Fat has always been the “bad guy” when it comes to heart health – and your cholesterol profile. But there’s one kind of fat that not only reduces LDL cholesterol but raises HDL levels too. It’s the kind of heart-healthy fat your cardiologist wants you to eat more of. Monounsaturated fats are the “good guys” when it comes to heart health. Here’s why.
The Heart-Healthy Fat That Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Most studies show that monounsaturated fats in foods like nuts and olive oil reduce LDL cholesterol and raise HDL levels (good cholesterol). This was recently confirmed by a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. When researchers substituted monounsaturated fats for carbohydrates for 13% of the calories older men and women ate for two months, it lowered their LDL cholesterol levels by 35% and raised their HDL cholesterol by 12.5%. This reduction could have significant benefits for the heart.
Heart-Healthy Fat That Lowers Your Cholesterol
It’s not surprising that monounsaturated fats reduce cholesterol and raise HDL levels. They’re the backbone of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet that many health-conscious people recognize and embrace. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes olive oil and nuts that are high in monounsaturated fats as well as fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, and moderate amounts of wine. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world.
Olive oil and nuts aren’t the only foods high in monounsaturated fats. Other good sources of these fats are avocados, olives, and seeds of all types. Substituting nuts for a high-carbohydrate snack could be beneficial not only for heart health but for your waistline too. Some studies show that monounsaturated fats help to reduce unwanted belly fat. Using olive oil in place of butter reduces saturated fats in your diet too.
Lower Your Cholesterol Level with Monounsaturated Fats: The Bottom Line?
Replacing less healthy fats and oils with ones that contain monounsaturated fats helps to reduce cholesterol levels while raising HDL. Also, substituting monounsaturated-rich snacks, such as nuts, for ones high in carbohydrates, such as potato chips, could give you a healthier lipid profile. Make the right choices when it comes to choosing your snacks – and your fats.
Medical News Today. “Adding Monounsaturated Fats To A Low-Cholesterol Diet Can Further Improve Levels”