Health & Wellness

Saturated Fats Are Bad for Your Liver

Too much fat in your liver can lead to diabetes

By Wendy Haaf


All extra calories are not created equal—not when it comes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, an important risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes.

In an experiment reported in the journal Diabetes Care, 38 healthy but overweight adults were randomly assigned to eat an extra 1,000 calories a day from one of three sources: saturated fat (in the form of butter, cheese, and coconut oil), sugar (from candy, a sugary drink, and orange juice), or unsaturated fat (largely from olive oil, pesto, and pecans). After three weeks, all three groups saw gains in accumulated liver fat; however, the increase was greatest in those on the saturated fat diet: they saw a 55% gain, versus 33% for sugar and 15% for unsaturated fat.

The extra-butter crowd were also worse off in two other ways: their bodies were less sensitive to insulin (a marker of diabetes risk) and they had higher levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.


Photo: iStock/YelenaYemchuk.