Some Fats Are Actually Better Than Others
Trans fat, found in fried and processed foods, may be worse for the heart than the saturated fat found in meats and dairy products.
Researchers in the Netherlands compared the effect of trans and saturated fats on the cholesterol levels and blood vessel functioning of 29 healthy adults.
Participants followed a diet comprised of 9.2 percent of total calories from trans fat for four weeks, then switched to a diet of the same proportion of saturated fat.
When compared to the saturated fat diet, the trans fat diet reduced blood vessel function, which is measured by how readily the vessels dilate in response to blood flow, by 29 percent and lowered HDL (good) cholesterol level by 20 percent.
It is estimated that trans fat accounts for four percent of dietary fat intake, much of it hidden in foods such as store-bought cookies and crackers and fast-food fare.
Source: Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 2001; 21, 1233
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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