The epidemic of people with obesity and type 2 diabetes in the developed world is often associated with eating a lot of saturated fats.
Researchers at the German Diabetes Center and the Helmholtz Center in Munich have found that even eating the equivalent of a single fast food meal can have significant negative effects on your metabolism. It can lead to a decrease in the body’s sensitivity to insulin and even cause increased fat deposits.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Messed Up Metabolism
In the study, a group of slim, healthy males were given a flavored palm oil drink or a glass of clear water in a control experiment.
The palm oil drink was equivalent to the saturated fats you would get by eating two cheeseburgers with bacon and a large portion of French fries or two salami pizzas.
Just eating this high fat meal one time was enough to cause insulin resistance and increase the fat content of the liver. The energy balance of the liver was also changed.
These metabolic changes were similar to what you would see in a person with type 2 diabetes or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is the most common liver disease in the industrial nations and associated with obesity. People with NAFLD have increased risks to develop type 2 diabetes. NAFLD can also lead to severe liver damage.
The researchers explained that “the surprise was that a single dosage of palm oil has such a rapid and direct impact on the liver of a healthy person and that the amount of fat administered already triggered insulin resistance.”
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to monitor the liver metabolic changes. The researcher detected that one single dose of palm oil would change the metabolic activity of muscles, liver and fatty tissue.
So the bottom line is pretty alarming.
Just eating the equivalent of a high fat fast food meal can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin (not good for those with type 2 diabetes) and cause increased fat deposits as well as changes in the energy metabolism of the liver.
If one fast food meal can cause this, think what can happen to your body if you eat a lot of fast food!
Elisa Álvarez Hernández, Sabine Kahl, Anett Seelig, Paul Begovatz, Martin Irmler, Yuliya Kupriyanova, Bettina Nowotny, Peter Nowotny, Christian Herder, Cristina Barosa, Filipa Carvalho, Jan Rozman, Susanne Neschen, John G. Jones, Johannes Beckers, Martin Hrabě de Angelis, Michael Roden. Acute dietary fat intake initiates alterations in energy metabolism and insulin resistance. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2017; 127 (2): 695. http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI89444