Eating more healthy fats could decrease heart disease risk

A new study has suggested that in order to prevent heart disease one needs to eat more healthy fats. Health experts have given a very clear idea regarding fat in recent years. They have warned that animal fats can build up within our heart vessel walls and lead to plaques that can cause heart attacks, strokes and other heart problems.

Not all fats are equal, and there’s an increasing evidence that healthy fats which can be found in plants, nuts and fish known as polyunsaturated fats can actually protect the heart and dramatically decrease the risk of heart problems. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers have calculated exactly how much each type of fat can contribute to heart disease deaths.

It is important to note that if one is concerned about their cardiovascular health or have already been diagnosed with high cholesterol or heart disease, the food they consume can be just as integral for the heart as controlling and maintaining weight and exercising. In fact, a heart-healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke by 80%.


By having a sound awareness and knowledge regarding the foods that are healthiest for the heart, an individual may be able to lower cholesterol, prevent or manage heart disease and high blood pressure, and take more control over the quality and length of his life.

The study, conducted at Tufts University in Boston, US, claims to have provided for the first time a rigorous comparison of global heart disease burdens estimated to be attributable to insufficient intake of polyunsaturated fats versus higher intake to saturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats can aid in reducing bad cholesterol levels in the blood which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

“Worldwide, policymakers are focused on reducing saturated fats. Yet it was found that there would be a greater impact on heart disease deaths if the priority was to increase the consumption of polyunsaturated fats as a replacement for saturated fats and refined carbohydrates, as well as to reduce trans fats,” said study author Dariush Mozaffarian.

Researchers used diet and food availability information from 186 countries. Using 2010 data, 711,800 heart disease deaths worldwide were estimated to be due to eating too little healthy omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, such as healthy vegetable oils, as a replacement for both saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.

That accounted for 10.3 percent of total global heart disease deaths. In comparison, about one-third of this,250,900 heart disease deaths  have  resulted from excess consumption of saturated fats instead of healthier vegetable oils which make up for about 3.6 percent of global heart disease deaths.

“These findings should be of great interest to both the public and policy-makers around the world, helping countries to set their nutrition priorities to combat the global epidemic of heart disease,” Mozaffarian said.

In order to resist the global epidemic of heart disease, which causes at least three of every 10 deaths, the study’s researchers argue it’s more crucial to add healthier fats into a diet than it is to cut back on unhealthy ones. Adjusting dietary guidelines to account for this, they say, could save more than a million people worldwide from dying of heart disease.

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