Fats that fight cholesterol

Cholesterol has become a “baddie” when it comes to health. Despite your cell walls and your hormones requiring cholesterol it is true that too much of the wrong sort of cholesterol can start clogging up your arteries and put strain on your heart. While cholesterol has become almost synonymous with “fat”, in truth some fats will have a balancing effect on your cholesterol as has been shown in a new study.

In the study patients with high cholesterol were asked to spend one month on a low-saturated fat diet that is typically prescribed for people with cholesterol issues. They were then put on a vegetarian diet for another month that as well as being low in saturated fats was also high in dietary fibre.

Half of the subjects while on the vegetarian diet were randomly assigned to replace thirteen per cent of their carbohydrate kilojoules with monounsaturated fats either from sunflower oil or avaocadoes.

After the two months both groups had a 35 per cent reduction in their bad LDL cholesterol. However, only the monounsaturated fat group also had an additional twelve per cent increase in good HDL cholesterol and a reduction in C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation).

Monounsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils (especially olive oil), nuts, and avocadoes. As this study confirms they are able, in conjunction with a healthy diet, to bring balance to your cholesterol levels in a major way.

So if you do have a high cholesterol reading, don’t be pushed into taking pills as your first option. You might be able to do just as well with food.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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