Saturated fat and risk of becoming overweight

So on to today’s test result: saturated fat.  The negative impact saturated fat has on our heart health, and risk of developing obesity and diabetes has been discussed for many years.

Have you ever known two people who eat a diet high in saturated fat and one person has a weight problem and the other person doesn’t?  I have seen this many times over the years in families and it can cause a lot of frustration.  (We have never fully understood why this happens.)  What is exciting is that new research is finally starting to answer some of these questions and it leads back to our genes.

Once again I have to get a little technical to explain this to you.  The APOA2 gene tells our body to make a specific protein called apolipoprotein A-II which plays a role in how our body uses different types of fats.  Different variations in this gene affect the way our body uses fat and ultimately affect your risk of becoming overweight.

If you have the CC variant of this gene and consume a diet high in saturated fat your risk of becoming overweight is 67%.

I am happy to report this is one risk factor I do not have (see the ones I do here and here.)  However, just because I may not be at risk for becoming overweight by consuming a diet high in saturated fat doesn’t mean my heart will be too happy if I decide I should go out and indulge regularly!  Heart disease is still the second leading cause of death in Canada and even the people of healthy weights are impacted by this disease.  So I may not have to worry about my waistline but I want my heart to keep ticking for a long time and therefore will continue to choose to eat lower amounts of saturated fat.