The American Heart Association (AHA) had issued a Presidential Advisory on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD) that offers conclusions and recommendations to help reduce saturated fat and replace it with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat to lower cholesterol in the context of a healthy diet. Among the conclusions and recommendations:
- Randomized clinical trials showed that polyunsaturated fat from vegetable oils replacing saturated fats from dairy and meat lowers CVD.
- A dietary strategy of reducing intake of total dietary fat, including saturated fat, and replacing the fats mainly with unspecified carbohydrates does not prevent CHD.
- Prospective observational studies in many populations showed that lower intake of saturated fat coupled with higher intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat is associated with lower rates of CVD and all-cause mortality.
- Saturated fat increases LDL cholesterol, a major cause of atherosclerosis and CVD, and replacing it with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat decreases LDL cholesterol.
- Replacing saturated with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat lowers blood triglyceride levels, an independent biomarker of risk for CVD.
- Replacing saturated with polyunsaturated fat prevents and regresses atherosclerosis in nonhuman primates.
- Overall, evidence supports the conclusion that polyunsaturated fat from vegetable oils (mainly n-6, linoleic acid) reduces CVD somewhat more than monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid) when replacing saturated fat.
Sacks FM, Lichtenstein AH, Wu JHY, et al. Dietary fats and cardiovascular disease: A presidential advisory from the American Heart Association. [Published online ahead of print June 15, 2017]. Circulation. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510.
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