Hope for high-fat diets? Maybe…

Many individuals eat high-fat diets for one reason or another. These individuals often have diets of this fashion due to having to eat on the run, often through fast-food restaurants or by microwaving up any food they can find.  For these individuals there are often weight concerns as high-fat diets often result in obesity.
Changing from eating a high-fat diet to a more moderate diet can often be very difficult.  Two recent mouse studies may offer some hope for those who regularly eat high-fat diets.

The first study concentrated on the ingestion of grapefruit juice with high-fat diets (PLOS One, October 2014).  In this study, mice on either a 60% or a 10% fat diet were given grapefruit juice to drink along with their food.  At the end of the study, those mice who were given grapefruit juice to drink not only gained less weight than their control counterparts, they also had decreased glucose and insulin levels.

The second study looked at the use of bran versus whole grain in high-fat diets (British Journal of Nutrition, October 2014). In this study, researchers provided either millet bran or millet whole grain to mice on high-fat diets (45% fat). While the mice fed the whole grain showed a decrease in total cholesterol and moderate improvements in oxidative stress parameters, no difference was seen in weight gain when compared to the control high-fat diet mice. On the other hand, those mice fed bran had less weight gain, improvements in total cholesterol and LDL/VLDL levels, better anti-inflammatory status, a reduction in oxidative stress and an increase in beneficial gut bacteria.

Though studies in mice are not always indicative for how something might work in humans, they can and do help to set the groundwork for human research.  As grapefruit and bran have been eaten by humans for centuries, and they have long been thought to be good for weight control, these studies in mice can help researchers to better understand how these foods  help the body.

High-fat diets can be very detrimental to health and to weight. Small changes, such as drinking grapefruit juice instead of soft drinks, or eating bran instead of other grains, can have wide-reaching and very positive effects on the body.  Small changes can often lead to even bigger changes, which eventually can lead to overall good health and a better management of weight.