Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland recently completed a study that provides further evidence about the link between dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and the reduced risk of coronary heart disease.1
A team of researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, led by Jyrki K. Virtanen, evaluated the dietary habits of 1,981 healthy men between the ages of 42 and 60, recruited between 1984 and 1989. The study used computational replacement models to analyze how the replacement of fatty acids in the diet with other types of fatty acids affects the risk of coronary heart disease.
What Does This Mean?
The research team did a follow-up study with the same test group 21.4 years later. They found that 565 men were diagnosed with a coronary heart disease, and 183 of those men experienced fatal heart attacks. The study showed that a higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, and they should replace unhealthy, saturated fats for optimum results.
What Does This Mean?
This means that something as simple as replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fatty acids can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The study showed that reducing saturated fats from the diet alone does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The more important factor - the one responsible for the lowered risk of heart disease - was the presence of extra polyunsaturated fatty acids as a replacement. Nuts, such as walnuts; cold water fish, like salmon and tuna; and certain vegetable oils, like olive, avocado, or sacha inchi oils are all flexible sources to increase the amount of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Dietary Fatty Acids and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men: The Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, 2014
- Clinical Nutrition. (2019). Polyunsaturated fatty acids intake, omega-6/omega-3 ratio and mortality: Findings from two independent nationwide cohorts. Retrieved July 21, 2022 from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29551407/