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Forever Chemicals

Forever chemicals: Study shows exposure to PFAS linked to post-diet weight gain

Monday, May 08, 2023                                                                                      by: Zoey Sky

This article may contain statements that reflect the opinion of the author

(Natural News) Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can be hard for some, especially those who are obese or overweight. But what if outside factors are affecting your ability to lose weight and even causing obesity?

According to a study published in the journal Obesity, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are linked to obesity and weight gain after following a healthy diet.

Dangerous “forever chemicals”

PFAS are common environmental pollutants dubbed “forever chemicals.” These harmful chemicals are used to make a variety of products like firefighting foam and nonstick products.

For the study, the researchers investigated a frustrating problem that is common among many adults: gaining pounds after successful weight loss despite sticking to a healthy diet.

The researchers tracked the post-diet results of 381 European volunteers who had lost a minimum of eight percent of their original weight after dieting for two months. The researchers also tested the volunteers’ blood for PFAS.

Tracing potential causes of the obesity pandemic

All of the volunteers strictly followed a certain diet for at least 26 weeks after their initial weight loss.

The volunteers who gained the most weight back had the highest levels of PFAS chemicals in their blood, reported the researchers. The participants ranking in the top third of PFAS exposure regained an average of 10 pounds more than the participants in the bottom third of the exposure curve.

The researchers also found that higher background PFAS exposures had an even greater effect on weight gain than going on a diet.

“PFOA [perfluorooctanoic acid] and PFHxS [perfluorohexane sulfonate] may cause weight gain among people with obesity in weight loss programs,” explained the researchers. They also warned that PFAS deserve attention in public health efforts to control the obesity pandemic.

While several causes are linked to obesity, health experts remain baffled at how individuals following the same diets can react differently, suggesting that other factors may be responsible. (Related: Potomac River contains “astronomical levels” of forever chemicals, studies say.)

The study on PFAS and obesity suggests that these chemicals and other mostly invisible environmental contaminants could have a role in the obesity epidemic plaguing the country.

Study author Philippe Grandjean, who is a research professor at the University of Rhode Island, warned that PFAS exposure increase a person’s obesity risk and that it is not just a matter of lacking physical activity and eating a poor diet.

In an earlier study, Grandjean and his fellow researchers analyzed weight loss and weight gain in volunteers from Massachusetts and Louisiana. The results showed that PFAS exposure was linked to weight gain after the initial loss via dieting.

PFAS have also been shown to interfere with thyroid hormones, which play an important role in maintaining proper metabolism.

High levels of PFAS detected in Americans

Several confounding factors were observed in the study. Data revealed that Americans have high levels of obesogens, which are chemicals that can cause humans and animals to produce, store and burn fat tissue abnormally.

Factors like bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and air pollution affect how your body processes, stores and reacts to calories.

The study sample was fairly homogenous and included obese adults in Europe. The researchers believe that this is an area worth studying.

Due to the significant increases in weight regain linked to PFAS exposure, “future dietary trials may wisely consider blood concentrations of these contaminants to obtain more precise results,” concluded the researchers.

Tips to help you lose weight naturally

Still struggling to lose weight after working out and following a balanced diet? Here are some weight loss tips that are backed by science.

Avoid processed foods

Processed foods are full of added sugars, fats and calories.

If you want to lose weight, keep in mind that processed foods are designed to make you eat more than you should. They are also more likely to cause addictive eating habits compared to unprocessed foods.

Limit your intake of added sugar

Eating a lot of added sugar is linked to some of the world’s leading health problems, such as cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, Americans on average consume at least 15 teaspoons of added sugar every day. This amount is often hidden in various processed foods, so check the ingredients list of your favorite foods and snacks. You may be consuming a lot of sugar without realizing it. Since sugar goes by different names on ingredient lists, it can be hard to figure out how much sugar a product contains.

To improve your diet, try to minimize your intake of added sugar and eat healthy foods and snacks instead.

Eat more whole, single-ingredient foods

If you want to improve your eating habits, eat more whole, single-ingredient foods. Doing this will also help eliminate many sources of added sugar and fat in your diet, which are mostly processed foods.

Most whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, are naturally very filling. They can help you stay within healthy calorie limits.

Following a diet of mostly whole foods provides your body with all the essential nutrients it needs to function properly. As a bonus, weight loss is often a natural side effect of eating whole foods.

Enjoy healthy foods and snacks

According to research, the food you keep at home greatly affects your weight and eating habits. If you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, make sure you always have access to healthy food. This can help reduce your junk food consumption.

Try to stock up on delicious and nutritious snacks that are easy to prepare and take with you, like whole fruit, dried fruits and nuts, veggie sticks with hummus, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt.

Do some cardio exercises 

Doing cardio exercises, like cycling, jogging, power walking, running or hiking, can help you burn calories and improve your mental and physical well-being.

Studies have shown that cardio can help reduce many risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, it can help you lose weight.

Cardio seems to be particularly effective at reducing the dangerous fat that builds up around your organs and that is linked to metabolic disease.

Try resistance exercises

Loss of muscle mass is one common side effect of dieting. If you start to lose a lot of muscle, your body will start burning fewer calories than before.

But if you lift weights regularly, you can counteract the loss of muscle mass. Resistance exercises can help you look and feel much better.

Learn more about PFAS and how to avoid them in your daily life at Chemicals.news