A new study dares to challenge our common beliefs about diet: in regard to developing heart disease and diabetes, it’s carb, not fat, that should be blamed.
For some reason, we tend to think that too much fat can worsen our health. Perhaps it’s because every time we eat saturated fat, we are also adding more fat—literally—in our body. However, a recent study conducted by an Ohio State University professor of human sciences has a different conclusion.
Jeff Volek discovered that saturated fat doesn’t increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes even if you double the amount. On the other hand, eating a diet that’s high on carb has a totally different effect as it increases the production of the fatty acid that is linked to different metabolic problems.
An article about the study is published in the university website on November 21.
Along with the other researchers, they conducted the study with more than 15 adults who suffer from metabolic syndrome, which make them at a high risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
The study lasted for around 18 weeks in which they consumed different types of diet, starting with a reduced-carb meal plan good for three weeks. The plan includes 84 grams saturated fat and 47 grams carbs, which were then increased to 32 grams saturated fat and 346 grams carb. They also consumed 130 grams protein. Carb level went as high as 55% of the daily calories, which seem to mirror the usual amount eaten by Americans.
In the end, participants lose more than 20 pounds and showed marked improvements in metabolic factors such as blood pressure and insulin.
However, the palmitoleic acid, which is a fatty acid associated with metabolic disorders and is considered a marker in this study, seemed to increase as participants eat more carbs.
He discovered that when a person eats more carbs, this marker also goes up. When it is increased, it means that the body converts a huge part of your carb into fat rather than being consumed as fuel.
As to saturated fat, the researcher found out that consumption doesn’t increase fat in the blood, and it’s the same case if you decide to increase your intake twice. In fact, some have experienced a reduction of fat in the blood as, according to Volek, the body burns the saturated fat and doesn’t store it.