A new study has found that a high-fat diet enriched with omega 6 fatty acid can harm heart health.
The research was done by a team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
A high-fat diet is a diet where the majority of calories come from fat instead of carbohydrate or protein.
Previously, scientists have found that aging and a high-fat diet enriched with omega 6 fatty acids can bring many health risks.
Older people with such a diet may develop diabetes and heart failure.
Recent studies have shown that diet can interact with gut microbes to influence the body’s immune system.
In this study, the researchers examined how getting older and an obesity-generating omega 6-enriched diet can affect the heart by change the immune system.
They fed older mice with a calorie-dense, obesity-generating diet.
They found the high-fat diet disrupted the gut microbiome. It is correlated with the development of heart failure.
The result showed that the obesity-generating diet caused a sharp increase in bacteria.
In addition, younger mice could resolve inflammation after a heart attack when they ate the high-fat diet, but older mice could not do this.
In older mice, the heart attack triggered non-resolving inflammation. This type of inflammation is linked to heart failure.
The researchers suggest that diet and age are two critical factors for heart failure. Older people should eat a well-balanced diet to protect their heart.
Some people believe high-fat diets are better than high-carb diets for losing fat and building muscle.
However, for older people, high-fat diets may harm the gut bacteria, immune system, and heart health.
But this study does not want people to completely avoid fats.
When choosing a healthy diet, people should focus on fat quality, not fat quantity.
Some plant fats like unsaturated fats in olive oil and other vegetable oils can be healthier than saturated fats from animal oils.
Plant fats from nuts also can help protect your health.
In addition, omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish are good for the brain and the heart.
So people don’t need to fear fat. They just need to choose it wisely.
The study lead author is Ganesh Halade, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease.
The research is published in FASEB Journal.
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