Trans fats and refined carbohydrates

Fast food sensitivity

Some people are extremely efficient in absorbing long chain fatty acids. While this genetic setup was useful for our ancestors, it can easily lead to obesity in modern societies.


If you are a carrier of the FABP2 gene variation, you would find it hard to lose weight without minimizing trans fatty acids and refined carbohydrates consumption.

Genomic coordinates (GRCh38): 4:119,317,249-119,322,160

FABP plays a role in the absorption and intracellular metabolism of dietary long-chain fatty acids. FABP2 is involved with uptake and trafficking of lipids in the intestine.


Variants result in increased fatty acid uptake from the intestinal lumen, as well as increased synthesis of fats. This effect is intensified with high intake of trans fatty acids and refined carbohydrates.

Variant carriers have greater Postprandial (after meal) lipogenesis after Trans fatty acid rich meal. This means that trans-fatty acids will result in high levels of fat synthesis, and promote weight gain.

Carriers are also sensitive to foods with high glycemic index, showing greater postprandial glucose excursion, and higher insulin levels.

Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. These fats are labeled as “partially hydrogenated oils." Trans fats can be found in many foods – including fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads.

Carriers are advised to cut down on fast food and processed foods, both contain high levels of trans fatty acids and refined carbohydrates. Daily consumption of trans fats should be limited to less than 1% of energy intake (2 grams of trans fats, for a diet of 2000 calorie a day).

Refined carbs include sugars and processed grains. They have been stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins and minerals, and for that they are known as "empty" calories.They are digested quickly, and their high glycemic index spikes blood sugar and risk for diabetes.

Cut on white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugars.

The glycemic index (GI) is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. 

Choose foods with low glycemic index. An index lower than 55 is considered low.





















*International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008" by Fiona S. Atkinson, Kaye Foster-Powell, and Jennie C. Brand-Miller in the December 2008 issue of Diabetes Care, Vol. 31, number 12, pages 2281-2283

More about Glycemic Index: