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The Type Of Fat You Eat May Change How You Gain Weight

According to a recent study comparing the consumption of polyunsaturated fat to the consumption of saturated fat, the fat you eat may affect where on your body you gain weight. It may also affect the risk of developing both cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

Participants in the study included 39 young adult men and women who were of a normal weight at the onset of the study. They were instructed to consume 750 extra calories per day in the form of a muffin for seven weeks. The goal was for them to gain 3% of their starting weight.

The muffins for half of the group were cooked with polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil) while the other half were cooked with saturated fat (palm oil.) The muffins had the same sugar, carbohydrate, fat and protein content.

The researchers used MRI scans at the beginning of the study and after the weight gain. They also measured gene activity in abdominal and visceral fat before and after the weight gain.

While the weight gain was comparable between the two groups, the saturated fat group had higher levels of fat in the liver and abdomen when compared with the polyunsaturated group. Fat in these areas is especially dangerous, as it has been linked with the development of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular issues.

Additionally, the polyunsaturated fat group gained three times more muscle mass due to overeating, compared to the saturated fat group.

The researchers also found that eating too much saturated fats activated genes in the fatty tissue that increased fat storage in the abdomen and hampered insulin regulation. In contrast, polyunsaturated fats activated the genes in visceral fat that reduce storage of fat and actually improve metabolism.

Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden conducted the study. It was published in the February 2014 issue of Diabetes.

For people looking to lower their percentage of abdominal or visceral fat, previous studies suggest that consuming more probiotics, calcium and vitamin D, and extract from lychee fruit may help. Additionally, it is always important to eat a balanced diet with the right amount of calories for your body size.

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