According to previous researches, a high level of bad cholesterol was acquired though saturated fatty acids. This knowledge led to major dietary modifications in the normal every day eating habits resulting in reduced intake of saturated fatty acids and an increase in the uptake of fatty unsaturated fatty acids and carbohydrates.
However, new research shows that increased levels of cholesterol in the blood may not be due to an increased intake of saturated fatty acids as was previously thought but due to heavy consumption of carbohydrates. High levels of cholesterol, especially LDL (low density lipoproteins) is majorly associated with heat diseases, diabetes and hypertension.
Senior author of the study, Prof. Jeff Volek explained, “The point is you don’t necessarily save the saturated fat that you eat, and the primary regulator of what you save in terms of fat is the carbohydrate in your diet. When you consume a very low-carb diet your body preferentially burns saturated fat.” Volek is a professor of the Department of Human Sciences of Ohio State University.
With decreased intake of fats, carbohydrates, in order to comply with bodily demands of fats, get converted to fats and cause even greater harm in the form of various diseases.
According to Volek, their study, “challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn’t correlate with disease.”
Palmitoleic acid is a fatty acid that is related to unhealthy metabolism of carbohydrates. With a high carbohydrate diet, there is an increased risk of conversion of carbohydrates into this fatty acids that will potentially harm the body in the long term.
Why the paradigm shift? According to Volek the end results of a high saturated fatty acid diet were still better than those of a high carbohydrate diet. “We had people eat two times more saturated fat than they had been eating before entering the study, yet when we measured saturated fat in their blood, it went down in the majority of people,” he said.
“People believe ‘you are what you eat’ but in reality, you are what you save from what you eat. The point is you don’t necessarily save the saturated fat you eat. And the primary regulator of what you save in terms of fat is the carbohydrate in your diet.” He concluded.