,” said Robert Lustig, lead author of the study.
So next time you reach for a snack, remember that it’s probably a safe idea to choose something with less added sugar. You’ll still feel satisfied, and it won’t break your body… sounds like a win win.