While most people are thinking about their weight when they embark on a new diet, Australian researchers have discovered one particular diet could be affecting more than just our waistline.
Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Southern Queensland have found a link between high-fat diets and the onset of osteoarthritis.
Professor Yin Xiao, who lead the research team, said diets high in saturated fats and simple carbohydrates “produced osteoarthritic-like changes in the knee.”
These high-fat and simple-carbohydrates diets have become more common in recent years thanks to Aussies indulging in more junk food on a regular basis.
Fad diets like the Atkins diet, which encourage foods high in saturated fat and low in carbohydrates have also become popular.
“Our findings suggest that it’s not wear and tear but diet that has a lot to do with the onset of osteoarthritis,” Professor Xiao said, reports Medical News Today.
“Saturated fatty acid deposits in the cartilage change its metabolism and weaken the cartilage, making it more prone to damage.
“This would, in turn, lead to osteoarthritic pain from the loss of the cushioning effect of cartilage. We also found changes in the bone under the cartilage on a diet rich in saturated fat.”
Over 2 million Australians are living with osteoarthritis — the most common form of the disease.
Experts recommend a diet low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats, like those found in canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados, for good overall health.
Past studies have also found that complex carbohydrates, such as those found in green vegetables, wholegrain foods, and legumes are best for weight management and energy levels.