Washington DC: If you are trying to shed those extra kilos, you may want to steer clear of lard, butter and fried foods, suggests a recent study.
According to the University of Naples Federico II study, a diet high in saturated fat affects a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which helps regulate hunger, making it struggle to control what you eat.
In other words, people struggle to control how much they eat, when to stop and what type of food to eat - symptoms seen in obesity.
The study found, through tests in rats, that a meal rich in saturated fat, reduces a person's cognitive function that make it more difficult to control eating habits.
"These days, great attention is dedicated to the influence of the diet on people's wellbeing. Although the effects of high fat diet on metabolism have been widely studied, little is known about the effects on the brain;" explained researchers Marianna Crispino and Maria Pina Mollica.
A diet rich in fat can take different forms and in fact, there are different types of fats. Saturated fats are found in lard, butter or fried food. Unsaturated fats are rich in food such as fish, avocado or olive oil.
Consuming fish oil instead of lard makes a significant difference. The research shows that brain function remains normal and manages to restrain from eating more than necessary.
"The difference was very clear and we were amazed to establish the impact of a fatty diet onto the brain. Our results suggest that being more aware about the type of fat consumed with the diet may reduce the risk of obesity and prevent several metabolic diseases," concluded Crispino.
The study appears in journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.