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  • Changing Type of Dietary Fat Reduces Cholesterol in Young Adults

    Posted on April 13th, 2012 Patricia No comments

    If your members doubt the efficacy of making dietary changes to improve their health, you may want to mention the following study to them. The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (55: 908-915, 2001), found that cholesterol levels in young adults were dramatically lowered after spending a few weeks on a diet that exchanged saturated fat for polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.

    For the study, a group of 71 adults, ages 21 to 40, spent two-and-a-half weeks on a diet that included saturated fats, and then two-and-a-half weeks on a diet containing polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. For all of the diets, the total proportion of dietary calories from fat was one-third. The saturated fat diet contained high amounts of dairy products and butter, the monounsaturated diet used foods such as olive oil and avoided dairy, and the polyunsaturated diet replaced butter with foods such as sunflower oil.

    Participants were given recipes and guidebooks with suggestions on how to adjust their diet. At the beginning and end of the study, participants had their blood cholesterol measured.

    When the cholesterol levels were compared from the three diets, participants on the polyunsaturated diet reduced their blood cholesterol by 19 percent, and those on the monounsaturated diet reduced their cholesterol levels by 12 percent. While on the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated diets, the amount of saturated fat consumed daily was reduced by 28 or 29 grams, respectively.

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