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Cutting down or changing the fat we eat may reduce our risk of heart disease

Hooper L, Summerbell CD, Thompson R, Sills D, Roberts FG, Moore HJ, Davey Smith G
Published Online: 
16 May 2012

Modifying fat in our food (replacing some saturated (animal) fats with plant oils and unsaturated spreads) may reduce risk of heart and vascular disease, but it is not clear whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are more beneficial. There are no clear health benefits of replacing saturated fats with starchy foods (reducing the total amount of fat we eat). Heart and vascular disease includes heart attacks, angina, strokes, sudden cardiovascular death and the need for heart surgery. Modifying the fat we eat seems to protect us better if we adhere in doing so for at least two years. It is not clear whether people who are currently healthy benefit as much as those at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (people with hypertension, raised serum lipids or diabetes for example) and people who already have heart disease, but the suggestion is that they would all benefit to some extent.

This record should be cited as: 
Hooper L, Summerbell CD, Thompson R, Sills D, Roberts FG, Moore HJ, Davey Smith G. Reduced or modified dietary fat for preventing cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD002137. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002137.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
2 December 2010