Healthy Fats and Your Cholesterol

Healthy fats may help lower cholesterol levels, heart disease risk

(RxWiki News) Ditching the cheese and fatty meats for healthy fats like those that come from vegetable oils may have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels, according to a new scientific statement.

This new statement comes from the American Heart Association, which noted that some past research has questioned the healthy effects of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats compared to saturated fat.

"We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels," said said lead statement author Dr. Frank Sacks, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a press release. "Saturated fat increases LDL — bad cholesterol — which is a major cause of artery-clogging plaque and cardiovascular disease."

High levels of LDL cholesterol have been tied to a raised risk for heart disease. Healthy fats — found in many vegetable oils, nuts and other sources — may help lower LDL cholesterol.

In fact, the authors of this statement noted that some studies have found that reducing saturated fat intake and consuming more healthy fats could lower heart disease cases by around 30 percent. That's similar to the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications like statins.

The statement authors did warn, however, that replacing saturated fat with more sugar didn't appear to lower heart disease risk.

This statement was published in the journal Circulation. Information on funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 16, 2017