Eating a high-fat diet just for five days can change the way in which the body’s muscle processes nutrients, which could lead to long term problems such as weight gain, obesity and other health issues, says a study.
"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 muscles to start protesting, Hulver pointed out. When food is eaten, the level of glucose in the blood rises. The body’s muscle is a major clearing house for this glucose. 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 for the rest of the body and can lead to health issues, the study said.
Hulver and his colleagues found that muscles’ ability to oxidise glucose after a meal is disrupted after five days of eating a high-fat diet, which could lead to the body’s inability to respond to insulin, a risk factor for the development of diabetes and other diseases.
To conduct the study, healthy college-age students were fed a fat-laden diet. A normal diet is made up of about 30 percent fat and students in this study had diets that had about 55 percent fat.
The study showed that the manner in which the muscle metabolised glucose was altered after eating high-fat diets.
The study was published in the online version of the journal Obesity.