The types of cooking oils you eat may be sabotaging your health, making you lazy and setting you up to develop Type 2 diabetes, says a Canadian researcher.
Consuming high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) but not monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), can make you lazy and fat, especially if you're a woman, says Sanjoy Ghosh, a professor at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus
For decades, heart disease was linked to saturated fats, which are found in meats and in full-fat products such as whole milk and butter. That belief caused the deliberate removal of saturated fatty acids from our diets, replacing them with MUFAs, found in avocado, nuts, seeds, and olives, and PUFAs, found in commonly used oils such as corn, sunflower, cottonseed, soybean, and canola. PUFAs are found in almost all convenience foods, including potato chips, cookies, cakes, and crackers.
Ghosh and his collaborator, UBC biologist and data analyst Jason Pither, examined data from 21 European countries. First, they studied pre-teen girls. Second, they examined the blood glucose levels of adult women. They also included other details such as the amount of time they spent watching television.
They concluded that there was a clear connection between the consumption of polyunsaturated fats and an increase in sedentary behavior, especially in the pre-teens, and an increase in diabetes among women.
"This data is extremely significant," says Ghosh. "Nobody has made this connection and it's time for an intervention. And if someone is beginning an exercise program without taking a close look at the fats, especially PUFA they are consuming, or changing what they're eating, then it might be doomed to failure."
The study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Recent studies have found that switching saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats didn't lower the risk of heart disease — in fact, it may have raised it. A 2016 study examined the records of more than 9,400 people and found that while swapping saturated fats for vegetable fats like corn oil reduced cholesterol levels by 14 percent, it didn't improve survival. In fact, those whose cholesterol was reduced the most had the highest risk of dying when compared to a control group that ate a diet high in saturated fats.
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