Eating Trans Fats Makes You Gain Weight

Four years ago, the Institute of Medicine warned the consumption of trans fats was unsafe at any level, no matter how few Girl Scouts cookies you eat. And even when you're watching your weight and eating fewer calories, you'll still gain weight around your belly, according to a new study.

Wake Forest University researchers studied the damaging effects of trans fats by comparing the health of monkeys fed a diet containing trans fats versus foods with monounsaturated fats like olive oil over six years. The body weight of both groups increased, but the trans fatty food group really felt the gain. Their body weight climbed 7.2 percent or four times the amount of the monounsaturated group.

Both groups of monkeys were given the same amount of calories, with 35 percent coming from fat. The difference-maker: One group received 8 percent of their fat calories from trans fats (a comparable amount to patients who eat lots of fried foods).

Using CT scans, scientists determined the extra weight monkeys gained went to their abdomens and some of their existing body fat was redistributed there too. That's a real worry, considering visceral fat is the kind that accumulates around organs inside the belly and increasing amounts have been associated with insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease, among others.

As I've said often, there's no "magic pill" that will rid the world of the obesity epidemic and allow you to eat whatever you want. You have to make the conscious decision to invest some time and money to optimize your health. If you don't know where to start, take a free test to determine which foods your body burns best based on your unique nutritional type.

Nutrition Horizon June 16, 2006

Yahoo News June 13, 2006

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