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Do Unsaturated Fats Increase Cholesterol

Fats And The Keto Diet

Are Saturated Fats RAISING Your LDL Cholesterol?

The Keto Diet is a high fat diet. It is a healthy eating routine where 75% of the calories are derived from fats. Now, this helps your body to get into ketosis, a state in which instead of carbohydrates you burn fat as your main source of energy.

Its one of the most focused macronutrient. But it should be noted that some options of fat are healthier than others. Fat is one of the three most focused macronutrients on a keto diet. Fat is the primary source of energy, so choosing healthy options of fat and eating the right portion of the same is important.

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High Fat And Cholesterol

Pregnant women are often told that they should avoid high fat and cholesterol-rich foods during pregnancy. While many women think that following a low fat diet is best for their and their babys health, eating fat is essential during pregnancy.

In fact, the need for fat-soluble nutrients, including vitamin A and choline, as well as omega-3 fats, increases during pregnancy (


Fat-rich foods are important for both fetal and maternal health. Healthy, fat-rich foods should be included in meals and snacks to promote a healthy pregnancy.

Limit Bad Fats And Cholesterol

Research shows that there isn’t really a link between how much fat you eat and your risk of disease. The biggest influence on your risk is the type of fat you eat. Two unhealthy fats, including saturated and trans fats, increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood cholesterol and increase your risk of developing heart disease. However, two very different types of fat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do just the opposite. In fact, research shows that cutting back on saturated fat and replacing it with mono and polyunsaturated fats can help lower the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.

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Recommendations For Fat Intake

Fat is an essential part of our diet.

“Fat is one of the three key macronutrients that we need for our health,” says Eshani Ewing, a registered dietitian with Orlando Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organization.

Overall, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends unsaturated fats make up 20% to 35% of your total daily calories, and saturated fats make up less than 10%. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat even more to less than 6% of your daily calories.

It can be especially helpful to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats in your diet. Some easy ways to swap out saturated fats for their unsaturated counterparts include:

  • Cooking with olive oil instead of butter
  • Using vinaigrette dressings instead of ranch
  • Eating nuts or seeds as snacks instead of cheese or pastries
  • Consuming salmon instead of red meats like steak

While both saturated and unsaturated fats can be part of a nutritious diet, trans fat a third type of fat should be avoided. Trans fats offer no nutritional value and can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Trans fats can be found in fried and processed foods like:

  • Frozen pizza
  • French fries
  • Donuts

It’s important to note that, as of 2018, most food processors have stopped using trans fats due to FDA regulations.

Is All Cholesterol Bad

Facts About Fats

Not all cholesterol in the blood is bad. We need some cholesterol in the blood to function properly, but if there is too much it can clog up the arteries, leading to and stroke.

Cholesterol is carried by the blood in two main forms:

  • LDL or bad cholesterol. This carries cholesterol around your body and to your arteries. It can build up in the artery walls.
  • HDL or good cholesterol. This picks up excess cholesterol from the arteries and takes it to the liver to be broken down or removed from the body as waste.

The ideal is to have a low LDL level and a high HDL level.

Eating too much saturated fat raises your LDL, or bad, cholesterol, and replacing it with unsaturated fats helps to raise your HDL, or good, cholesterol.

What should your cholesterol levels be?

The amount of cholesterol in your blood can be measured with a blood test. Use the table as a general guide to what your cholesterol level should be.

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What Are Alternatives To Replace Saturated Fats In The Foods I Eat

As part of an overall heart-healthy dietary pattern, choose lean meats and poultry without skin. Prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.Eat foods made with liquid vegetable oil but not tropical oils. It also means eating fish and nuts. You also might try to replace some of the meat you eat with beans or legumes.

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Healthy Dietary Fats Help Beat High Cholesterol

Eating them can reduce your risk of heart disease as effectively as statins, heart experts say

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 — Replacing saturated fats with healthier ones found in some vegetable oils can reduce cholesterol levels and heart disease risk as much as statins, a new American Heart Association advisory says.

Those healthier fats are poly-unsaturated fats and mono-unsaturated fats. Poly-unsaturated fats are found in corn, soybean and peanut oils. Mono-unsaturated fats are found in oils such as olive, canola, safflower and avocado.

Saturated fats are found in meat, full-fat dairy products and tropical oils such as coconut and palm.

Recently, questions have been raised about recommendations to limit foods high in saturated fats, so the AHA ordered a review of current evidence.

“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,” lead advisory author Dr. Frank Sacks said in an AHA news release. Sacks is a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“Saturated fat increases LDL — bad cholesterol — which is a major cause of artery-clogging plaque and cardiovascular disease,” he said.

Lower intake of saturated fat combined with higher intake of poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat is linked to lower rates of heart disease, other studies show.

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Why Unsaturated Fats Not Cholesterol Cause Heart Attacks And Cancer By Dr Wilfred E Shute

In Dr. Fred Kumerows study all his animals on a diet containing heated corn oil developed tumors, and only 1 of 96 survived the 40 month experimental period.

The following is an exerpt from Chapter 8 Heart Attacks: Causes, Survival and Prevention of Dr. Wilfrid E. Shutes Vitamin E Book, published in 1975.

Whats The Difference Between Ldl And Hdl

Saturated vs Unsaturated Fat | Eat or Avoid?

Now lets break down cholesterol in order to figure out its relationship with saturated fat in our bodies. According to the CDC , cholesterol is broken up into two different categories of lipoproteins, LDL and HDL . LDL is often referred to as the bad cholesterol while HDL is promoted as the good cholesterol.

While LDLs can actually increase your risk of health issues like heart disease, HDLs can lower your risk of heart disease by either dissolving excess cholesterol or carrying extra cholesterol through the liver to be discarded from the body. So while cholesterol gets an overarching scary name it should be LDLs we should be scared of and HDLs which we supply our bodies with.

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Monitoring Intake Of Fat And Cholesterol

Dietary fat and cholesterol are necessary components for a healthy diet. Though, when consumed in excess, they may be harmful to the body and increase ones risk for obesity, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. Keep in mind, however, that dietary cholesterol does not have as much of an effect on blood cholesterol as saturated fat. It is important to regulate ones intake of dietary fat in order to regulate blood LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.

Dairy Foods Cholesterol And Saturated Fats

Full fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt are a known source of saturated fats in the diet. For years, people have been urged to consider limiting their intake of these foods to reduce the saturated fat intake. However, recent research suggests this approach is too simple and not necessarily accurate.

Although dairy products contain saturated fats, they also contain beneficial nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamin K2 and probiotics. Each of these nutrients may affect heart disease risk through different interrelated pathways such as by their effects on blood sugar, cholesterol levels or inflammation. Also, different types of dairy products seem to be distinctly linked to various health effects and disease risk markers.

As such milk, cheese and yoghurt are not associated with cardiovascular risk. This means that they do not increase risk which is a good thing, but they do not decrease the risk in the same manner that vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts do either.

The latest dietary advice is to include less processed, unflavoured dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese in your healthy eating pattern.

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Can Saturated Fats Cause Heart Disease

Its not always clear what we should or shouldn’t be eating to improve our heart health especially when it comes to fats.

For years, the dietary advice from experts has simply been to reduce your intake of all saturated fats. From a dietary perspective, it is understood consuming foods high in saturated fat can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. New research suggests that instead of only paying attention to the amount of saturated fat in your diet, you should consider what food sources the saturated fat is coming from.

In this article, accredited dieticians Anna Debenham and Alex Parker from The Biting Truth delve further into saturated fat and its association with heart disease and overall health.

Recommended Blood Cholesterol And Triglyceride Concentrations

Saturated Fats: What You Need to Know

Total blood cholesterol measurements include cholesterol in both the LDL and HDL lipoproteins. However, LDL and HDL lipoproteins have different functions in the body. LDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver into the body. HDL lipoproteins are released from the liver and circulate in the blood to pick up excess cholesterol from the body and carry it back to the liver to be removed from the body. Higher LDL cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. Higher HDL cholesterol decreases your risk of heart disease. Measuring LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is a better indicator of heart disease risk than just total cholesterol alone.

Total cholesterol concentrations below 200 mg/dl are desirable. Total cholesterol concentrations between 200 and 239 mg/dl are considered borderline, and concentrations over 240 mg/dl are high. LDL-cholesterol concentrations below 100 mg/dl are desirable. LDL-cholesterol concentrations between 130 and 159 mg/dl are considered borderline, and LDL-cholesterol concentrations over 160 mg/dl are high. Triglyceride concentrations below 150 mg/dl are desirable. Triglyceride concentrations between 150 and 199 mg/dl are considered borderline. Triglyceride concentrations over 200 mg/dl are considered high. HDL-cholesterol concentrations equal to or above 60 mg/dl are desirable, HDL cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dl are considered low. Exercising, losing excess weight, and not smoking promote higher HDL-cholesterol concentrations.

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Lets Not Focus Solely On Saturated Fat

Could it be that research to date has focused too heavily on specific macro- or micronutrients?

Previous research has suggested that saturated fat is more harmful in the US than in Europe. Its unlikely that Americans respond differently to saturated fat than their EU counterparts and much more likely that its the way the two populations consume saturated fat which is at play.

In the US, the majority of saturated fat is consumed in meat. In Europe, and more specifically the Netherlands, saturated fat is mostly consumed in dairy.

We do not eat saturated fat or poly- or monounsaturated fat, or vitamin C or vitamin D. We eat food, said Prof Visioli. So if you just focus on saturated fat, are you missing the ?

You should look at meat, you should look at dairy products, or you should look at products with palm oil or other kinds of fat . We should really start to think of the whole food rather than a single ingredient.

In saying that, the professor told delegates he was not condoning a diet high in saturated fat: Dont eat too much fat, in general, because its high calorie.

But he does advocate for dietary guidelines to be revisited. Weve been told by the WHO and many other organisations to reduce saturated fatbut maybe we should revisit this approach. Because the recommendations of the WHO do not take into account the latest evidence.

Relationship Between Saturated Fats Diseases And Cancers

Understanding how carbohydrates, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats operate in the body is a topic of ongoing scientific research. While numerous studies since the 1960s have found links between saturated fats, diseases, and cancers, several other large studies in recent years have found no significant correlation. It is possible that saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are much more complex and nuanced than previously thought.

Currently, most all health associations , governmental institutions , and the World Health Organization recommend limiting the consumption of saturated fats to help maintain cardiovascular health.

In a widely-reported 2014 meta-analysis of 72 studies, researchers said there was little evidence to support the idea that saturated fats can be clearly linked to cardiovascular problems or that polyunsaturated fats are as beneficial as typically claimed. Walter Willett, the current chair of the Department of Nutrition in the Harvard School of Public Health, has been critical of this meta-analysis, saying it “contains multiple errors and omissions” and is “seriously misleading.”

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Observational And Prospective Epidemiologic Studies

Although early epidemiologic studies linking saturated fat with blood cholesterol and blood cholesterol with CHD were important in defining a conceptual model of etiology for CVD , they were a simplification of the complex relationship of nutrients to disease outcomes. These studies were based on aggregated data and did not adjust for potential confounders , some of which have only more recently come to be known as relevant in modulating CVD risk.

Prospective cohort studies are designed to enable the evaluation of potential baseline disease determinants with future disease outcomes by following a cohort of study participants over a period of time. Large, prospective epidemiologic studies have the advantage of being able to adjust for co-variates, so that the effects of a specific nutrient can be assessed. However, caveats to such studies include the reliance on nutritional assessment methods with varying accuracy and the assumption that diets remain similar over the long term.

The interpretation of these data is complicated by the fact that most epidemiologic studies that were included in the meta-analysis did not explicitly model the effects of nutrient substitution. However, because saturated and total fat are most commonly replaced with carbohydrates, the lack of association between saturated fat and risk of CHD observed in epidemiologic studies can be interpreted as the lack of benefit of substitution of carbohydrates for saturated fat.

Continue Learning About Fats

Saturated Fat: Healthy or Unhealthy?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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Is Saturated Or Unsaturated Fat Healthier

In moderation, both fats can have benefits, and in excess, both fats can be counterproductive to your overall health, Kessler says. In general, unsaturated fats are healthier and can help lower inflammation and positively impact cholesterol.

On the other hand, saturated fats raise levels of blood lipids. These fatty substances found in the blood, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, may be associated with poor cardiovascular health. But the science is less clear on whether or not there is a direct correlation between high blood lipid levels and heart disease.

For example, a 2014 review involving more than 650,000 participants found no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease. But other studies do show a link. A 2020 analysis with more than 56,000 participants concluded that cutting down on saturated fat resulted in a 17% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

While research on saturated fats is still emerging, there is strong evidence that unsaturated fats have a positive effect on heart health.

A very large 2009 study found that participants who replaced 5% of their dietary intake of saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats were significantly less likely to experience coronary heart disease than those who did not over a four to ten year follow up period. The study also found that swapping 5% of saturated fats with monounsaturated fats or carbohydrates did not reduce coronary heart disease risk.

What Fats Are Good To Have On The Keto Diet

When following a keto diet, knowing about the right sources of food helps in following the diet easily. Good sources of fat can help in transitioning into a state of ketosis in the right way. Just the way carbs are categories into good and bad, fats are categorized into good and healthy fats and the bad ones which are unhealthy.

  • Olive Oil

It is an essential item in every household, especially when you are on a keto diet as its a highly healthy unsaturated fat. Incorporate a drizzle of Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a light salad dressing. You can use it as a cooking oil to sauté, or to marinade meat and vegetables.

  • Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a good source of fat to be included in the keto diet. As they are high in fiber content, including chia seeds in your diet makes you feel full for longer and helps in reducing your calorie intake. Incorporating chia seeds in your keto diet can help in weight loss.

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  • Egg Yolk

Egg yolk should be included in the keto diet as they are a good source of healthy fat. Egg yolks contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in a healthy partition. Apart from helping in weight loss while on the keto diet, egg yolks help in increasing immunity, improving bone density and resilience, maintaining healthy blood pressure, reducing overall body inflammation, and reducing risks of kidney stones.

  • Salmon

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  • Olives
  • Flaxseeds

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  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Avocados

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