Researchers at U.S. Department of Agriculture had found out a soluble ingredient which when added to fatty fast foods, slows down the absorption of the fat at a healthier level. Another property of this ingredient, which is a form of soluble cellulose, reduces the probability of developing insulin resistance.
The ingredient identified as hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) is quite a favorite among food and drug manufacturers, as the one that adds texture. The use of this ingredient as a healthy alternative is being investigated for the first time.
It is still unclear exactly how HPMC works to reduce fat absorption. According to Dr. Yokoyama of the research team, the compound appears to slow down the absorption of fats in the digestive track, in the stomach, small intestine etc, which prevents high fat levels from affecting the digestive system. Also the compound helps the fat being deposited in the adipose tissues. In eating oily fast foods, the body tends to deposit fat on non-adipose tissues like liver, heart, pancreas, where they can cause extensive damage to the cells, may even increase the risk of diabetes.
Colorless and odorless, if testing on humans is successful, this could be the chemical that will let fast food lovers live a healthy life.