Acute effects of three high-fat meals with different fat saturations on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation and satiety

Clin Nutr. 2009 Feb;28(1):39-45. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2008.10.008. Epub 2008 Nov 17.


Background & aims: To compare the acute effects of three fatty meals with different fat quality on postprandial thermogenesis, substrate oxidation and satiety.

Methods: Twenty-nine healthy men aged between 18 and 30 years participated in a randomised crossover trial comparing the thermogenic effects of three isocaloric meals: high in polyunsaturated fatty acids from walnuts, high in monounsaturated fatty acids from olive oil, and high in saturated fatty acids from fat-rich dairy products. Indirect calorimetry was used to determine resting metabolic rate, respiratory quotient, 5-h postprandial energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Satiety was estimated by using visual analogue scales and measuring caloric intake in a subsequent ad libitum meal.

Results: Five-h postprandial thermogenesis was higher by 28% after the high-polyunsaturated meal (p=0.039) and by 23% higher after the high-monounsaturated meal (p=0.035) compared with the high-saturated meal. Fat oxidation rates increased nonsignificantly after the two meals rich in unsaturated fatty acids and decreased nonsignificantly after the high-saturated fatty acid meal. Postprandial respiratory quotient, protein and carbohydrate oxidation, and satiety measures were similar among meals.

Conclusions: Fat quality determined the thermogenic response to a fatty meal but had no clear effects on substrate oxidation or satiety.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism / drug effects
  • Basal Metabolism / physiology
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dairy Products
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / pharmacology
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Juglans
  • Male
  • Olive Oil
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Plant Oils
  • Postprandial Period
  • Satiety Response / drug effects*
  • Thermogenesis / drug effects
  • Thermogenesis / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils