Replacing saturated animal fats with polyunsaturated fats rich in omega-6 linoleic acid may not be beneficial for heart patients, researchers have claimed. Linoleic acid is present in high amounts in some commonly used vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower and soybean.
Swapping saturated fats like butter or lard for polyunsaturated vegetable oils and spreads made from them is a common suggestion for those looking to switch to a heart healthy diet.
Researchers recovered missing data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study in the 1960s. The trial involved 458 men aged 30-59 years who had suffered a heart attack or an episode of angina.
Using modern statistical methods to compare death rates, researchers concluded that there was no evidence of the benefit of replacing saturated fats with omega-6 linoleic acid in this group of people, and actually a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Victoria Taylor, Senior Dietitian at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "Our understanding of the effect of different fats on our heart develops all the time as new research into this complex issue is published.
"Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated alternatives is a well-known recommendation for your heart, which is based on many large and in-depth studies. However, this research highlights the need for us to further understand how different unsaturated fats affect our risk of heart disease.
"Whichever fats you use it's important to be sparing with them. Try to grill, bake, or steam your food, rather than frying. Measuring out oils instead of pouring straight from the bottle is another good way of making sure you're not overdoing it."
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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Issued in response to: “Use of dietary linoleic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis.”,
Christopher E Ramsden et al.
Published in the BMJ. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e8707.
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
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Rancidity, toxic overload and balance are key
posted by DrWillip on 13 Feb 2013 at 8:59 am
The conventional distinction between bad and good fats is much too elementary. Saturated fats aren't bad, but they comigrate with lipid-soluble toxins produced on factory farms. Vegetable oils are easily spoiled, especially at high heats, or by hydrogenation, to become dangerous. The balance of omega-6 to omega-3 is inordinately high in the modern diet. The answers are as simple as eating grass-fed and finished animal products that are not overheated, using coconut oil to cook, using extra virgin olive oil in salads, eating nuts, seeds and avocados, and eating non-farmed fatty fish and taking omega-3 supplements. And, of course, everything in moderation. It's not rocket science, but it isn't as simple as what we've been told.
posted by Dr Michael Axtens on 8 Feb 2013 at 8:53 pm
As a medical student in the 1970s I was taught to advise limiting fat intake and to base the diet more on carbohydrates. An epidemic of metabolic syndrome ensued because people took our advice. We now learn that our advice results in insulin and leptin insensitivity, destroying normal satiety, and we learn that polyunsaturated fats and refined fructose ( both hailed as healthy alternatives) are pro-inflammatory and implicated in many autoimmune and neoplastic processes. We need to quickly destigmatise saturated fats and abandon the idea that cholesterol is a reliable risk factor for heart disease. We need to urgently reduce our refined carbohydrate intake and reinstate saturated fat (with liberal monounsaturated fat ) into our diets, eating much more vegetables, nuts and fibre, avoiding polyunsaturated fats ( as some forward thinking scientists were saying in the 1970s when political processes started taking over our health and nutrition policies.)
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