A new study has found that after five days of eating a high fat diet the body has changed the way muscles metabolizes certain nutrients, leading to adverse health problems such as weight gain, obesity and other health issues. This is the first study to prove the metabolic impact. When food is consumed, the level of glucose in the blood rises as carbohydrates are broken down into the body.
It may break it down for energy, or it can store it for later use. Since muscle makes up about 30 percent of our body weight and it is such an important site for glucose metabolism, if normal metabolism is altered, it can have dire consequences on the rest of the body and can lead to health issues.
The research participants, (healthy college age students), were fed a fat-laden diet that included sausage biscuits, macaroni and cheese, and food loaded with butter to increase the percentage of their daily fat intake. A normal diet is made up of about 30 percent fat and students in this study had diets that were about 55 percent fat. Although the study showed the manner in which the muscle metabolized glucose was altered, the students did not gain weight or have any signs of insulin resistance.
“Most people think they can indulge in high-fat foods for a few days and get away with it,” said Matt Hulver, an associate professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “But all it takes is five days for your body’s muscle to start to protest.”
“This shows that our bodies can respond dramatically to changes in diet in a shorter time frame than we have previously thought,” said Hulver, who is the head of the department and a Fralin Life Science Institute affiliate. “If you think about it, five days is a very short time. There are plenty of times when we all eat fatty foods for a few days, be it the holidays, vacations, or other celebrations. But this research shows that those high-fat diets can change a person’s normal metabolism in a very short timeframe.”
Early skeletal muscle adaptations to short-term high-fat diet in humans before changes in insulin sensitivity, Angela S. Anderson, Kimberly R. Haynie, Ryan P. McMillan, Kristin L. Osterberg, Nabil E. Boutagy, Madlyn I. Frisard, Brenda M. Davy, Kevin P. Davy and Matthew W. Hulver, Obesity, DOI: 10.1002/oby.21031, published online 27 March 2015.