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Trans fats increase belly fat and insulin resistance according to study on monkeys
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 2:28 am Email this article
Trans fats increase belly fat and insulin resistance according to a study done on monkeys. Study
Study: 8% trans fats with equal number of calories
Monkeys that were feed a diet that contain 8 percent of calories as trans monounsaturated fat for six years had an increase in belly fat and insulin resistance compared to those feed a diet that contained an equal amount of normal fat (cis fat) despite the fact that their diets contained the same amount of calories.
Conclusion: Weight Gain
Conclusion: Trans fats increased weight gain independent of calories
“[L]ong-term [trans fat] consumption was an independent factor in weight gain.
Conclusion: Belly fat and insulin resistance
Conclusion: Trans fats increased belly fat and insulin resistance
“[Trans fats] enhanced intra-abdominal deposition of fat, even in the absence of caloric excess, and were associated with insulin resistance,” the study concluded.
Where are Trans Fats?
Trans fats in partially hydrogenated oils such as shortening and margarine
Trans fats are found in partially hydrogenated oils, that is fats that are normally liquid, but have been made solid by adding some hydrogen atoms, such as margarines.
“Foods containing artificial trans fats formed by partially hydrogenating plant fats may contain up to 45% trans fat compared to their total fat,” according to Wikipedia.
“Baking shortenings generally contain 30% trans fats compared to their total fats, while animal fats from ruminants such as butter contain up to 4%.
“Those margarines not reformulated to reduce trans fats may contain up to 15% trans fat by weight.”
Artemis P. Simopoulos, MD, a world-class researcher and author several books including The Omega Diet, told me about a study where women who ate margarine at least four times a week gained 5 pounds in six weeks compared to those who ate it less often.
I imagine the reason was because of the trans fats found in margarine.
Here is the section of the interview with Dr. Simopoulos where she talked about it.
Hobbs: What are the adverse effects of consuming hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids found in so many processed foods?
Simopoulos: There are a lot of adverse effect. In fact, there are no beneficial effects. Margarine is worse than butter because margarine is made from hydrogenated oils and it contains trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids found in hydrogenated oils raise triglycerides, raise LDL and lower HDL. At least butter doesn’t lower HDL. Partially hydrogenated oils inhibit the metabolism of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids at many steps and induce partial deficiencies of these essential fatty acids.
Hobbs: Do trans fatty acids affect body weight?
Simopoulos: Maybe. Animals fed trans fatty acids have larger fat cells although overall body weight is the same. In one clinical trial it was found that women who ate margarine at least four times per week had gained 5 lbs in six weeks compared to those who consumed it less frequently even though both groups consumed and expended the same number of calories.
Simopoulos: Yes. And trans fatty acids found in hydrogenated oils have also been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats now make up 5 to 7% of our diet, so it seems likely that the combination of a high intake of trans fats as well as a high intake of omega-6-rich, omega-3-deficient corn oil may be part of the reason Americans are gaining weight. It’s also likely that this is contributing to chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
Hobbs: Are you saying omega-3’s may be useful in preventing weight gain?
Simopoulos: Yes. Omega-3 fatty acids protect against weight gain in animals, although this has not been studied in humans yet. The American diet has an absolute and a relative deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids. That is, we don’t consume enough omega-3’s to start with and our over-consumption of omega-6’s from corn oil puts the ratio out of balance and also causes a relative deficiency.
Kavanagh K, Jones KL, Sawyer J, Kelley K, Carr JJ, Wagner JD, Rudel LL. Trans fat diet induces abdominal obesity and changes in insulin sensitivity in monkeys. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jul, 15(7):1675-84.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
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