Blame your cooking oil for all the laziness you feel. Here’s why. | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Blame your cooking oil for all the laziness you feel. Here’s why.

A study found that high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids – also found in ‘convenience’ foods like potato chips, energy bars, crackers or burgers – can lead to sedentary, lazy behaviour.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 13, 2017 19:53 IST
ANI
Foods like potato chips, energy bars, crackers or burgers use cooking oils like corn, sunflower and soybean and margarine, which are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Foods like potato chips, energy bars, crackers or burgers use cooking oils like corn, sunflower and soybean and margarine, which are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. (Shutterstock)

Your cooking oil may be sabotaging your efforts to stay healthy and ward off illnesses such as diabetes, a recent study suggests.

A recently published research concluded that high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) but not monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) can lead to sedentary, lazy behaviour, especially in women.

Sanjoy Ghosh, a Michael Smith Health Research Foundation Scholar and a professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus, who published the research says not that long ago, heart disease was linked to saturated fats, an idea that has become increasingly controversial in recent years. This thinking instigated the intentional removal of saturated fatty acids from most food supplies in favour of MUFA and PUFA.

A significant correlation was observed in sedentary behaviour of the 11-year-old girls and polyunsaturated fatty acids in their diets. (Shutterstock)

Essentially all fats in our ‘convenience’ foods like potato chips, energy bars, crackers or burgers use cooking oils like corn, sunflower and soybean and margarine – all rich in MUFAs and PUFAs.

For his research, Ghosh collaborated with first-author Jason Pither to examine data from 21 countries in Europe. They worked specifically with data relating to pre-teen girls and then, in a second study, the blood glucose levels of adult women. In putting details such as the amount of time each week spent watching TV along with other filters like a country’s per capital GDP, urbanization, and even latitude, they came out with a clear connection to the consumption of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and an increase in sedentary behaviour.

In particular, a significant correlation was observed in sedentary behaviour of the 11-year-old girls and PUFA in their diets.

“Our study does present new evidence that dietary PUFA is strongly associated with sedentary behaviour among pre-teen girls and weakly associated with diabetes among adult women across Europe,” said Ghosh, recommending for more trials and studies to confirm his findings.

“This data is extremely significant,” noted Ghosh. “Nobody has made this connection and it’s time for an intervention. And if someone is beginning an exercise programme without taking a close look at the fats, especially PUFA they are consuming, or changing what they’re eating, then it might be doomed to failure.”

The study appears in PLOS ONE.

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