Limiting Saturated and Solid Fat Intake Can Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
CHICAGO, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a country where cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing, dietary changes are critical. To this end, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 call for saturated fat intake to be less than 10 percent of total daily calories, replacing those calories with unsaturated fat, and for the use of oils instead of solid fats where possible.
In the United States, more than 81 million people (one-third) have CVD, accounting for nearly 850,000 deaths a year. More than 23 million Americans have diabetes, predominately type 2, which is a strong risk factor for CVD. Simple dietary changes, such as using an everyday cooking oil that's low in saturated fat like canola oil, can help improve these statistics.
"The key to lowering risk of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes is to replace saturated fat with health-promoting mono- and polyunsaturated fats," said Jim Painter, Ph.D., R.D., chair, Department of Consumer and Family Sciences, Eastern Illinois University. "Such replacement decreases total and 'bad' LDL cholesterol, improves insulin responsiveness and reduces markers of inflammation. However, replacing saturated fat with refined or sugar-dense carbohydrates may actually have the opposite effect."
The dietary guidelines recommend total fat consumption be 20 to 35 percent of daily calories, mainly from unsaturated fats. They also call for people to keep trans fat consumption as low as possible and dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg per day as well as to limit intake of foods containing solid fats. The types of fat consumed are more important in influencing the risk of CVD than the total amount of fat in the diet, the guidelines note, and lowering saturated fat intake to 7 percent of total daily calories can further reduce the risk of CVD.
"Heart disease can be prevented eighty percent of the time with a healthy lifestyle," noted Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., cardiologist and director of women's heart health, Heart and Vascular Institute, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. "An ounce of prevention by choosing the right types of fat, carbohydrate and protein as well as physical activity can lead to a pound of cure … without extra pounds."
With the least saturated fat and most polyunsaturated omega-3 fat of all cooking oils, canola oil delivers on heart health. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat.
"Well-being is about taking ownership of your health and taking small steps each day to improve it," Painter said. "Choosing a healthy cooking oil like canola is one example."
CanolaInfo is the proud sponsor of the American Heart Association's "Face the Fats" campaign, which aims to inform consumers about choosing the right types of dietary fat.
For more information about canola oil, go to www.canolainfo.org, Facebook.com/canolainfo or Twitter.com/canolainfo.