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Is Quality of Fat More Important Than Quantity?

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Recent research shows that the kind of fat we eat may have an immediate impact on the flexibility of our arteries. Junk food is often high in saturated fat.

Canadian researchers compared blood flow through arteries after two different meals. The first was a Mediterranean-style meal of salmon, almonds and veggies cooked in olilve oil. Fifty-one percent of the calories came from fat, but it was mostly monounsaturated.

The other meal was made up of a sandwich with sausage, egg and cheese along with hash browns. Fifty-eight percent of the calories came from fat, the majority from saturated fat. Two hours and four hours after each meal the volunteers underwent ultrasound testing of their arteries. The arteries dilated twenty-four percent less after the sausage-egg sandwich while they had better dilation after the Mediterranean meal. Perhaps this helps explain why a Mediterranean diet is so good for the cardiovascular system.

[Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, Toronto, ON, Oct. 29, 2012]

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6 Comments

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I wonder if total carbs in the meals affected the results.

The saturated fat meal contained carbs and processed food, while the Mediterranean meal didn't, so that doesn't prove anything about saturated fat.

What I want to see is a study showing what happens after the bread and hash browns are removed from the meal - it's not the egg/sausage/cheese causing the problem: it's the bread and starchy potatoes (probably cooked in trans-fatty oils) none of which is in the Mediterranean diet meal.

There's no way the comparison between the 2 meals could even be considered a valid demonstration, and IMHO proves absolutely nothing except that so-called "research" can prove exactly what the researchers want it to prove. Way to go, guys-----

My thought was the additives in the sausage and coloring in the cheese. I'm sensitive to chemicals and avoid them at home. Not so easy eating out. I do always ask about MSG though as that can be VERY serious for me.

ECC, you are absolutely right! This study proves nothing. For a good study one would have to have a lot more controls and probably test for one thing at a time.

It's a pity that PP's readers are more thoughtful than the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

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