Palm oil increases abdominal fat

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Palm fat promotes the accumulation of abdominal fat, and is conducive to serious diseases, such as diabetes. This is according to research conducted by Uppsala University, Sweden, and published in
Diabetes
, which studied the effects on body composition of overconsumption of saturated fatty acids from palm compared with polyunsaturated fatty acids from sunflower.

The researchers increased the daily diet of 39 healthy male and female volunteers by 750 calories. The energy surplus was administered through two types of muffins containing identical amounts of the two lipid sources.

After 7 weeks, the extra intake of palm resulted in increased fat in the liver and abdomen, while the excess of sunflower promoted increased muscle mass. Grown three times as fast as the group fed palm fat.

The outcome of the study highlights the need to reduce the intake of palm, still present in many food products, and reformulate foods using polyunsaturated (or unsaturated, from olive) fatty acids. To curb abdominal adiposity and help improve muscles particularly in the elderly population.

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