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Wales Online
Wales Online
Lydia Stephens

Michael Mosley warns against eating one type of food that caused him to gain half a stone in two weeks

Michael Mosley has revealed he gained nearly half a stone in two weeks and was left feeling "rotten" when he ate nothing but junk food.

The diet guru, famed for his 5:2 and Fast 800 eating plans spoke about how he went on an ultra-processed food (UPFs) diet for two weeks to see what impact it has on the body. He was discussing the extremely high levels of consumption the UK has with UPFs on his Just One Thing podcast alongside epidemiologist, Professor Tim Spector.

The duo are famous for touting the Mediterranean diet as the one with the most health benefits, and Professor Spector has been waging a war on UPFs, advising people instead to aim for at least 30 plant foods a week. Health editor Lydia Stephens tried this out, you can see how she got on here.

Read more: I tried Michael Mosley's Fast 800 diet for a week and couldn't believe the results

The two were talking about the rise in ultra-processed food and the impact it was having on the nation’s health. Professor Spector argued the UK is in the middle of a crisis on the issue, NorthWalesLive reports.

He said: “What people don’t realise is that as well as affecting your gut health, recent studies have shown it increases your appetite and eating identical calorie meals - one home-cooked the other frozen - both equally tasty - you will eat an extra 500 calories a day of the ultra processed food. And it will make you feel rotten and you don’t know why because you’ve read the packet and it says it’s low calorie or it’s low fat.”

Dr Michael Mosley said that he had carried out a test himself. He ate nothing but processed food like frozen dinners and fast food - and put on almost half a stone in just two weeks. For more health stories like this direct to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

He said: “A couple of years ago I decided to put myself on a junk food diet. I was going to do this for two weeks. I ate things like frozen meals, going out for burgers and chips and fried chicken and slurping back drinks like milkshakes.

“I managed to put on about three kilos in two weeks. My waist expanded by 3cm. But what was really impressive in a bad way was that my blood sugars went back into the diabetic range having been perfectly healthy. And my blood pressure also soared and I also developed these crazy cravings for this stuff and it really lowered my mood.”

And he revealed how he spots ultra-processed food. He said: “I was once advised to never eat anything you can buy in a petrol station as a simple guide to what processed food is.”

Prof Spector said: “In the UK we have the highest intake of ultra-processed foods in Europe and it’s not a coincidence we have the highest rates of childhood obesity and adult obesity and all these consequences. It’s been estimated it costs us about £58 billion a year in those associated health costs.

"On an individual level I also think it’s important to realise it’s not the fat, the sugar, the salt, that we thought it was the only thing important, it’s the processing - it’s the fact that these are fake foods. They don’t contain natural ingredients - they contain extracts of natural ingredients put together in a factory, looking like edible food substance and added flavourings.”

And Prof Spector explained that these kinds of foods can have a big impact. He said: “They are knocking out their gut microbes. They are increasing their appetite. They’re lowering their mood. Is it really a surprise we’re such a sick nation.”

He explained by making it cheaper, advertising it and having it in schools people were being actively encouraged to eat ultra processed foods.

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