Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
You may want to think twice before bingeing on fatty foods. Researchers at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that eating foods high in saturated fats for as little as five days may change the way your muscles process food, potentially leading to weight gain and other health problems.
In the study, college-aged males consumed a daily diet containing 25% saturated fat, eating foods high in saturated fat such as processed meats and cheeses (in dishes like sausage biscuits and mac and cheese) and non-grass-fed butter. Afterwards, the participants’ muscles’ ability to burn glucose was absent or severely blunted. (Participants consumed unhealthy types of saturated fat – not nutritious saturated fats such as coconut oil or grass-fed beef.) Further research will help reveal the effects combinations of exercise and fatty foods have on the body. For now, researchers recommend keeping active, limiting processed saturated fats and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.