New Study: higher consumption of fats such as olive oil had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease

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CIBERobn researchers, in collaboration with other participants in the PREDIMED study centers have evaluated what types of fats are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. They have also investigated the effect of substituting some dietary fats for others regarding cardiovascular disease.

The study, led by Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferré and Jordi Salas-Salvadó, CIBERobn principal investigator and director of the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University and the two members of the Health Research Institute Pere Virgili (IISPV), have been published in the prestigious scientific journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month.

As reported by the CIBERobn on its website, the most notable results of this publication show that participants with higher consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (mainly from vegetalorigin, such as olive oil and nuts) had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (between 32 and 50% less) compared with participants with a lower consumption of these fats.

However, participants with higher consumption of saturated fats and so-called trans (fats mainly from animal products and processed foods such as bakery products) had a higher risk of heart disease (up to 30% more).

Finally, this study also shows that replacing the consumption of saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (eg nuts instead of industrial bakery) is beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Specifically, data from the 7,038 high cardiovascular risk participants in the PREDIMED study, who were followed for six years, were analyzed. According to CIBERobn, the results emphasize the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet in disease prevention and the importance of replacing the consumption of unhealthy fats with fats that have been shown to be healthier.

However, if these saturated and trans fats are replaced by other foods high in carbohydrates (especially refined carbohydrates) a reduction in cardiovascular risk is not achieved.

The Predimed study was conducted by a consortium of Spanish researchers from different universities and hospitals and has been largely funded by the Carlos III Health Institute.

The main results of Predimed were published in 2013 in the scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine showing that eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke or cardiovascular death) up to 30% in a high cardiovascular risk population (diabetic, overweight, hypertension or high cholesterol, …).

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