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Monounsaturated Fats Enhance The Effectiveness Of A Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

November 1, 2010: 07:06 AM EST

Adding monounsaturated fat (MUFA) such as sunflower or avocado oil to a cholesterol-lowering diet increases so-called “good cholesterol” (HDL) by 12.5 percent and lowers “bad cholesterol” (LDL) by 35 percent, a Canadian study has found. Low HDL levels and high LDL levels are associated with greater risk for heart disease. Twenty-four men and women were randomly assigned to either a high- or low-MUFA diet. All patients ate a vegetarian diet of oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant, okra, soy, almonds and a plant sterol enriched margarine. Researchers substituted 13 percent of the carbohydrate calories with either sunflower or avocado oil in the high-MUFA diet group. They concluded that a cardio-protective, cholesterol-lowering diet “may be significantly enhanced by inclusion of a moderate amount of monounsaturated fat.”

David J.A. Jenkins MD, Laura Chiavaroli MSc, et al., "Adding monounsaturated fatty acids to a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods in hypercholesterolemia", Canadian Medical Association Journal, November 01, 2010, © Canadian Medical Association
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