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Dietary fat and heart disease

Adopting a low fat diet is not sufficient enough to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The main reason for this is that we tend to replace the fat with carbohydrate. Instead, we should be looking at the type of fat we’re eating.

Fat are grouped into four main categories: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fatty acids. Saturated fats are commonly found in meat and butter and trans fats are found in biscuits and fried foods. To paint a simple picture, it is these fats that have been heavily linked with cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have been shown the reduce markers of cardiovascular disease.

With this in mind, the greatest benefit to cardiovascular health is to replace saturated fat and trans fatty acids with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Not carbohydrates. This would result in the same amount of dietary fat intake but a change in the fatty acid composition.

Foods containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat to include in your diet: