Fat-controlled foods for the dinner table

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CATCH phrases, such as “no eggs,” “no butter,” or “plenty of corn oil,” do not define an effective hypocholesteremic diet, nor do the more sophisticated phrases “less saturated fat,” “more polyunsaturated fat.” Such slogans mean little when a person's luncheon choice must be made from a tunafish salad sandwich, a cheeseburger, or a seafood cocktail. The physician's own uncertainty about food choices, and his belief that fat-controlled diets are restrictive, may explain his reluctance to use them. This report discusses selection of food for diets in which the amount and kind of fat have been altered to reduce blood cholesterol content, with the suggestion of a new approach to the problem of changing food habits.

Evidence of a positive correlation between cholesterol content in the blood and occurrence of heart disease continues to accumulate. A recent report from Leren1 shows benefit from reduction of blood cholesterol content by diet, in a group of Norwegian patients with previous myocardial infarctions. Those patients less than 60 years of age treated with a fat-modified-diet experienced fewer recurrences during a five-year period than those not treated with the diet. In the hope of decreasing cardiovascular disease, sensible medical and public health measures call for a program to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Evidence of benefit from dietary treatment was sufficient to warrant the American Heart Association2 in 1965 to extend its dietary recommendations to the general public. Previously the Association suggested diets only for persons for whom the risk of myocardial infarction was high because . . .



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