It started as an experiment to settle once and for all if saturated fat actually makes you fat. A Swedish PHD student named Christofer Backlin from the Uppala University had decided to put his health on the line to try and solve this mystery once and for all.
For 49 days him and 38 others of his mates ate all kinds of Muffins…all kinds of flavors of muffins-3-4 muffins every day. Half of the group ate muffins that were baked with saturated fat(palm oil), while the other half ate muffins that were baked with polyunsaturated fats(sunflower oil).
The researchers had baked all the muffins themselves to make sure no one cheated, all 6,500 of them. And they ate these muffins in addition to their regular diets.
The reason was to see who gained more weight at the end of the experiment. The palm oil muffin group or the sunflower oil muffin group.
After 49 tasteful but boring days, the results were in and they were interesting.
Both groups had gained a similar amount of weight…of course you’d expect that given the fact that each of the participants ate 750 more calories every day for two months. So that’s not the big deal.
The big deal however was the actual kind of weight that each group gained. The palm oil group(saturated fat group) had gained visceral fat.The kind of fat that forms around your internal organs. A very dangerous kind of fat that has been linked with all kinds of diseases including diabetes, hypertension and cancers.
They had formed dangerous belly fat.
The sunflower oil group(polyunsaturated fat group) had a very different result. They did not store any fat at all, not even subcutaneous fat. They were however found to now have three times more muscle than they did at the start of the experiment.
The fat they ate had somehow miraculously turned to muscle. Flab had somehow turned to abs. Several theories have been put forward to try and explain why this happened but the one that makes the most sense is that the fat contained in sunflower oil somehow activated genes that are responsible for forming muscle.
It somehow stimulated protein synthesis genes.
This is an important ground breaking research that answered some very key nutritional questions.
1 first It settled once and for all the argument concerning the role of saturated fat in weight gain and Obesity. It showed clearly that saturated fat causes weight gain, that it causes the worst kind of weight gain…ie the formation of visceral fat otherwise known as abdominal obesity.
2 It also once again showed how beneficial polyunsaturated fats can be to our health.
Because although the sunflower oil group had gained weight the weight they gained was muscle weight not fat weight…it was LEAN weight.
They had more weight but they were FAT SLIM.
It is a truly an amazing discovery indeed.
This finding has a lot of important implications about how we go about feeding our bodies.
IT TELLS US THAT WE DON’T NEED TO AVOID FAT AT ALL BUT RATHER THAT TO LOSE WEIGHT (ESPECIALLY BELLY FAT) AND GET HEALTHY THAT WE NEED TO SUBSTITUTE GOOD FAT FOR BAD FAT.
THAT WE NEED TO EAT MORE POLYUNSATURATED FAT AND LESS SATURATED AND TRANSFAT IF WE WANT TO GET HEALTHY.
That polyunsaturated fat is probably the healthiest fat in the world. That it does a lot of good to our bodies when we eat it and makes us slim because more muscle mass means an increased capacity to burn fat.
But there is one more subtle finding…one that does not readily meet the eye. It is the fact that the group that ate the muffins that were baked with sunflower oil(the unsaturated fat group) gained no visceral fat. They did not gain belly fat at all. This is a very important finding indeed because it confirms a suspicion that scientists have had for a long time—that polyunsaturated fats fight belly fat and that they can actually help eliminate it.
That one of the antidotes to fat is actually fat itself.
This is particularly important for people who are battling belly fat because they now have another anti belly fat weapon in their arsenal. They can now fight belly fat more effectively with the weapon of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Which is a very effective weapon.
Stopping the consumption of saturated fats and switching to polyunsaturated fats can actually lead to the loss of belly fat over time even if they do nothing else about it.
So, if you are looking to lose abdominal fat you now have a powerful new weapon in your hands-a missile, the weapon of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
And increased muscle tissue means increased capacity to burn fat because muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body.
It is the world’s most powerful fat burning furnace.
It burns more calories and more fat than any other tissue in your body.
It is like a furnace that is buried just beneath your skin.
And polyunsaturated fat increases the amount of it.
Personally I think that these are awesome findings.
And the Harvard head of nutrition, Prof Walter Willett agrees.
In his words…” if the results hold up in longer term studies, replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat could have important benefits for obesity risk”.
This is an awesome discovery in deed.
One that has the power to turn the weight loss industry on it’s head.
You can now lose weight and build muscle from eating fat, who would have thought of that?.
So what’s the moral of this story?, what should you learn from it?, what’s the takeaway?.
The lesson you should learn from this story is simple.
It is that to get a healthy body you must start eating polyunsaturated fatty acids.
That polyunsaturated fat is good for your health and your waistline.
But apart from being a potent cure for belly fat polyunsaturated fat also has a lot of other health benefits-it is also good for your heart, your brain and your skin.
It reduces the level of bad cholesterol in your blood and as a result also reduces your risk of heart disease. It also reduces blood triglycerides and improves blood pressure.
It makes your skin younger looking, supple and radiant.
It is a worthy addition to any healthy diet regimen.
Polyunsaturated fat is important, but it is also important that you don’t focus on it to the exclusion of other healthy nutrients that your body also needs to thrive.
The key to healthy living ultimately is to make healthy nutritional choices across the board. When you eat healthy your body’s size and nourishment takes care of itself.
Types of polyunsaturated fat
Polyunsaturated fat comes in two major forms-as Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids, Omega 3 being the more popular and the more desirable because unlike Omega-6 it is less prone to causing inflammation when eaten excessively.
But both of them are important. In fact they are called essential fatty acids because although your body needs them to thrive, it doesn’t actually make them. You must get them from food or your body will be deficient of them often resulting in dire health consequences.
You should make polyunsaturated fatty acids your oil of choice. Your health will improve as a result.
The best sources of unsaturated fatty acids.
Avocado contains monounsaturated fatty acids. The rest are polyunsaturated fats.
2 Sunflower oil
3 Safflower oil
9 Unhydrogenated Soybean oil.
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