Study Says Carbs, Not Fat, are Unhealthy

February 6, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. carbohydrate /ˌkɑr boʊˈhaɪ dreɪt/ (n.) – a substance in food that can be a source of energy
Example: Soda and pasta are rich in carbohydrates.

2. program /ˈproʊ græm/ (n.) – a set of actions to be followed to reach a goal
Example: I’m doing a six-week workout program to lose weight.

3. succeeding /səkˈsi dɪŋ/ (adj.) – following or next
Example: His medicines will be reduced in the succeeding days.

4. derive /dɪˈraɪv/ (v.) – to get or produce something from a source
Example: Some food products are derived from animals.

5. excess /ɪkˈsɛs/ (adj.) – more than the normal or usual quantity or amount
ExampleExcess fat in one’s diet is unhealthy.


Read the text below.
A new study suggests that carbohydrates are more dangerous to the body than saturated fats.

Researchers found that consuming more saturated fats does not result in higher saturated fat levels in the blood. On the other hand, consuming more carbohydrates can lead to a rise of palmitoleic [pal-muh-toh-LEE-ik] acid, a fatty acid linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

To conduct the study, the researchers gathered 16 obese adults and put them in a 21-week diet program. For the first three weeks, the participants underwent a high-saturated-fat diet consisting of 84 grams of saturated fats and a low-carbohydrate diet with 47 grams of carbohydrates. Researchers found no increase with the saturated fat levels in the participants’ blood.

In the succeeding weeks, the amount of carbohydrates was increased while the saturated fats were lowered. The researchers adjusted the program every three weeks. The final diet consisted of 346 grams of carbohydrates and 32 grams of saturated fats–the dietary recommendation in the United States.

At the end of the study, results showed that the palmitoleic acid levels in the participant’s blood rose as the carbohydrate levels increased. Also, participants lost around 10 kilograms of body weight and had improved blood levels.

Lead author Jeff Volek of Ohio State University explained that the low intake of carbohydrates in the first three weeks caused the participants’ bodies to derive energy from excess saturated fats. Meanwhile, the high-carbohydrate diet caused their bodies to convert excess carbohydrates into stored fats, which led to higher palmitoleic acid levels. Saturated fats can be found in meat and dairy products while carbohydrates can be found in grains, beans, and some vegetables.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Will you cut down on your carbohydrate intake upon reading the article? Why or why not?
·         Do you agree with the results of the study? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What does your own diet consist of? Kindly discuss.
·         What do you think the saying “you are what you eat” means?

February 6, 2015