No evidence of differential effects of SFA, MUFA or PUFA on post-ingestive satiety and energy intake: a randomised trial of fatty acid saturation

Nutr J. 2010 May 24;9:24. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-24.


Background: High fat diets have long been associated with weight gain and obesity, and the weak satiety response elicited in response to dietary lipids is likely to play a role. Suppression of appetite and food intake has consistently been shown to be diminished with high fat relative to either high protein or carbohydrate meals. There is however some evidence that the satiating capacity of lipids may be modulated when physicochemical properties are altered, but studies investigating the effect of lipid saturation on appetite have generated inconsistent findings. This study investigated the effects of changes in fatty acid saturation on post-ingestive satiety and energy intake.

Methods: High-fat (HF) test breakfasts (2.0 MJ) containing 26 g lipid were given to 18 healthy, lean men in a 3 treatment randomised cross-over design, each treatment separated by a washout of at least 3 days. The breakfasts were high in saturated (SFA, 65% of total fat), polyunsaturated (PUFA, 76%) or monounsaturated (MUFA, 76%) fatty acids, and comprised 2 savoury muffins. Participants rated appetite sensations using visual analogue scales (VAS) to assess palatability immediately following the meals, and hunger and fullness prior to the HF breakfast and throughout the day. Energy intake was measured by covert weighing of a lunch meal which was served 3.5 h after the breakfast, and from which the participants ate ad libitum.

Results: There was no difference in VAS ratings of pleasantness, visual appearance, smell, taste, aftertaste and overall palatability between the 3 high-fat test breakfasts. However, there was also no differential effect of the 3 treatments on ratings of hunger, fullness, satisfaction or prospective food consumption during the 3.5 h following the breakfast meal and over the full 6 h experiment. Energy and macronutrient intake at lunch also did not differ between treatments (mean, sem; SFA: 5275.9 +/- 286.5 kJ; PUFA: 5227.7 +/- 403.9 kJ; MUFA: 5215.6 +/- 329.5 kJ; P > 0.05). The maximum difference in energy intake between treatments was less than 2%.

Conclusions: There was no evidence of a difference in post-ingestion satiety between high fat meals which differed in saturation profile in this group of lean, healthy men.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Eating
  • Energy Intake*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Satiation*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated