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3 healthy choices to replace snacks high in fat!

Jan. 6, 2016|1518 views
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New research suggests that a diet high in soybean oil is more likely to cause obesity and diabetes than a diet laced with extra fructose. That’s alarming, because we already know that fructose in sugary beverages and packaged, processed foods is associated with greater risks of these conditions. The research was conducted at the University of California, Riverside, on mice bred to mimic many of the metabolic features of humans eating a similar diet.

When fed coconut oil at a rate similar to that encountered in the typical American diet, the mice did not develop metabolic problems. But mice eating a soybean oil diet developed weight gain, larger fat deposits, a fatty liver with signs of injury, diabetes, and insulin resistance. All of these are components of the Metabolic Syndrome. Adding excess fructose to the diet also caused some of these problems, but not to the same extent as soybean oil.

Despite receiving the same number of calories, mice in different feeding groups experienced dramatically different effects. Soybean oil-fed mice, for example, gained a whopping 25% more weight than mice on a coconut oil diet. They gained 9% more weight than mice on a fructose-enriched diet. "This was a major surprise for us—that soybean oil is causing more obesity and diabetes than fructose—especially when you see headlines everyday about the potential role of sugar consumption in the current obesity epidemic," said Poonamjot Deol, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience.

The findings are alarming to say the least, because consumption of soybean oil has increased significantly over the past few decades in the United States. Ironically, some of that increase was prompted by concerns that saturated fat is directly linked to higher cholesterol levels, and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Coconut oil consists largely of saturated fats, while soybean oil is composed of supposedly healthier polyunsaturated fats. Experts now believe those presumed associations were erroneous.

The same research team also looked at corn oil, another staple of American cooking, and found that it also engenders more obesity than coconut oil, albeit not as much as soybean oil. Another findings was also unexpected: Soybean oil affects genes involved in the metabolism of drugs and other foreign substances in the body. The implication is that a diet high in soybean oil could affect one’s ability to metabolize medications and eliminate toxins from the body.

The bottom line? Coconut oil is presently enjoying a moment in the spotlight. It’s rich in saturated fat, which we were taught to fear in the past. But the saturated fat in coconut oil consists of medium chains, rather than long chains, like other forms of saturated fat. And that appears to make an important difference to out bodies. Coconut oil is healthier for you than soybean or corn oils. And extra virgin olive oil remains one of the most important components of the highly healthful Mediterranean diet. So I recommend you embrace coconut or olive oils in your kitchen, and say “bye bye” to other vegetable oils, if you know what’s good for you. 

3 Healthy snacks:

1) LÄRABAR or Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars (most flavors)

2) Organic Ezekiel 4 9 Bread with natural peanut butter

3) Old London JJ Flats Flatbreads (all flavors)

Poonamjot Deol, Jane R. Evans, Joseph Dhahbi, Karthikeyani Chellappa, Diana S. Han, Stephen Spindler, Frances M. Sladek. Soybean Oil Is More Obesogenic and Diabetogenic than Coconut Oil and Fructose in Mouse: Potential Role for the Liver. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (7): e0132672 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132672