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Moderate-Fat Diet Better Than Low-Fat Diet at Improving Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Posted: Friday, February 13, 2004

Some fat is better then no fat in a diet that shows improvement in lipids.

A moderate-fat diet is better than a low-fat diet at improving cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"Little evidence of the effects of moderate-fat (from monounsaturated fat) weight-loss diets on risk factors for cardiovascular disease exists because low-fat diets are typically recommended," write Christine L. Pelkman, from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and colleagues. "Previous studies in weight-stable persons showed that a moderate-fat diet results in a more favorable lipid and lipoprotein profile (ie, lower serum triacylglycerol and higher [high-density lipoprotein] HDL cholesterol) than does a low-fat diet."

In this parallel-arm design study, 53 overweight and obese healthy men and women were assigned to a low-fat (18% of energy) or moderate-fat (33% of energy) diet for six weeks to achieve weight loss, followed by four weeks of weight maintenance. At baseline, mean body mass index was 29.8 ± 2.4 kg/m2. The investigators provided all foods and monitored body weight to ensure equal weight loss between groups.

Subjects consuming the moderate-fat diet had favorable changes in the lipoprotein profile. In the moderate-fat diet group, HDL cholesterol levels were unchanged from baseline, but triacylglycerol and the ratios of total and non-HDL cholesterol levels to HDL cholesterol levels were lower at the end of the weight-maintenance period. Weight loss was similar in the low-fat diet group, but triacylglycerol rebounded, HDL cholesterol levels decreased, and the ratios of total and non-HDL cholesterol levels to HDL cholesterol levels remained stable during the 10-week study.

"A moderate-fat weight-loss and weight-maintenance diet improves the cardiovascular disease risk profile on the basis of favorable changes in lipids and lipoproteins," the authors write. "We support the recommendation of a weight-loss diet that has a moderate total fat content and conforms with current guidelines for saturated fat, to achieve the most desirable [cardiovascular disease] risk profile."

The authors report no financial or personal interest in the organization sponsoring the research, including advisory board affiliations, during this study.  

Source: Diabetes In Control.com

 
 
 
 
 
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