Substituting monounsaturated fat with saturated = more active and better mood ... [Am J Clin Nutr. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Substituting dietary monounsaturated fat for ... [Am J Clin Nutr. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):689-97. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051730. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

dietary monounsaturated fat for saturated fat is associated with
increased daily physical activity and resting energy expenditure and
with changes in mood.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):511.



The Western diet increases risk of metabolic disease.


determined whether lowering the ratio of saturated fatty acids to
monounsaturated fatty acids in the Western diet would affect physical
activity and energy expenditure.


With the use of a
balanced design, 2 cohorts of 18 and 14 young adults were enrolled in
separate randomized, double-masked, crossover trials that compared a
3-wk high-palmitic acid diet (HPA; similar to the Western diet fat
composition) to a low-palmitic acid and high-oleic acid diet (HOA;
similar to the Mediterranean diet fat composition). All foods were
provided by the investigators, and the palmitic acid (PA):oleic acid
(OA) ratio was manipulated by adding different oil blends to the same
foods. In both cohorts, we assessed physical activity (monitored
continuously by using accelerometry) and resting energy expenditure
(REE). To gain insight into a possible mood disturbance that might
explain changes in physical activity, the Profile of Mood States (POMS)
was administered in cohort 2.


Physical activity
was higher during the HOA than during the HPA in 15 of 17 subjects in
cohort 1 (P = 0.008) (mean: 12% higher; P = 0.003) and in 12 of 12
subjects in the second, confirmatory cohort (P = 0.005) (mean: 15%
higher; P = 0.003). When the HOA was compared with the HPA, REE measured
during the fed state was 3% higher for cohort 1 (P < 0.01), and REE
was 4.5% higher in the fasted state for cohort 2 (P = 0.04). POMS
testing showed that the anger-hostility score was significantly higher
during the HPA (P = 0.007).


The replacement
of dietary PA with OA was associated with increased physical activity
and REE and less anger. Besides presumed effects on mitochondrial
function (increased REE), the dietary PA:OA ratio appears to affect
behavior. The second cohort was derived from a study that was registered
at clinicaltrials.gov as R01DK082803.

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