Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trans Fat Leads to Weight Gain

I saw this surprising study on my blog aggregator and had to read through it twice to make sure I understood.

I’ve always been a pretty big believer in calories in/calories out as weight management. But this study kinda throws a monkey-wrench in that.

Trans Fat Leads To Weight Gain Even On Same Total Calories, Animal Study Shows

The study, performed by Wake Forest University School of Medicine on animals has found that trans fat consumption increased the girth (belly fat) of the subjects.

The monkeys all were given the same amount of daily calories, with 35 percent of the calories coming from fat. The amount of calories they got should only have been enough to maintain their weight, not increase it, Rudel said. “We believed they couldn’t get obese because we did not give them enough calories to get fat.”

One group of monkeys got 8 percent of their calories from trans fat while the other group received those calories as monounsaturated fat. The researchers said that this amount of trans fat is comparable to people who eat a lot of fried food.
Kylie Kavanagh, D.V.M., presented the findings today at the 66th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Washington, D.C. She said that over six years, male monkeys fed a western-style diet that contains trans fat had a 7.2 percent increase in body weight, compared to a 1.8 percent increase in monkeys that ate monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil.

I’ve always been the type of person to indulge in real butter instead of margarine, and I don’t eat a lot of fried foods so I never really had a lot of trans fats in my diet. But it’s one of those things where it’s not that hard to make the switch back to unsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats once you know what to look for. Well, that’s true when you’re eating stuff with labels - it’s pretty hard when eating out, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about what sorts of oils might be used. When in doubt, eat something else.

The good news is that many candy makers are aware of the backlash against hydrogenated oils and have been reformulating their candies to get rid of them. Hershey has done a pretty good job of this, especially with their new cookies line being trans fat free.

Read more about Trans Fats on Wikipedia.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:42 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     News

  1. I hope more companies follow Hershey’s example. I am really hating the fact that many food now still have “trace” amounts of Trans fats in them but are still allowed to claim “trans fat free”. Grrr. Not right.

    I just hope Pocky removes the trans fats soon. I just love that stuff!

    Comment by Sera on 6/20/06 at 5:03 pm #
  2. If Herseys are so responsible why are they lobbying congress this year to allow trans-fats to be substituted for more natural products in the US and still be called chocolate.

    Typical Multinational Food company… don’t trust them.

    Comment by Shane on 9/05/07 at 10:07 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Shane ... sadly this was written over a year ago, and Hershey’s has not been behaving as well as I thought. (Just so you know, they were petitioning the FDA to change the standards, not lobbying Congress. Read more here.)

    Comment by Cybele on 9/06/07 at 5:09 am #
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