Dietary guidelines recommend removing visible fat from meat, choosing low-fat options and cooking with oil instead of butter. This study examined cross-sectional associations between fat-related eating behaviors and a continuous metabolic syndrome (cMetSyn) score among young adults. During 2004⁻2006, 2071 participants aged 26⁻36 years reported how often they trimmed fat from meat, consumed low-fat dairy products and used different types of fat for cooking. A fasting blood sample was collected. Blood pressure, weight and height were measured. To create the cMetSyn score, sex-specific principal component analysis was applied to normalized risk factors of the harmonized definition of metabolic syndrome. Higher score indicates higher risk. For each behavior, differences in mean cMetSyn score were calculated using linear regression adjusted for confounders. Analyses were stratified by weight status (Body mass index (BMI) < 25 kg/m² or ≥25 kg/m²). Mean cMetSyn score was positively associated with consumption of low-fat oily dressing (PTrend = 0.013) among participants who were healthy weight and frequency of using canola/sunflower oil for cooking (PTrend = 0.008) among participants who were overweight/obese. Trimming fat from meat, cooking with olive oil, cooking with butter, and consuming low-fat dairy products were not associated with cMetSyn score. Among young adults, following fat-related dietary recommendations tended to not be associated with metabolic risk.
Keywords: cooking oil; dietary fat; low-fat dairy; metabolic syndrome; young adults.