For many years now, nutritionists and health experts have been repeatedly warning us of the long-term dangers of high-fat diets, but what no one bothered to look at until now were the short-term consequences they entail. As a study performed on rats seems to indicate, these diets have great potential of making humans stupid and lazy, LiveScience
A 10-day high-fat diet in rats made them slower, while also leading to short-term memory loss, the study has found. Based on these findings, researchers can conclude that the same might happen to people as well, the only difference being that it would probably take a bit longer for these effects to appear: but they still will. Until further research is carried out to determine the exact degree of stupidity and laziness high-fat diets lead to, researchers warn people stay off them as much as possible.
“Western diets are typically high in fat and are associated with long-term complications, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart failure, yet the short-term consequences of such diets have been given relatively little attention. We hope that the findings of our study will help people to think seriously about reducing the fat content of their daily food intake to the immediate benefit of their general health, well-being, and alertness.” Andrew Murray, co-author of the study, says for LiveScience.
According to the aforementioned publication, rodents are often used for studies of this type, which means the above warning should not be taken lightly at all, especially since the differences between the effects of one diet and another were striking. Rats were divided into two groups, one was fed a low-fat diet (7.5 percent of calories as fat) and the other a high-fat one (55 percent of calories as fat). After no more than 4 days, the rats in the second group had serious problems moving, since they were “less able to use the oxygen needed to exercise,” LiveScience says, which, in turn, made their hearts work harder and increase in size.
“It’s nothing short of a high-fat hangover. A long weekend spent eating hotdogs, French fries, and pizza in Orlando might be a great treat for our taste buds, but they might send our muscles and brains out to lunch.” Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal, where the study is published, says. The explanation for that is to be found in the increased levels of the uncoupling protein 3, which, in the study, made the rodents less able to use oxygen for energy.