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A diet containing trans fats caused monkeys to gain 7% vs less than 2% for monkeys fed no trans fats
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 9:51 am Email this article
Monkeys fed an diet containing eight percent of calories as trans fats -- partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which is the major source (80-90 percent) of trans fats in the American Diet -- gained 7.2 percent of their body weight compared to only 1.8 percent for monkeys fed an identical diet that contained no trans fats according to a six-year study from researchers at Wake Forest University's School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.
"The major findings of this study showed that, in the absence of caloric excess, [trans fats] induces greater weight gain," the study concluded.
"Our data signify that [trans fats] are an independent factor in weight gain and abdominal fat distribution, both of which are linked to MS.
Practical suggestion: Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oil, which, unfortunately, is most processed foods, or at least make sure that they contain no trans fats which, at this time, is difficult to do.
The moneys fed trans fats had one-third (33 percent) more belly fat and one-third (29 percent) more subcutaneous fat, that is fat under the skin, than monkeys fed no trans fats. Equivalent Weight Gain in a Human
Equivalent to a 200 lbs human gaining an extra 10 lbs: 14.4 lbs vs 3.6 lbs weight gain
This is the equivalent of a human who is 200 pounds gaining 14.4 pounds when eating a diet containing trans fat versus 3.6 pounds for someone eating a diet without trans fats—an extra 10 pounds while virtually eating the same diet.
Trans Fats in Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Most of the trans fats in our diet are are found in partially hydrogenated oils according to Wikipedia.
If you look on the label of nearly all processed food, you will find partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient.
Oils are hydrogenated, that is hydrogen atoms are added by bubbling hydrogen gas through liquid oil, in order to make liquid oil a solid which is easier to use in food and has a longer shelf life.
“Production of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils containing trans fatty acids was developed because of their low cost, long shelf life, and suitability for commercial frying and transport,” the current paper notes.
Current Intake of Trans Fats
Trans Fats make up 3% of our calorie intake
“Intake of [trans fats] is currently estimated at less than 7% of dietary fat and, on average, 3% of total energy intake,” the current paper states.
The monkeys were fed a diet where trans fats made up 8 percent of calories.
Conclusion: Trans fats cause weight gain, increased belly fat and and metabolic syndrome
“In conclusion, even in the absence of caloric excess and only very moderate gains in weight, the inclusion of [trans fats] in the diet enhances abdominal obesity and induces abnormalities in glucose metabolism.
“Although much attention has been drawn to the adverse effects of [trans fats] on cardiovascular risk factors, little has been emphasized about the effects of consumption on the current ‘epidemic’ of diabetes.
“The public health significance of [trans fats]-rich diets and its potential contributions to [Type 2 diabetes] and [metabolic syndrome] support the need for labeling requirements of restaurant foods, particularly fast food, where large amounts of [trans fats] are used in food preparation.”
Margarine causes weight gain of 5 lbs in six weeks
Women gained 5 lbs in six weeks eating margarine
Although I have not seen the study, Artemis Simopolous, MD, an expert about omega-3 fatty acids, told me in an interview about a study where women who ate margarine at least four times per week gained 5 pounds in six weeks compared to women who did not eat margarine even though both groups were eating the same number of calories.
Margarine is partially hydrogenated oil that contains trans fats.
Here is the section of the interview where Dr. Simopolous talks about this study.
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.
Kavanagh K, Jones K, Sawyer J, Kelley K, Carr J, Wagner J, Rudel L. 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 USA
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