7 Foods That Keep Us Fat

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the quality of the foods that you eat has more to do with weight than the quantity of food. I’ve pulled together a list of foods that keep us fat compiled from various studies as well as recent articles and research.

Potato Chips

The New England Journal of Medicine study stated that the food most strongly associated with weight gain is potato chips. Over time potatoes in general caused the most weight gain though it was potato chips that were the worst and French fries weren’t much better. My suggestion is that if you’re going to eat potato chips or French fries, make them from scratch. The mindless behavior of opening up a bag of salty potato chips is where the problem begins. If you make them from scratch, you can control ingredients and portion size as well and you’ll only end up eating them on very special occasions.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Diet Soda

How could this be? Diet soda is free of calories. Not so fast, the nationís most obese people prefer diet soda. According to Organic Authority:

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center recently presented strong data proving that diet soda makes us fat. They found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the more weight they gained.

Related: Diet Soda Drinkers Have Larger Waist Lines

Foods Made with High-Fructose Corn Syrup

While the commercials claim that high-fructose corn syrup is fine in moderation, the truth is that the whole problem with high-fructose corn syrup in the first place, is that moderation is seemingly impossible. The syrup interferes with the body’s metabolism so that a person can’t stop eating. It’s truly hard to control cravings because high-fructose corn syrup slows down the secretion of leptin in the body. Leptin is a crucial hormone that tells you that you’re full and to stop eating. That’s why it’s so closely associated with obesity in this country. It’s like an addictive drug.

Red and Processed Meats

The food quality study from The New England Journal of Medicine found that both red and processed meat caused weight gain down the line. Over the course of four years, weight gain was closely linked to both meat varieties and was also inversely related to the amount of vegetables participants ate.

Low Fat Junk Foods

Junk food in itself is a problem but often times when that processed junk becomes low fat it’s even worse. It’s a mind game we play with ourselves which sometimes means justifying over indulgence with the fact that it’s low fat. Additionally, when foods are low fat, manufacturers have to fill in the taste somewhere so they add way too much sugar which sends our emotions on a roller coaster. When we get tired again, we want more.

Diet Microwave Meals

In the weight loss game, the beauty of the microwave meal is that it’s portioned out for you. But that’s really the extent of the benefits. Diet microwave meals have had much of the nutrient density pulled out of them in processing and what’s more, manufacturers often add tons of salt where the fat should be. This bloats us up and causes us to retain water. Instead, make yourself a real meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but in the end whole fresh foods are what keep us thin.

Related: Hot Dinners in (Virtually) No Time


The science is simple according to Shapefit:

[P]ure alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram, which makes it nearly twice as fattening as carbohydrates or protein (both contain about 4 calories per gram) and only just under the caloric value for fat (9 calories per gram). This means that if you want to lose weight and reduce excess body fat, alcohol is not a good choice.

Too much booze also softens our inhibitions so we eat foods we would normally shun. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever drink but when you do, keep it to one or two drinks.

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Lawrence Dsouza
Lawrence D.5 months ago

Junk even though many consider it a normal part of their diet.

DaleLovesOttawa O.
DaleLovesOttawa O.about a year ago

Russell L, not everyone shops at Costco, no one is actually held hostage and forced to buy it, there are healthier items to purchase if the consumer wishes to opt for healthier items.

I like to cook from scratch and make my own versions of veggie chips, at least then, I know that it is all organic.

Processed meat or anything else processed is often a problem. Lean pastured raised non-factory farmed red meat is not a problem, it is a protein and serving sizes should be limited to the size of a deck of cards. One hardly needs to eat it every day, there is something called moderation.

HFCS was quite the nasty invention.

Rose Roma
Rose R.about a year ago

Any CARBONATED beverage.

Linda Jurick
Linda Jurickabout a year ago

Thank you. Potato chips and peanut M & Ms were my downfall.

John W.
.about a year ago

Thanks for the information

Russell L.
Russell L.about a year ago

So Costco, this is where you buy all this junk in huge mass amounts to shove our faces. Does anyone see that the obesity epidemic started when costco became the shoppers delight? I tell people we have and never will shop there and they look at us like we said we are communist. But blame it on bread and gluten not poor factory pigs suffering.

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G.about a year ago

good info, thank you

Darren Woolsey
Darren Woolseyabout a year ago

There's nothing on that list that I eat in any abundance.

Nils Anders Lunde
Nils Anders Lundeabout a year ago


Sofia D.
Sofia D.about a year ago

aka unhealthy foods, noted, thank youu!