- High fat diets are very popular these days but unfortunately they do not distinguish between saturated and unsaturated fat.
- Furthermore, quite a lot has been written about the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Basically, the higher the ratio, the more unhealthy is the diet, due to the inflammatory potential of too much omega-6 in relation to omega-3.
- A recent paper has now shown that between two high fat diets with the same calories and the same ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, the one that contains mainly saturated fat is much worse than the one that contains mainly poly-unsaturated fat (PUFA).
- Specifically, a high fat diet rich in saturated fat for six months leads to increased adipocyte (fat cell) size, liver damage, and "ectopic" fat storage in liver and muscle. None of these changes have been observed with a high fat diet rich in poly-unsaturated fat.
- No differences were found between the two diets in body weight, total adiposity (total fat levels), adipose tissue health, adipokines (fat tissue hormones), whole body energy balance or glucose tolerance.
- In summary, based on the findings of this study, if you are going to embark on a high fat diet, forget saturated fat coming from meat, cheese, milk, butter, chocolate etc and focus on avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, flax/chia seeds, oily fish and coconut oil (coconut oil saturated fat is "different", as it gets metabolised for energy than for fat storage).
- Source: A Difference in Fatty Acid Composition of Isocaloric High-Fat Diets Alters Metabolic Flexibility in Male C57BL/6JOlaHsd Mice, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26098756