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.