There’s always been a lot of talk about “using fat to burn fat,” and we always see supplement companies offering essential fatty acid (EFA) or conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplements, suggesting that they’ll burn fat, stabilize blood sugar and generally help you get in shape. Of course, no fatty acid will replace some solid cardio, but it does have benefits. A study shows fatty acids can help make a difference.
Researchers had 12 adults follow a low-calorie diet for three weeks while consuming a fatty acid supplement. The study examined the effects of these fatty acids on low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) formation. The researchers found that using a fatty acid supplement dramatically reduced the conversion of LDL precursors into LDL, and therefore dramatically reduced the LDL cholesterol that can cause heart disease and heart attacks.
While unsaturated fats aren’t a magic bullet that will effortlessly get you into the best shape of your life, they can help your cholesterol profile, preventing LDL cholesterol from getting out of control, and this could prevent you from having a heart attack.
Zheng C, Khoo C, Furtado J, Ikewaki K, Sacks FM. Dietary monounsaturated fat activates metabolic pathways for triglyceride-rich lipoproteins that involve apolipoproteins E and C-III. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):272-81