Understanding your genetic profile can help you eat smarter & healthier since not all the people digest fats in the same way. In continuation to our earlier blog, wherein we discussed how genes can help us decide which fats to consume, our next two articles would throw light on specifics about genetic relationship with saturated & polyunsaturated fat levels.

Digestion is a complex process & no two people digest food items in the same way. Some people have higher risk of gaining weight if their diet has more saturated fat. Among a number of variables that may lead to weight gain, genes explain variation between the people. Two genes- APOA2 & PPARG impact how our body uses fats.

Digestion is a process that involves various enzymes & the gut that breaks down the food we eat. Everyone digests food differently & genetics partly explain the difference. How you are motivated to eat food & how your body extracts nutrients from food is explained by your DNA. Genetic composition can explain why some people perform best at high fat diet while others gain weight.

Not all fats are equal

We have discussed in our earlier blogs why industrial seed oils are detrimental to our gut health & why olive oil (75% of which is made from polyunsaturated fats) is considered healthy. On the other hand, a hamburger which has 30% fat (contains a large amount of saturated fat) is considered junk. Fats are made up of molecules called triglycerides. These are long chains of fatty acids & structure of these chains determine whether fat is liquid or solid. Some fats can be liquid at room temperature & become solid when chilled (coconut oil).

We have discussed earlier about saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats & monounsaturated fats. Bonds between the atoms of long chain fatty acids determine the difference between these types of fats. For more details, you can refer to our earlier blog.

In short,

Fats containing a single bond of fatty acids are called saturated fats. These fats are solids and these bonds are normally found in butter, coconut oil.
Fats with double bonds between atoms are called unsaturated fats commonly found in vegetable oils.
Excess consumption of saturated fats increases your LDL cholesterol levels & risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unsaturated fats are healthy since it helps in
Improving heart health
Reducing depression symptoms
Hormone Production
Increasing the potential to aid weight loss
What about trans fats? Trans fats are unsaturated fats which have specific arrangements of hydrogen & carbon molecules. When these saturated oils over heated over & over again & preservatives are added into it, it takes the form of hydrogenated oils. Most of the eating joints & restaurants use this oil for deep frying & making delicious dishes such as potato fritters. However these are extremely bad for health despite being unsaturated fats.

The way the body breaks down these fats can vary between people. Let us go to the basics, when our glucose level is low, our body breaks down fat to generate energy. If not used, these fats are stored as adipose tissue. Your DNA plays a major role in determining how your body uses & stores fat. Your PPARG & APOA2 genes determine how your body deals with saturated & unsaturated fats.

As discussed earlier, our genes make code for proteins which are used for every function in our body. Enzymes are proteins that cause reactions such as breakdown of fat. Ultimately, variation in your genes can cause different levels of enzymes & proteins affecting how your body performs different functions.

Let us discuss what the APOA2 gene does?

Some people may not gain weight inspite of having a high saturated fat diet as compared to others. Variant of APOA2 genes determines how well your body breaks down saturated fats. This gene makes a part of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) that helps to clear excess cholesterol from cells. Variant of this gene not only impacts how your body breaks down saturated fat but also determines how satisfied you feel after the meal. If you have a GG variant of this gene & consume a diet high in saturated fat (in excess of 22 gram), you are more likely to gain weight as compared to those who have either AA or AG variant of this gene.

Role of PPARG genes

The protein produced by this gene plays an important role in breaking down fatty acids & energy production. This gene is more active in parts of the body that need more fat breakdown – heart, muscle & adipose tissue. When this gene is activated, it leads to a higher level of fatty acid breakdown & uptake of fat cells by energy. Given that fat cells are energy dense, this is pretty awesome for endurance athletes. If you have a GG or AG variant of this gene, you have improved unsaturated fat metabolism & you will gain less weight from this type of fat. However if you have CC variant of this gene, you may experience faster weight gain if your diet is high in unsaturated fats.

There are so many variables to consider when you’re formulating your diet. However you should not eliminate fat out of your diet completely. Taking into account your genetic composition, you can get a better picture of what may work for you.

Discover your personal trait to figure out if you’re genetically predisposed to gaining weight faster after consuming excess saturated fat. We use genetic traits & insights to provide you with a comprehensive & personalised fitness solution through our live online fitness coaching that will help you embrace a lifestyle change. Whether you are a corporate employee, a homemaker or someone looking to have an athletic build, our personalised solution is delivered by our international certified fitness coaches who will help you achieve your fitness goals. Sign up here https://thesushantkumar.com/online-fitness-coaching/

Author's Bio: 

Passion for Fitness is a global fitness company that offers genomics based online fitness coaching solution for folks who do not have time to take care of their health. They offer a curated nutrition & workout plan based on genetic code of their customers & help them adopt a healthy lifestyle to aid with their fitness goals. They are serving customers from across the globe.