News Roundup: High Fat Diets

Last Friday, the results of a small rodent study were presented at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior by scientist Krzysztof Czaja (University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine).  His research with rodents demonstrated that a “high fat” diet changes the composition of gut bacteria in the body, which eventually leads to over-eating.

The resulting headlines, such as those seen below, warn of the risks of a “high fat” diet. The problem with headlines like those below is that they conflict with information that has been broadly circulated, accepted, and proven, regarding the health benefits of a diet that includes moderate amounts of healthy fats. 

As stated in our previous blog, Fat is Not the Enemy, all fat isn’t created equal. Some healthy fat is actually a good thing (think walnuts and olive oil). The type of fat used in Dr. Czaja’s study was saturated fat and trans-fat (think donuts and pizza), both of which have previously been proven to be unhealthy. In fact, the FDA recently banned trans-fat from the American food supply.

As you read through headlines claiming “fat is bad”, take note of which type of fat they are referring too and remember that unsaturated fat (in moderation) can and should be a part of a healthy diet.

This week’s News Roundup brings you a collection of articles and blog posts related to high fat diets.

How A High-Fat Diet May Be Screwing With Your Brain.  Huffington Post. “For two weeks, he fed them all the same balanced, healthy chow that all lab rats need to stay at a normal weight. Then he took half of them and fed them high-fat rat food, made with a mixture of saturated fats and trans fats, like the fats that are found in our highly processed foods such as fast food, frozen pizza and pastries made with vegetable shortening.

Study finds that high fat diet changes gut microbe populations.  EurekAlert. “According to a new study with rats, that high-fat indulgence literally changes the populations of bacteria residing inside the gut and also alters the signaling to the brain. The result? The brain no longer senses signals for fullness, which can cause overeating--a leading cause of obesity.”

This is your brain on fried eggs: Brain, motivation and eating a high-fat diet.  ScienceDaily.  “Fulton's study is the first of its kind to show that, regardless of weight changes, unrestrained intake of saturated fats can have negative effects on the controls of motivation by the brain.”

Understanding the Power of Omega-3s.  LiveScience. “Omega-3s [a type of unsaturated fat] work several ways in the heart. They appear to prevent irregular heartbeat, reduce fatty plaques inside artery walls, decrease blood clotting, decrease triglycerides (blood fat), increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease inflammation.”


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