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Weight Loss - Eating Trans Fat can make you fatter - Even if you count your Calories

June 20th, 2006

Weight Loss - Eating Trans Fat can make you fatter - Even if you count your Calories

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According to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine animals that ate trans fat compare to those that did not gained more weight from the same amount of calories.  The study was first presented at the 66th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Washington, D.C by Kylie Kavanagh, D.V.M.

"Diets rich in trans fat cause a redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen and lead to a higher body weight even when the total dietary calories are controlled," said Lawrence L. Rudel, Ph.D. who is a professor of pathology and biochemistry and is also the head of Lipid Sciences Research Program.

 

Trans fat is manufactured by taking oil and adding hydrogen to make it become solid.  The reason trans fat is used is to increase the shelf life of food products including baked goods.  Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans fats), saturated fats, and cholesterol helps to contribute in the increase in the LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.  An increase in the LDL cholesterol has been shown to increase the risk for coronary artery disease.

“What it says is that trans fat is worse than anticipated,” Rudel said. “I was surprised.”

The study was conducted over a 6 year period of time.  The researchers fed male monkeys a diet similar to typical Americans that contained trans fat.  The control group of monkeys was fed food that contained olive oil or monounsaturated fats instead of trans fat.  The calorie intakes in both groups were the same. The trans fat group of monkey received 8 percent of their calories from trans fat and the other group received the same amount in the form of monounsaturated fat.  The monkeys that ate the trans fat had a 7.2 percent increase in body weight when the olive oil group had a 1.8 percent increase in weight.

 

What was interesting is that the extra body fat went to the abdomen and some of the other body fat was rearranged to land in the abdomen as well.  The monkeys were tested with computed tomography (CT) scans.  The trans fat monkey group had considerably more abdominal fat than the olive oil (monounsaturated fat) group.  The trans fat monkey group had 30 percent more fat in their abdomen compared to the olive oil group.

An even scarier discovery was that the monkeys were all given the same amount of daily calories each day.  Both groups had 35 percent of their calories that derived from fat.  The researchers did not believe that the calories that they gave to the monkeys were enough to make the monkeys obese; instead they thought they gave enough calories to maintain the monkey’s weight. “We believed they couldn’t get obese because we did not give them enough calories to get fat,” Rudel said.

 

“We conclude that in equivalent diets, trans fatty acid consumption increases weight gain,” said Kavanagh.

Over the entire course of the study, there was a small but significant difference in weight between the two groups. “In the world of diabetes, everybody knows that just 5 percent weight loss makes enormous difference,” Kavanagh said. “This little difference was biologically quite significant.”

The FDA has recently required food manufacturers to report the amount of trans fat in the nutrition labels on all food that is sold in grocery stores.  The restaurant industry is not affected by this, and if you eat out and eat fried foods you are very likely eating trans fats.  Make sure to read food nutrition labels for listing of trans fats.  Margarines and vegetable shortening usually have trans fats.  You can by healthier choices for margarine that do not contain trans fats.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM