It took just two weeks of a typical Western diet, high in fat and fructose, to make the livers of healthy adult rats get more fatty and and less sensitive to insulin.

Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat ...

The study showed that short-term consumption of a Western diet, rich in saturated fats and fructose, is more damaging for healthy liver development than following a high fat diet alone.

"We performed the research by using an animal model of adult sedentary humans, consisting of adult rats, that were fed for two weeks with either a low-fat diet, a high-fat diet or a diet rich in fat and fructose. This latter diet is very similar in composition to the diet consumed by the large majority of the Western population. After the diet period, we evaluated liver function and we found that the presence of fructose in the high-fat diet exacerbated the impairment of this important metabolic organ, by increasing the build-up of fat in the liver, and decreasing liver insulin sensitivity. [emphasis mine]

image source (no the rats didn't actually get cake)

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Replies to This Discussion

High-fat and high-fructose describes all sort of goodies. Cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate, ...

Oh yes! Our cookbooks, TV cooking shows, and the wonderful Southern Cooking recipes go wild with lots of fried foods and sweets, creating the Sugar And High-fat Western Diet. 

Too many donuts, with cream fillings and sugar coating can contribute to: 

Obesity Trends Among U.S. Adults 1990-2000-2010

Sugar, salt, and fat are the main "magic" ingredients that make processed and restaurant food more appealing and even addictive.

What if the rats were to also get fiber, corresponding to humans eating fruit as well as typical sweets?

And the real question :-) ... could we come up with reasonably healthy birthday cake?

I eat a very lowfat vegan diet.  One thing people find after they get used to such a diet is that fat doesn't have "forbidden fruit" appeal.  If one suddenly eats a lambchop, say, it seems very greasy and it may cause digestive upset.

Sugar on the other hand does not ever lose its appeal :)  I try to not eat too much sugar, though.

could we come up with reasonably healthy birthday cake?

It could be lowfat, gluten-free and sweetened with glucose instead of sugar.  That isn't much good for a diabetic though :(  If you don't mind being a social repellent for a few hours you can sweeten things with xylitol or other sugar alcohols.  Erythritol isn't supposed to have that same effect.  (I'm being delicate because a slice of cake is in the room and someone is eating). 

My most beloved food, fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrates! It seems to be a little late in life to make such drastic changes, don't you think?




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