When it comes to your weekend meal plan, you might want to skip that greasy cheeseburger and second slice of pizza. Researchers discovered a diet high in fat and carbohydrates might do more than just harm your waistline — it can lead to brittle bones and squeaky joints.
A study published this month from Scientific Reports found that diets high in fat and carbohydrates could cause arthritis and other joint problems.
Researchers from Queensland’s University of Technology found saturated fats and carbohydrates change the composition of cartilage, mostly in weight-baring joints, meaning a diet heavy in saturated fats can cause pain in the hips and knees.
The landmark study examined the effects a variety of fatty acids and simple carbs have on the body, along with joints. Lead study author, Professor Yin Xiao said the discoveries suggest it’s not “wear and tear” on the bones, but diet that has a lot to do with the onset of osteoarthritis.
“The main function of cartilage is to seal the bone ends in a joint and absorb pressure on the bones during weight-bearing movement such as walking,” she said.
She goes on to state that the study found that a diet containing simple carbohydrates together with 20 per cent saturated fats produced osteoarthritic-like changes in the knee, explaining that saturated fats, such as from the animal, can weaken cartilage, making it more prone to damage.
But it’s important to know that not all fatty acids are bad. Lauric acid, found in coconut oil, actually had a protective effect on the cartilage as discovered by second study author, PhD student Sunder Sekar, who states when meat fat is replaced with lauric acid, there are “decreased signs of cartilage deterioration and metabolic syndrome so it seems to have a protective effect.”
Perhaps it’s time you rethink your next meal.